I’m Quitting Social Media
About a week and a half ago my desire to be on social media went away. Basically, my phone died the night before and I just left it dead. I don’t know the exact reasons why I felt a strong pull to quit social media but I can suspect there a few reasons why.
There is no question that social media has played a huge role in my being able to market my business over the last couple of years. It has also helped me connect with so many amazing people around the world. Some of these people have become friends in my real life while some have become and remain virtual friends.
I am not even sure what quitting social media means for my business. Could this be in the end of the Trippin’ Momma and Single Moms DO Travel brand? I hope not.
Almost immediately, I noticed the positive benefits of quitting social media. With nothing left to distract me except for the occasional TV show, I all of a sudden had a bunch of time on my hands.
I used to love reading but in recent years I have struggled to read or even listen to a book because my attention span seems super short. I’d be in the middle of reading a book and find myself reaching for my phone out of habit. It is like my hand has a mind of its own.
This made reading any book a challenge.
As a child, I would stay up all night reading under my night light when I was supposed to be in bed asleep. My love for reading let me escape my troubled childhood and be someone else in those stories.
I knew my phone/social media addiction was having a negative affect on me but I didn’t know how to fix it.
Nothing I tried worked for me. I tried removing Facebook and Instagram from my phone but would find myself getting frustrated when I needed to quickly throw up a post, share a story, or post a photo so I would re-download the apps.
When I felt my desire to quit social media this time, I decided to give myself a fighting chance by leaving my phone dead for most of the day and even letting my daughter use it so she could play mine craft to make it less tempting. Out of site, out of mind.
The first night after quitting social media, I read 7 chapters of The Good Girl’s Guide To Getting Lost which is the book we are reading for this month in the Inner Circle. I couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to fall into the story and feel like I was in Ireland with the character. It felt so good to be reading again.
What is even more crazy is that I actually read those 7 chapters on my phone with Amazon Kindle! I had literally just told a client the day before that it was impossible for me to read a book unless it was a physical copy because every time I would try and read on my phone or even on the computer, I would jump over to social media pretty darn quickly and forget about reading as I got lost in the land of curated pictures and status updates.
After reading those 7 chapters, I sat in my Papasan chair and stared at the sky. Novella was sound asleep in my bed nearby. The only sound was her steady breathing and the occasional car driving by. It is not often that it is quiet in the evenings in Merida, Mexico, but with Covid and everyone home celebrating a whole lot less, this evening was especially quiet.
I watched the clouds cover and then uncover the moon. I don’t know why it has taken me this long to appreciate the beautiful night view outside my bedroom window.
Because my window is so large, it feels like I am outside. I sat there in complete gratitude for my life.
The Morning After
The next morning was no different. I woke feeling rested. First, I pull up the shades and then open my big window and the patio door to welcome the morning breeze in.
Each morning I make the bed but instead of hopping on my phone right afterwards this time, I sat in my big chair with a journal and tried out Morning Pages for the first time. Morning pages are just 3 pages of writing that you write in your journal where you don’t think about grammar, spelling, topic, or anything. You just let the words and thoughts flow because no one will be reading these pages but you.
Those three pages filled quickly with everything from the things I was grateful for, to my realizations with quitting social media, to the state of the world during this pandemic, to memories of our very first trip to Puerto Rico.
I’ve always considered myself a procrastinator often waiting until the last minute to complete projects or sometimes never completing them at all.
However, I soon realized that projects I had been putting off for months or even more, I was able to finish within a day or 2 without social media in my life.
Shoot… I even started writing my very first book. While reading The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost, I realized that there were no books like it geared towards single moms. Where are all the traveling single moms stories? They aren’t out there so I decided to write the book I was searching for.
I could read books in less than a week some in just a day or two. I switched from being addicted to trash reality TV to wanting to learn new things and try new things.
I was listening to the Ground Up podcast with Matt D’Avella and his guest, Thomas Frank, mentioned the Tide app that he uses to do the Pomodoro Technique so I quickly downloaded it to try it out. That is how I cranked out this blog post actually.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system where you break up your work into 25 minute sessions typically. This allows you to stay really focused for 25 minutes before taking a break and often then diving right back into another 25 minutes. With the Tide app, you can choose the sound you want to listen to if any at all during your session. I enjoy the listening to the ocean sound and the muse. This helps me not get distracted by my toddler who is typically sitting right next to me watching her favorite shows on her tablet. The timer then goes off by gently ending the music, giving you a congratulations on the screen, and asking you if you want to go again.
I became more patient almost immediately with quitting social media. It was no longer a challenge for me to stop what I was doing to play with my toddler when she asked. Prior to quitting social media, I would easily get annoyed.
Conversations with my teens improved because I actually listened to what they were saying instead of being distracted by my Instagram or Facebook feed or some angry comment by a stranger on the internet.
The times I did hop on FB or Instagram real quick during that first week in transition, I found myself wanting to get off pretty quickly because it seemed so negative.
I could tell that a lot of the negative feelings I felt about myself started going away. Without anyone to compare myself to on Instagram and Facebook, I had no reason to look at myself in a negative light or as less than anyone.
I also no longer cared about the positive or negative feedback I received online.
I also didn’t feel the need to answer all the messages I received so I didn’t.
Finally, I was able to say No without even saying no.
This experience has allowed me to get clearer on what I do want in my life and helped me minimize things that weren’t adding value to my life.
48 Hour Social Media Break Challenge
I had already scheduled a 48 hour social media break challenge in my Inner Circle membership site with my single mommas during the month of May but I slowly started removing social media from my life a week prior to the start of the challenge.
Actually, the act of going cold turkey with the support of the Inner Circle Mommas with quitting social media just made things even better.
I normally struggle to get through our monthly book club book. Often leaving it to the last minute to get the book read and then come up with discussion questions. In fact, last month I attempted to read the book multiple times but just couldn’t read it and I felt so guilty that I think it played a role is me wanting to step away from social media.
I read this month’s book in 7 days and it was not the shortest book but so freaking good and funny. I am actually already on my third book this month.
Quitting Social Media As A Content Creator
All content creators know the true reality of what it means to put ourselves out their publicly.
People feel that they know us and it gives people permission to say what they want when they want with no cares to the fact that we are real human beings with real feelings.
I no longer want to be a part of the game. I just have no interest in it anymore. I am not sure what this new reality means even for this blog.
The focus of the blog will most likely transition to my passion of lifestyle design while still talking about travel, living abroad, and single mom life of course.
Quitting social media was only one step in this new direction I am exploring. I am learning the art of saying No. Sometimes it is even a HELL NO! If an interview or collaboration doesn’t feel right or I simply don’t feel like doing it, I will just say no or not answer at all.
I will no longer feel guilty about that. If someone in my life is draining, I will no longer speak with them. I will only work with clients who I want to work with because no amount of money is worth my mental health.
With all the newfound time I have, I will fill my days with stillness, reading, writing, creating, spending time with my family and friends, traveling, and hanging in the Inner Circle.
May 8th 2020
Our 48 hour social media break is over today. I jumped on FB for less than a minute to remove a post in my SMDT group and then was off social media again.
Today, I will seriously look into hiring someone to take over my social media. This means that on my business page, Instagram, and in the Single Moms DO Travel group, you will still be able to see post from me that I create offline and then have someone else share for the most part.
Maybe I will give myself 30 minutes a week to oversee the Single Moms DO Travel group and respond to any comments/ and questions? I don’t know as of now how to move forward with this, I just know I am not willing to give up this feeling of complete freedom.
Anyone else out there quit social media before? How long did you last? What did you discover by doing so if anything at all? If you did market your business on social media, how did you change that?