I knew I had a problem with my phone. Always on in it, constantly checking social media, pretending to “work.” But for some reason I couldn’t pull the trigger and delete my email and FB app.
Well in all truthfulness the reason is simple. If you delete the apps, you delete the stimulation you get from checking into email or social media. The other truth is that it feels pretty crappy to admit that I could not control my usage. But you don’t have to google very hard to find the clear research and data to support that phone and social media are an addiction and trigger the addiction sensors in our brain.
Many of my clients have said after working with me that I am the “bullshit detector” and I call them out on their bullshit so they can move through it and onward. I decided it was time to call my own bullshit.
I have a feeling you might be able to relate (and if it’s not your phone, you may have an addictive behavior in another part of your life). I would use my phone when I was bored, when I wanted to procrastinate, but worst of all, I would be on my phone when I was spending quality time with significant people in my life. That was the biggest problem.
Can you relate? Do you do this too?
And it only made me more and more mad at myself that I couldn’t seem to control my usage and even though I consciously knew I was doing it, I couldn’t seem to stop.
The funny thing is I don’t miss either one (FB or email) one bit on my phone. For a couple days I found my fingers scrolling to where they had been on my phone. This was out of pure habit and pure muscle memory. It creeped me out that my body was doing it subconsciously.
The freedom. It feels so good. I have learned a few things from this maybe temporary, but likely long term experiment.
I’m not that important.
Sounds funny to admit but there was something about constantly “needing” to check email that gave me a false sense of importance. Maybe, just maybe, my next big break would be in my email if I check it while I’m out with friends having a good time. NOPE. As it turns out, I get a handful of emails from real people every day and I guarantee I can check and reply to those when I’m on a computer. A client once told me that the best email strategy is to only check your email if you’re going to reply at that moment. I’ve never forgotten that advice, and I get it now. Same goes for Facebook – being able to instantly post pictures or videos gave me a false sense of importance but also the dopamine hit or “notifications, likes and shares.”
It’s really strange to me how much lighter and more free I feel without them. I didn’t like the hold they had on me and the willingness I always had to check them. I instantly felt a great sense of relief and freedom once I deleted them. It frees up more brain space, more awareness of what’s going on in life and anytime I think I “need” to check FB or something I remember – I can’t right now.
Made me feel crappy about me.
This is also very proven in the research that being on social media can affect, deep down to our subconscious, how we feel about ourselves. Our brains will compare our life to the highlight reel going on in front of us. And as much as I really thought I could be immune to that, I’m not. My brain works just like anyone else’s brain. Now that I don’t see so many updates, I feel lighter and more clear about what I want in my own life.
I was always thinking about posting.
And what I mean is that as I was living my life, I was thinking a lot about “oh I should post that, oh that’s a great photo for Facebook, oh I want to share that.” Now that I don’t have instant ability to post, I think more intentionally about what I want to share and post. And a few sweet people in my life did say they have missed seeing my pictures, my adventures, videos, quotes, sharing of my business and generally missed seeing my updates. That of course gave me some warm fuzzies but also made me think more critically about how/what I want to share.
I’m going to write more about this next week for my work anniversary blog but one of my biggest struggles working on my own has been that I always feel like I need to work. But what I have realized is that because I gave myself instant access to email and FB, I had this overarching guilt of “not working.” I had created a lose-lose situation for myself. Maybe that sounds a little confusing. But what happened when I deleted those apps was that I had a much more clear line between work time and life. I can’t check email until I’m home at my computer and I can’t pretend to be using FB to network or do business. I can just live my life. Revolutionary.
It feels slightly embarrassing to admit that my phone and certain apps had control over me but I have a feeling I’m not the only one (unless of course you are still using a flip phone or you have no social media accounts). And those people do exist 🙂
The cool thing is, you can instantly change it. I decided that I did not like the control I felt like it had over me, so I deleted them and created new habits and routines around email and FB. (To be 100% honest, I still have Instagram on my phone but I don’t use it as much either). The other funny thing is, it’s not permanent. At any moment of any day, I could download the apps back to my phone. And that permission feels good.
But I haven’t re-downloaded them.
Can you relate to any of this??
Addictive behavior that you don’t like? Being too in your phone?
Hit REPLY and let me know! I would love to hear from you. Life is so cool when you realize – you can make a decision and JUST CHANGE.
So much more to come next week – thank you for being here!