I’ve been putting off writing this because I’m probably the person that needs it the most. A year and a half ago I didn’t know what a hashtag was. Flash forward to today and I check my Instagram feed and post to it daily. When I got a taste of what Instagram offered: new friendships, creative inspiration, marketing for my Etsy shop, and collaborations with beautiful brands I was hooked. But like most good things I try, I want more and more of it. Sometimes I can even get a little… um shall I say addicted? Now I don’t think all addictions are bad, for instance if you’re an alcoholic you must trade your addiction for a healthy one like AA. Instagram and social media isn’t the thing that’s bad, it’s the amount of time that we spend these sites and what we tell ourselves when we look at all the pretty pictures… that is the problem.
“A year and a half ago I didn’t know what a hashtag was.”
How do you know if you have a problem? Well if you’re anything like me you get that sneaky intuitive feeling or inner voice that tells you something’s off. Another indicator might also be getting messages from your cellphone provider halfway through your pay period that you have reached 90% of the maximum media allotment for the month. By the way, I’m only speaking from experience here. I was the lucky recipient of those text messages from Verizon and then a talk from my husband that maybe I need to cool it on my favorite app. More than anything else, I’m evaluating myself because of the time it takes away from my son. Growing up my mom never had a phone in her face and I fear that’s how he’ll remember me. However as an independent working woman and mom I can’t just give up on the app that has provided such an inspiring outlet and created a way to market my efforts. So I’ve come up with a plan to try for 30 days, since it usually takes about 30 days to break and create a new habit. Instead of telling myself to not do something I’m going to plan to do more things that enrich my life and relationships.
“Growing up my mom never had a phone in her face and I fear that’s how he’ll remember me.”
1) Turn off notifications to Instagram on my phone; it’s just so tempting to check my feed every time I see a comment come through.
2) Before picking up my phone and checking Instagram with my morning coffee I will read something from a book that uplifts me and sets my mind right for the day.
3) The last 30 minutes of my day will be spent in reading, meditation, or talking with my spouse face to face…. plus checking Instagram before bed provides for some weird dreams.
4) When scrolling through my feed I will mentally remind myself that I am living the life I’m meant to live, where I’m meant to live and that I’m doing my best.
We all need balance in life and yes too much of a good thing can be bad. I want to enjoy Instagram and social media and in order to do that I think it’s healthy to take a look at just how much time and mental space I give it in my life.
“I think it’s healthy to take a look at just how much time and mental space I give it in my life.”
In relationships we need balance and boundaries. I don’t let any one person run my life and control me except my 3 year old. So why would l let social media control me and or my thoughts about myself and my life? I’m taking back some control because I have the power to do so and I hope you’ll try it with me and in the end maybe we will all enjoy Instagram and social media by feeling part of a community that celebrates all our differences and experiences.
– Written by Chrissy J. Powers, check out her heymama profile