Finally hitting that “delete account” button was really hard. I was kind of mad at myself for finding it difficult. I mean, I’d been toying with the idea of deleting my social media accounts on and off for years. Every time I would read an article about how bad social media is for your creativity, concentration, patience, peace of mind, etc. I would have renewed intentions of kicking the habit. But I just didn’t. I would flex my self-control instead. I’d take a break. I’d use a time monitoring app to help me keep track and break the scroll habit. But I still found I was spending hours on my phone.
I don’t have hours to spare! Where was this time coming from?
Well, from my kids for starters. I would take little phone vacations when feeling stressed. But the mini-escapes never felt refreshing. Instead of actually giving my brain a little peace, I was just filling it up with more noise. I wasn’t letting my brain work on creative solutions in those little moments between. I would fill the voids with information opioid. You know, because it is sooo helpful to read all 200 comments on a stranger’s post.
So I have taken Facebook and Instagram out of my life.
Time did not magically increase for me. I still don’t get as much done as I would like in a given day. I still have limited time to work. I mean, I still have four little kids.
However, in the first few days after I got rid of my social media accounts I felt more clear-headed. I picked up my phone just as much, but I put it back down right away because my insta-fix was gone. And really, checking my email wasn’t nearly as compelling as a social media feed. I started to have more patience with my kids. I started to speak in more coherent sentences with better vocabulary. I started being able to focus on my reading right away instead of with a little lag while my brain got used to processing printed words instead of scrolling images and statuses begging for reactions and instant gratification. I am spending more time reading to my kids again. I am able to make it through their school day with a little more grace. I am finding mental energy to say yes to more meaningful interactions and projects. I even finished a painting that had been sitting unfinished for months!
So I am definitely sticking with the non-social media lifestyle for a while.
Maybe when my baby isn’t a baby anymore I’ll be able to carve out some time and use it as a tool instead of a stress-inducing distraction. Until then, I have big plans for this site! I want to get a lot more tutorials up and make more process videos. I want to offer encouragement for my readers to be creative and cultivate the moments of beauty in your life. I want to improve my own painting practice. I have some very specific goals for my artwork and a brand new series of paintings in the works. I have built some new skills to branch out my artwork into new product areas. I am working on cool, insider content. So. Many. Ideas.