A few weeks ago, mere hours before I was scheduled to slam my computer closed and head out on a short vacation, I made my way to a long dreaded Genius Bar appointment (because, I mean, how often do those turn out okay?). And of course, within 15 minutes the issue with my phone was identified, a replacement phone was offered, and…I lost every contact / picture / message I’d captured after April 2017.
Yes, I thought I’d successfully backed my information up.
Yes, I’d confirmed with the Genius who helped me.
Yes, I wanted to dissolve into a pile of tears when I realized what had happened.
For a moment, I actually thought I was devastated (Dramatic? eh). My screenshots and pictures, my perfectly filtered and cued Instagram posts, the texts I hadn’t gotten around to answering, my note with all of my passwords…were ALL GONE! Not only was I completely annoyed by the inconvenience of it all, but I was immediately overwhelmed by the prospect of having to start over when it came to content creation. How would I find the time to capture all new images? How would I recover from losing so many of my drafted ideas? Was this a sign that I should just give up and direct my energy elsewhere?
And while I haven’t quite come up with the perfect answers to those question and I couldn’t imagine it at that moment, this unexpected reset created the perfect setting for a full and true vacation I didn’t know I needed. With little other choice than to get over myself and keep it pushing, I temporarily diverted my focus on content calendars, blog posts, and Instagram pictures, and dove head first into the most rewarding time away I can remember.
1) No pictures, no problem
In complete rejection of the idea that the best memories need to be captured with a camera, I left my phone behind and fully immersed myself in my plans for the week. I hadn’t been back to South Carolina in years and I made more memories that I could’ve hoped for at my family reunion. There was a historic bus tour, a dinner cruise on the Cooper River, spades tournaments that lasted until daybreak, and a journey back to the remote town my family calls home—and I didn’t capture any of it!
Instead, I dressed as comfortably (not camera ready) as possible, ate everything in sight, and laughed so hard my face hurt.
2) No apps, no likes, no comparisons
When I was handed my replacement phone, I was able to redownload every app I’d had on my old phone in a matter of minutes. What didn’t transfer over, however, were my old notification settings, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Without the constant alerts of new likes, messages, and posts, I probably opened Instagram 3 times the entire trip—and it felt great!
I got to bask in my time away with nearly nonexistent concern for anything I’d find on social media. Instead of spending time engaging with random profiles and answering to every vibrating alert that flashed across my screen, I lived my best life by my own standards. If you ask me, I had the best views, adventures, and company that week—and I didn’t have to check to confirm it!
3) No regrets, just love
While I’ve come to love sharing my faith, fitness journey, and personal life with my followers and social media community, the intentional time away provided an incredible level of peace of mind.I wasn’t fiending for the wifi password in our hotel or stressing about the cellphone dead zones in small town South Carolina. Instead I engaged late morning wakeups, huge (and delicious) meals, distant cousins from around the country, and amazing laughter.
I took a step back…and life went on! In fact, it flourished! I abandoned every thought related to follower counts, blog ideas, SEO, and post timing and just carried on. For every day I was absent from my normal social media spaces, I made room to be significantly more present in my in-person interactions.
As I make my gradual return to all of the apps, posts, and stimulation I’m committed to scheduling future social media breaks (just as I’d schedule time off from my full time job). I mean, as I re-engage with thousands of images of people with better physiques, fuller social lives, and nicer material things than I will ever have, it’s important to remind myself that I am lacking in nothing.
Have you taken a break from social media at all recently or are you completely addicted? How do you find yourself disengaging and focusing on your own life? Tell me more in the comments below!
PAMELA HOLMAN says