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My Social Media Cleanse
by Rebecca on June 8th, 2015

My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking



Let me tell you a few random facts about myself:

1. I grew up dancing in front of large crowds, in quite a few different countries, and I absolutely love being on stage. 

2. I get really shy around big groups of people that I don't know (sounds contradictory, right?)

3. I love social media. 

How does this all correlate?! 
​On Sunday, May 24th, I got it in my head that I wanted to do a Facebook (FB) and Instagram (IG) cleanse. Honestly, the constant scrolling on my phone was making me nauseous. I kept telling myself I had to keep up with it all, since I run a business (Ivy & Co.), and it is important to promote and stay connected, and also, I love it! Meanwhile, every photo I tried to take was feeling forced and unnatural. I really wasn't interested in anything on my newsfeed, (it's hard to find anything of importance when I'm sifting through buzzfeed articles about living in the 90s, or those fast videos on "easy" hair curling techniques that don't work anyway). 
 
My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking
Reality check-

I would walk into the kitchen for a glass of water, set my phone down, and when I walked back out, I would take my phone back into my office, checking FB, IG and email on the way there (it's 5 steps away).

I'd get in the car to go somewhere, check those same 3 apps before pulling out of the driveway, and then again when I arrived at my destination 2 minutes away.

This cycle was on repeat ALL DAY LONG.
​Again, NAUSEATING. 
​Day 1:

I feel clear headed. It's Memorial Day, so we were at the beach with friends all day, and I just felt present. I felt like I was there to do what I came there to do-- be with friends! I also felt like my hands were free. I was digging in the sand and going by the water with the kiddos, without this nagging notion that I needed to keep my hands clean in order to hold my phone and "check things." I also didn't feel the need to take pictures all day. Ironically, my friend did an impromptu photo shoot and sent me like 10 adorable pics from the beach. Win-win! I did send a tweet mid-day, mainly because I wanted to remember something my friend said. See, I already forgot what it was... let me go check twitter... #hobotrainjumping... Hahahaha, see-- hilarious!! I also had read a status update that morning (before 9am, when the cleanse started), that was relevant to something we were talking about this evening, so I pulled it up on FB via my phone's browser. (Small kine cheating, I know, but it was too good!) Here's the quote:

"In the recent rising tide of tolerance and political correctness the result has been the cultural acceptance of each person doing what they believe is right in their own eyes... We will submit to anyone and anything, but God." 
My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking, Kauai Beaches
My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking, Sewing Table
​Day 2:

I had no problem leaving my phone be. But old habits die hard. About 11:30am, after I had cut out a bunch of sewing projects, I grabbed my phone out of habit for some social media distraction. What the what?! Well, there was nothing to see, since the apps were deleted. I talked to Ivy instead (hello, parenting!) to take a quick break from all the sewing. I'm also noticing I'm discovering a new love for checking email, even though there's not as much excitement going on there. 
​Day 3:

I needed to find an image for work, and "I knew" it was on Facebook. So I went to my computer to look for it, and 10 minutes later discovered I was reading some stupid article about Upper East Side housewives! I couldn't find the image anyway, so I resorted to the webpage I thought it would be on. Found it, within 30 seconds, sans Facebook! 
 
​Day 4:

We are moving to a new house soon, so we are starting to pack. I came across a photo album from college, and it was #tbt so I had to post! However, I did it from my phone camera options for posting, not via the facebook app. Points: me! 
My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking, #tbt, Disneyland, college pics
My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking, Stephen Twitch Boss
And yes, that's Stephen Boss, a.k.a. tWitch 3rd from the left. Chapman University dance days, circa 2003 -- digital cameras were just coming out, but we still printed out our photos. No phone cameras worth using yet! 
​Day 5:

Headed to Maui with Ivy for a wedding, and I felt like I deserved to download IG back onto my phone. We are gonna be having some fun, and I want to share the memories we will be making! But I'm not quite ready to integrate FB back onto my phone... The scrolling is still nauseating!

UPDATE: I lasted about 2 minutes with IG on my phone on Day 5, then deleted it. By Day 6, both IG and FB were back on my phone, but used much less than before the Social Media cleanse started.
My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking, quotes, baby and mom
​So what does this have to do with the 3 facts I stated at the top of this post? In some ways I see social media as a stage or platform for performance. You show others what you're all about, what you believe in, what you've accomplished. As a dancer, I've never had a problem being in front of people and showcasing something that's important to me. That is, until I have to go off stage. Without the lights, without the costume, hair, makeup and blasting music, I get nervous when I have to engage face to face with the masses. Before people get to know me, most think I'm really serious, all business, or even stuck up. But in reality, I'm sort of a nervous wreck around groups of people I don't know well. Social media is a "safe" place for me to stay on my own personal stage, and I know I have to get past that. This was the purpose of this cleanse from FB and IG:

Be ok without the lights, the makeup, the audience. Engage with the people who are right in front of me.
My Social Media Cleanse, Taking a Break from Facebook, Instagram Scrolling, Our Dependence on Social Networking, dance in the grass
Photo by Anna Kim Photography for Ajja DeShayne of Ajja Photography


Posted in Health & Wellness    Tagged with social media, cleanse