Two weeks ago, I deleted the Facebook and Instagram app from my iPhone. I noticed that it was taking up too much of my time and adding unneeded stress to my life. I was addicted to seeing if people liked my posts, commented, and obtaining new followers. I realized it was all unfulfilling little fist bumps to my ego. Ohhh, I’m successful with all these new Instagram followers, oh my engagement was an all-time high on this post. None of that means ANYTHING in your real life. I promise – it doesn’t equal success, it won’t bring you happiness.
Since I have deleted those apps, I have noticed that I am more engaged with people. I pick up the phone and call them instead of communicating over social media. I also have way more time to think. So many of us don’t allow time to make decisions. I’m talking about little decisions that we do automatically throughout the day. Such as, ‘I’m going to sit down with my phone and enjoy 60 minutes of social media.’ We just do it, without thinking. Why do we need to ‘relax’ on the couch with our phones? It sounds so crazy now as I am trying to minimize time with my phone. My phone doesn’t bring me fulfillment, it doesn’t help me learn about other people and what moves them, or help with my marriage, it doesn’t help me connect with my kids. Why do we do it then? Personally, I think I was doing it to avoid dealing with potential negative feelings in my life. Boredom, stress, loneliness, it helped fill those gaps. Now, since I am not afraid of feeling emotions (emotions typically don’t physically hurt), I let myself have the time to think about what I am doing. I understand that humans are supposed to feel a range of emotions, we aren’t supposed to be happy 100% of the time, it should be more like 50% of the time.
Learning to slow down and make conscious decisions has helped in other areas, such as my food and alcohol consumption. Am I hungry or just bored? Am I craving alcohol because I am stressed, lonely, or want to fit in? I enjoy thinking about the answers to these questions now, I’m getting to know myself again. The last time I forced to stop and listen to myself and be ok with myself just as I am, was over 10 years ago! This was before kids, living alone in Seattle, with no TV and no smartphone. I had to deal with myself and I grew a heck of a lot during that time. I enjoyed it then, and I’m enjoying it now. Join me, challenge yourself, see how far you can go.
#artisanangela – crafting the life I want to live and inspiring others to do the same.
Read my previous minimizing posts here.