Over the holidays, I am afforded the luxury of time for relaxed conversation with my family. This break, lead to a conversation with my middle about how social media impacts our lives.
Social media. I personally have a love/hate relationship with it. It hands me an easy avenue to connect with others. I am able to share photos and events with my family. Share information with those closest to me in an easy breezy way. But…I also get to see the not so happy side of people’s lives. I am witness to people being less than stellar with each other. I get to see the spread of hate…and violence under the guise of freedom of speech and keyboard warriors. I get to see negativity in our world in such a huge way that, I admit, it exhausts me.
There is a very fine line that defines the good and the not so good and it is very easy to find ourselves on either side on any given day.
Recently, I began to observe my own moods and behavior when coupled with my social media use and let me tell you, it was really eye opening to me. The more time I spent interacting or even simply browsing Facebook, the more stress I could feel in my own body and the more negative my thoughts tended to be. Now I know that some will say that observation is ridiculous however, I am an empath in such a big way. When people around me are sad, my tears flow. In turn, when there is joy in the people around me, it spreads through me like wildfire. It is just who I am and how I tick.
When I made the observation, I realized how much more relaxed and content I felt when spent less time “online”. Interesting, right?
I also realized how much more productive I was in other areas of my life when I was away from social media a bit more. I started sleeping more soundly. I have been more focused and clear headed when it came to writing. I think it is also important to note that during this time, we also broke our connection with cable TV as well. We now subscribe to a few specific services that we access via internet only. (Go big or go home, right?)
With this new found “freedom” in what my brain is experiencing, I am happier. I can feel that my body is holding less tension. I am sleeping better and waking up feeling more refreshed. I feel more patient and calm with others as well. Correlation? Coincidence? Either way, I will take it.
After making these observations about how my social media useage impacted my mental state, I began to consider my choices for spending my energy on the other things that may not be impacting me in a positive way. Why do I allow myself to spend my time on things like this? How can I more easily recognize these energy zapping habits and more importantly, steer clear of them?
I found that I have habits and relationships that do not serve me. Taxing “friendships” with people who seem to just want me around when they need something from me…and never seem to be present in my own times of need. Habits that do not align with a healthy and happy life for me. (How much TV binging should I be doing when I feel like I can’t “human” anymore?) What happens when I clear THESE things from my life? I can tell you – I feel AMAZING!
There is time for the things that fuel me with passion. I have energy to seek out adventure. I find more joy and laughter in my life and suddenly my relationships are filled with love and abundance that is HEALTHY for me. It’s simply divine.
As we move forward in the coming year, consider where you have been spending your energy. Decide if there are areas that are costing you more than you are receiving from them…and then decide if you can give those things up. Create more space in your life. Invite in more joy.
If you are inclined, I would love to hear if you are planning to make changes in the coming months regarding social media or television consumption as well as how you feel about it.