Well friends, I did it! I stayed off of social media for an entire month, and I have to tell you that it felt GOOD. If you've never given up social media, I really recommend that you try it. To be honest, I didn't have as much free time as I thought I would, and I didn't complete all of the tasks on my social-media-free to-do list. I do, however, feel a deeper sense of clarity and focus than I did before this little experiment. I think that is partly because I made a little time for myself each day and mostly because I only did one thing at a time. Rather than scrolling, I did some reading (actual books!), some sewing (finally finished my new favorite leggings from Sprout Patterns), and LOTS more paying attention (to my kids, to my husband, and simply to the world around me). My experiences are definitely reflective of recent research that has begun to emerge showing the effects of multitasking on the brain. So, Lesson #1: I am a one-task-at-a-time kind of gal.
While I am so glad to have had this important personal discovery this past month, my social media hiatus also taught me that I can't give it up completely. Lesson #2: Lots of people (like, pretty much everybody) rely on social media to stay up-to-date on news and events. I can't tell you how many people I ran into this month who said to me, "How's your social media hiatus going?" (They knew about it because they read it on social media.) Then they'd say, "I would feel so lost. The only way I know what is happening in the world is from Facebook." And here's the kicker: during my social media break, my class sizes were a little bit smaller than they had been in the past. While I can't say for sure that the dip in class size was purely due to my absence from social media (I didn't have the most scientific methods for this experiment, like control groups and all that good stuff ... shame!), I can't help but think it contributed at least a little bit. Even though I did my best to use other methods to keep people informed (like sending out detailed newsletters, making sure my website calendar was always up-to-date, etc., etc.), I think it was pretty naive of me to assume that people would change their methods of gathering information simply because I said I wasn't going to be on social media for a month. Facebook (and Twitter, and even Instagram) have evolved into news-sources and social calendars, not just places to see baby/cat photos and read political rants; therefore, I need to treat them as such.
After some reflection, I've combined all of this new-found information into Lesson 3#: Going forward, I need to be more efficient, more strategic, and just plain smarter about the way I use social media. No more multi-tasking and trying to craft Instagram posts while making the kids' breakfast. After a really inspiring conversation with friend and fellow kids' yoga-preneur Mylene of Blooming Yogis, I've set some parameters and created a schedule for myself that will help me stay focused and (most importantly) offer more thoughtful and meaningful content via the social media platform. If that sounds at all interesting to you, make sure you follow me ;o)
So look out, Face-witter-gram! I am back! And I'm looking forward to making some time to look at all the cute kid/delicious food photos that I missed. Only when I'm not focusing anything else, that is.
Posted on Tue, May 30, 2017
by Erin Leach filed under