A few reflections from day 6 of my social media sabbatical:
· I see this experiment as an "addition by subtraction" type thing, as I am enhancing the overall quality of my life by taking away something that does not add much value. Please notice that I did not see “any” value. There are some positives I get from social media. One thing I notice is just how much of the daily news I get from it. I will need to find other sources in which to keep current in what is going on in the world. I also find good resources (articles, research, etc.) for work on social media. I will need to get more creative in this regard as well.
· I knew I wasted time on social media. However, until now, I had no idea just how much time I wasted on it. It is mind blowing. Moving forward, after the sabbatical is over, I will have designated times in which to use social media. I believe that this type of intentional approach for my social media usage will cut down the “rabbit hole- time suck” effect.
· I don’t miss seeing peoples’ drama, dirty laundry, and vitriol on social media. I’m not suggesting that everyone is uncivil on these platforms, but many make comments to total strangers on Twitter that they would never say face to face. It astounds me that adults post some of the things they post. Emotional intelligence if often in great demand on this platform.
· After six days of being off social media, I have noticed more clarity in my thoughts. I feel like I have more space between my thoughts, and my focus is better. As digital readers, we have become a society of “skim the surface” readers, often lacking depth and breadth. Being off social media has slowed my mind down in a good way, where I am able to dive deeper into what I am reading, looking at, or pondering.
· After two days, I quit reaching for my smart phone all the time. I recently read that the average person struggles to go little more than ten minutes without checking their phone. I am confident that I was grabbing for my phone much more often than every ten minutes.
· Instead of checking social media to avoid boredom, I now allow myself to “do nothing” during these types of instances. I have found that occasionally allowing myself to get bored is a good thing. Mind wandering isn’t always a waste of time, because daydreaming is often where joy and wonder are born. It is hard to build our imaginations if we are filling each and every “dull moment” with junk content from social media. "Sitting" with my boredom has been a game changer in terms of sparking my creative juices.
· I fear I am missing out on business by not being on social media, as I often promoted my sessions, speaking engagements, and my book on my personal social media pages. When I return to social media, I will have a more systematic approach with this, which will hopefully safeguard against getting sucked into the time wasting habits I have cultivated over the years on these pages.
I will have a few more reflections and observations in a few days. Stay tuned...
Greg Graber, the author of Slow Your Roll- Mindfulness for Fast Times, teaches mindfulness and Social & Emotional (SEL) skills to schools, top sports teams, and various organizations around the world. Graber, a frequent keynote speaker, currently serves as the Director of SEL at Lausanne Collegiate School. He may be contacted through his website: www.greggraber.com