There's More to Life Than Blogging & Social Media

a year ago

Your blog is wonderful. Social media is wonderful. But sometimes all of that wonderful can become more of a time suck or a distraction than we'd like.

If you're starting to feel a little bored or a little (a lot?) unhappy with the time you're spending online, then it's time to make a change or two. (Melisa's post about scheduling your social media presence and Alexandra's post about taking a social media break are must-read posts for any blogger or heavy social media user and they can help you lay the foundation for making some changes.)

About a year ago, I decided that I was spending too much time doing absolutely NOTHING on social media. Well not nothing, since I love keeping up with family and friends on Facebook. And surfing Pinterest, daydreaming about the house and garden we're going to have when we were finally able to leave Chicagoland.

And of course, I'm on social media when I'm working because that's part of my job. But, I realized that there were a lot of times when I was on social media just because it was there -- or because it had become a habit to be there.

In order to break the social media habit, I needed to decide what I might do if I wasn't hanging out on social. It wasn't enough to just shut the lid on my laptop because it was way too easy to just decide to open the lid again or grab my phone and mindlessly surf. I had to make a commitment to do OTHER things. Gasp. OTHER THINGS?!

I made a little list in my head of all of the things I used to like to do before I spent my entire life online. I made a little list in my head of new things I might like to do that I'd never done before. And, I started slowly working my way through those little lists.

I made plans to visit some places around Chicagoland that I'd thought about visiting but never gotten around to visiting in the seven years that we've lived here. We went out and explored and it was totally fun and pretty easy to do. Getting out of the house and away from the laptop drastically reduced my mindless social media time.

Then, I decided I was going to do more of the cooking around here. This allowed me to actually use some of those Pinterest pins I've been saving for years. It also forced me to stop working and stop mindless use of social at a much earlier hour than normal. It also gave my partner a break since she's been the one who's done most of the cooking for our family.

After those two fairly small changes, I decided to go big -- I committed to a year-long art journaling project and to doing yoga, (both things I hadn't done in YEARS). Renewing my interest in these hobbies has gone a long way toward keeping me from doing nothing but mindlessly reloading Facebook and Pinterest all of the time.

I'm not always good at closing the laptop lid -- it's far too easy to decide I'm tired and I'm just going to sit here and mindlessly reload my Facebook feed. Having a new art lesson to play with or a new yoga workout to try really encourage me to step away, and I always feel pretty darn good about life when I've done that. (It also makes the return to my social media streams a lot more interesting.)

Are you spending a lot of time mindlessly surfing your social media streams? Maybe it's time for you to close the laptop lid and pick up a new hobby, revisit an old hobby, write a book or... something else. What could you do if you spent even 30 minutes LESS on social media every day?

SheKnows Director of Community
Flamingo House Happenings

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