Well I’ve been off of social media for 27 days now.
Like off, off.
Like not even logging in to check something real quick, off.
Which is approximately 27 days after I claimed I was getting off social media. I guess I would say I had to taper off of the socials.
I mean give or take because it’s not like I’ve been ticking off the days on a calendar. Ok I have.
It might sound dramatic but I feel like I’m in recovery. That I’m an addict who is 27 days sober and living clean.
We don’t do that usually. We don’t put social media in the same category as other addictions.
I mean there are alcoholics and drug addicts and cigarette smokers. Those who reach for their substance of choice whenever life becomes too much and they need an outlet or a distraction.
We don’t do that with social media. Even though we reach for it when we need a distraction or an escape. Even though we are chasing the dopamine high of post likes and notifications. Even though it removes us from what is happening right in front of us and we are glad that it does.
One recent lazy Sunday afternoon my husband was scrolling through our streaming apps and settled on rewatching The Matrix. As the movie played on I thought to myself that at one point in my life- you know the first 50 times I saw it- this movie seemed completely absurd. People engulfed by machines. Living a faux life and having no concept of reality.
This time it hit different.
I thought, “Holy shit. It’s happening.”
I know I know I know but hang with me.
Maybe not in the theatrical Hollywood way that the movie portrayed of robots consuming humans as energy sources, but kinda.
We are absolutely consumed by what is happening on our screens and we are absolutely unaware of what is real.
We are being fed what to think and how to feel by these applications without even realizing the influence we are under.
We have the ability to feel the world’s atrocities in a split second and we just aren’t capable of processing that so instead we lash out at each other. Sow discord and division through the guise of sharing information that is meant to give us an emotional reaction. And the thing about humans is we are emotional. And we will react. And usually when we react from an emotional standpoint, we don’t react kindly.
So here I am. 27 days sober. Calling a spade a spade. In recovery from an addiction that was ripping me apart from the inside.
These last 27 days I’ve thought about so many wonderful things.
Like how beautiful the changing leaves are as they turn from their shades of yellow to burnt orange and fiery red.
I’ve thought about how wonderful it it to feel my child’s heartbeat against my chest when they come up to hug me. And I’ve soaked it in.
I’ve been reading the funniest, wittiest book and enjoying it. Me. Liking reading. Weird.
I have been working through a devotional and I’ve been journaling and I’ve been listening to my body and what it needs. And I’ve been responding. I’ve decluttered my brain.
I mean don’t get me wrong it’s been crazy as hell around here. We’ve had sick kids and car breakdowns and teenage angst and all the things that reap stress and chaos but here’s the kicker.
I have the space I need to manage the things that are happening right in front of me. And to do it with joy.
And it feels amazing.
I’ve done absolutely nothing impressive and yet I’ve felt absolutely remarkable.
I feel like I’ve woken up and been given a chance to soak in the beauty of life.
I always say that time moves too fast and I can’t grasp it and it’s slipping through my fingers but getting off social media has freed up – oh I don’t know – 4 hours a day of my life. And that’s probably a conservative estimate. I don’t even want to know the time I actually spent online. I’m not that sober.
It’s amazing how much life can be lived and felt and appreciated when you aren’t scrolling for some four odd hours a day.
You’re rolling your eyes aren’t you.
I can feel you rolling your eyes at me.
I know because I used to do the same.
I had social media under control and honest to goodness believed it wasn’t controlling me.
But that’s the thing with addictions. We don’t see it until we step away from it.
27 days sober.
Counting every minute and soaking up every second of having woken up to being given the one thing I always begged for more…
*The witty book I’m referencing is Anxious People and the devotional I’m referencing is 40 Day Social Media Fast and if you’d like to read about the pennies I could potentially earn if you buy from the links I’m linking then you can see my disclosure policy here.*