FREE YOUR WEEK

 

It's not so much an addiction as it is a dependency.

A quiet, nagging, yearn I feel anytime I have a few seconds of solitude. Waiting for the water to boil? Reach for it. Sitting in traffic? Take a quick glance. Walking the dog? It's there in my pocket just waiting to be pulled out. 

The constant urge to pull out my phone and check if there are any updates is always there. And I'm always checking. Always. Sometimes it's quick, sometimes I'm lost in its throws for an hour. The ability to concentrate on something for an extended period of time seems lost on me. It takes effort not to pull out my phone mid-movie or mid-dinner. I don't even know what I'm checking for. I'm just checking for the sake of it. 

And it doesn't make me feel good. 


The temptation for comparison is far too strong to resist. The pressure for followers. The weight of likes. I don't think this is a burden I carry alone. Our relationship with social media is a complex one. For me, it has turned into a mindless obsession from which I am desperate to wiggle free.


The thing is, I'm not checking anything important. It isn't the news that I'm concerned with or my e-mail. It's social media. 

Generally, it leaves me feeling cynical, annoyed and inadequate. I waste far too much time peeking into other people's lives and the temptation for comparison is strong. The pressure for followers. The weight of likes. I don't think this is a burden I carry alone. Our relationship with social media is a complex one. For me, it has turned into a mindless obsession from which I am desperate to wiggle free.

So, starting today, May 9th, I'm giving up all social media. The aim is to go one week without looking at, or updating, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest. This obviously isn't revolutionary. It's only for a week. But I'm curious to see if I can do it and to discover how I'll feel without the constant updates. I often work from home so social media keeps me company and entertained. I'm not sure what I'll do to fill all the spare time. Possibly I'll find myself staring blankly at the wall more often or maybe I'll be more present and more mindful of how I spend my time.

A few other people have expressed an interest in joining me on this challenge. If you'd like to participate and #freeyourweek please do. We'd love to hear your experience on how it goes. If you do take part let us know.

By Jennifer Inglis

 

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