I have now officially been limiting my social media exposure to 30 minutes combined of Instagram or Facebook per day for about a month. You may be asking why I chose to limit my time with it instead of “total depravation” for a while.
Several factors are at play in this decision
1. My ex thought the solution to an “overindulgent” problem was to completely take whatever the stimulus was away, as I have learned in many years of therapy, that was a form of manipulation.
2. Going along with number one I firmly believe in a parenting style of: if you can’t teach self control with whatever the present stimulus happens to be, You could be opening yourself and your child up to a future of hurt, confusion and possibly years of therapy (although, that last one may occur regardless and is not a bad thing (I LOVE therapy) but I try to limit how much my daughter will need therapy because of me)
3. Maybe it’s my rebel nature, but I don’t like to just follow the trends, if someone tells me not to do something (or I try to tell myself that) I want to do it 1000 times more.
4. Also at play is the “life is too short” theory. Why take something away from my life that, although it can be negative sometimes positivity can be found on social media and there have been moments that have helped me stay sane especially as a mother using social media.
It has been an awesome experience and I will continue to do this but here’s what I’ve learned so far. At first, I felt like 30 minutes was not long enough, mind you that’s 30 minutes total of being on Facebook or Instagram each day. Inevitably when I first started, each day I would “time out” before noon. But as the days have gone on I’ve made it all the way till 7 PM before I hit the mark of 30 minutes. Sometimes I almost feel like it’s too much time. (Never thought I would say that) It has helped me to focus on what I’m looking at and try not to multitask. It has decreased my impulse purchases, damn Instagram knowing what would interest me, they are good! But I’ve also found most of the products I have purchased were very poor quality, very often I was disappointed. It’s helped me to stop aimlessly looking at social media when I should be focusing on just being with my child, my hubby, my friends, etc. It has decreased the frequency of the “aimless grabbing my phone” moments, although I still find myself reaching for it, I feel like that’s a harder habit to change and will take a bit more time to change. (I also don’t think that it’s just social medias fault. Just technology and instant gratification at work, minor issues to tackle *can you feel the sarcasm*) You may be wondering why I chose 30 mins… honestly no clue, just a number. To be clear, I am not saying that this will work for everyone. A big life lesson I have learned is that there is LITERALLY nothing that is “one size fits all”. That is hard to swallow sometimes, as it makes it a bit more of a challenge because you can’t [always] just lose weight like another, or change your habits like another did…but there is also freedom and joy in the journey of figuring out what works best for you. Also, in figuring out what doesn’t work. While “depravation” doesn’t work for me it doesn’t mean it can’t work for another.
I’m not quite sure what the next step is so I will continue this current path until I can determine what to do next.