The digital world doesn’t always serve us, a lot of the time it’s actually hurting us. We compare ourselves to others, feel less than and use it as a place to seek validation. Please Instagram, give me a lotta likes on this post so I can feel good enough. Please somebody copy and paste my Facebook Status (not share) because I need to know you’ve read it all because only then will I know who actually cares. This isn’t healthy, this isn’t serving us. Social media depression has become a real thing and it’s time to make a change.
The reason I started #SelfLoveTember was that I noticed how toxic and unhealthy social media can be. I wanted to help to make it a place we can feel good. A place where we are inspired to love ourselves and not compare ourselves or seek validation. A place when we come online because it feels good and we’ve proactively decided to and not out of the habit of just mindlessly opening the app. Self-love matters, but we’ve forgotten that and become addicted to our phones and forgot that the best moments happen offline.
We use our phones to numb out. That dopamine fix is mighty good after all, but it’s so short-lived that we find ourselves constantly online. I do it too and I am slowly finding a balance that works for me. I haven’t quite got it yet so please don’t think I’m judging any of these addictive or self-validation behaviours. I can’t, I couldn’t possibly, I have my own online/offline balance not quite to my liking yet, but what I can say is I’m very aware of it and I’m working really hard to find a balance that feels good for me and already my progress feels great and very self-loving.
These online tools are amazing. We can connect with people all around the world, we can get inspired, find the answers to things (my hubby changed the engine of this car from watching ‘How To YouTube videos’, saved us a fortune) and for that reason, I think it’s wonderful. Sometimes it’s been something someone has said on an online video that has made all the difference that day, that nugget of wisdom from that Ted Talk or that self-help guru. Sometimes it’s simply just somebody sharing their story, that inspired me so much that I made a healthy change of habit.
It’s the place where I get to hold #SelfLoveTember and teach the power of self-love and I’m forever grateful for that. It’s the place I created the Choose To Rise Facebook group and I’m so proud of this community (updated, I moved on, things divinely evolved, it felt good, the new Self-Love & Fully Expressed group is here). I love it and couldn’t do what I do without it. The online world can be a beautiful place, but only when we get the balance right.
It really is all about balance and balance is individual. For me, that balance is I get to enjoy it every day but I have to have an intention, which is usually checking the #SelfLoveTember hashtag or sharing something in the group. Mindlessly scrolling Instagram doesn’t feel good to me and it’s a waste of my time and life. I could be doing so many more fun things or just relaxing. Relaxing is underrated but so powerful for our creativity and happiness. I put my phone away when I’m with people I love and if it takes a little longer for me to reply to a message then that’s cool too. That’s my balance.
If someone we love is talking to us and we are scrolling our Facebook, we missed a moment that matters. At that moment, we say to them without saying it, my phone is more important than you (Simon Sinek quote). That pains me to say because I have done it and still catch myself doing it. Ugh. Addiction.
When we spend time trying to curate a great caption or get the perfect selfie to look better, we have forgotten feeling good is always from within. We live in a world where we go out with friends and go to the toilet and find ourselves having a quick scroll. I can remember a time when bathroom stops were quicker because the fun was there, not on the phone. The fun still is, but somehow we’ve forgotten.
We check our phones constantly because the fear of missing out is huge, but here’s the thing we are missing out. We are missing the moment all the time. If you do nothing else today, do watch the video below it’s only 4 minutes. If you still want to spend just as much time on your phone then be my guest, but be proactive and really think about how much time you spend online and if it’s serving you.
There are no hard and fast rules to social media and phone usage, but if you find yourself constantly checking, seeking validation, comparing yourself or simply numbing out or procrastinating with it then it’s time to take your power back. Last year, I took a week off because I’d got really addicted and it helped me so much. 3 years ago I took a whole month off and I loved it. I wasn’t a blogger then so it was more doable and I don’t feel the need to do that now anyway, my point is if your twitching having time offline then you’re addicted and that addiction like all addictions can have negative side effects on you and your relationships so love yourself enough to find a balance that feels healthy for you. If you miss an Instagram story or two, it really doesn’t matter, but your life does. I’m talking about this not to preach but actually because I found myself slipping back into addictive habits and I’m so much more fulfilled when I have a healthy balance so here’s to more fulfilment and a better life.
Have a wonderful day, love yourself and use social media because it feels good, not as a way to numb ou, fear of missing out or to combat boredom. You deserve so much more than to lose your power to your phone. Loving yourself means creating a life you love too and you can only create a good life by being there for it. Don’t lose it to your phone. More and more people are depressed due to our relationship with technology, don’t be one of them.
Be kind to you, Namaste,
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)
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