Well, I feel like I can say I've made it past some sort of hump in this mini social media/phone detox and so far... it actually hasn't been quite as hard as I expected. It hasn't been a flawless transition by any means, but for the most part I've been able to give into this new routine.
In fact, one side effect of this whole thing is actually forgetting to use social media when I need to post something. I mainly blame this on the fact that it's the busy season for us in the studio and I've been neck deep in order processing this last week and a half, so my hands haven't exactly been idle. However, I have definitely noticed that by not looking at social media so much I have actually put that task lower on the hierarchy of daily work tasks. I know that probably sounds terrifying to most of you out there running your own show, and honestly, the feeling is sorta kinda freaking me out a tiny bit. Social media has been THE main player in helping get the Native Bear brand off the ground, and it has been THE task of the day for the past 7 years (ugh. what! 7 years??), so this new (perhaps less desperate) relationship with posting and engaging on social media is a little foreign.
Some things I'm trying to navigate with this new routine:
a subtle feeling of guilt when I'm not using social media
Just typing that sounds super strange to me. It's strange to think that I have a sense of guilt for not participating in something that was making me feel so drained, anxious, and trapped. But the truth is that social media has also been the catalyst for my business's growth and I have met so many lovely people through social media. So, the guilt is somewhat real. I also have to remember that this guilt is part of the addiction withdrawal. It's just been an addiction for so long that it can be hard to separate the feeling from my authentic self. It's the feeling of FOMO but with the added pressure of feeling like I have to do something because society and marketing tells me so. I've been dealing with this by just acknowledging the guilty feeling when it comes up, recognize that it's just a passing feeling, and letting it go.
forgetting about social media all together
It turns out that once you stop looking at social media for a few days you kind of start to forget about it. Even though I am still looking at social media at least twice a day I'm still not looking at it nearly as much as I used to, so I'm not constantly being reminded to post.
remembering to take cool photos
Kind of the same thing as I stated above; the less you use something the less you feel like you need it. I'm trying to get better at planning ahead with my social media usage and take time to create fun images, but I also need to remember the beauty of spontaneity. Spontaneity doesn't mean I have to post that photo in the moment, but yes it does mean that I have to actually take some dang photos.
I have noticed that I will often reach for my phone and check it if it's around me, even though I am fully aware that there will be nothing to actually check...
The reflex is still there, and I wonder how long that will take to go away or if it ever really will? My phone is still a shiny bright box that makes lights and noises when I touch it so I don't know if I will ever been fully free of that impulse. I certainly look ridiculous checking my phone that essentially does 5 basic functions at this point.
Overall, I have felt great about this new relationship with my phone and social media. I don't need to be on it 15 hours a day, or 10 hours, or even 1 hour. I don't have to know how many likes I got on a post, or whether enough people saw what I had to say. Contrary to what my addicted mind might tell me... I don't need to know.
When I leave work I really feel like I've left for the day. My mind can get into 'home' mode. I have more attention span to read books, sketch ideas, and even write blog posts like this. I get the sense that my mind is a bit more open than it was last month, and I've been having more sparks of creativity. I'm hoping that by the end of the next couple of weeks I can make some headway with a couple of big projects I'm working on but just haven't quite been able to dive into. I hope that with a little more time away from screens I will be able to tap into some new wells of thought.
Some tools I've invested in are a) an alarm clock (so my phone can live outside of the bedroom) and b) an instagram scheduling app. I just signed up for Planoly and so far I've enjoyed the option to schedule some of my posts ahead of time so that some of my work is already done. I don't think this will take over all posts because if I'm being honest, I'm not organized enough to plan ahead like that or even really that kind of person. But! It does take some of the weight off of me, and I can think more in depth about the types of captions I want to write. There's something nice about writing things out with a keyboard with real buttons rather than tiptoeing around my flat phone keyboard. It feels more deliberate.
For those of you who are on this path I wish you luck and would love to hear any feedback about your process with minimizing phone/social media usage <3