What's Controlling You?
I've know for a while now that I've slowly become addicted to social media and the checking of my phone. It's gotten to the point now that I'm being controlled by it. I wake up looking at my phone and go to sleep looking at it, sad indeed. I think I'm not alone on this one and only feel grateful about the social media blitz being now and not when my girls were little.
Ok, so I started this experiment beginning this past Sunday with one last post to IG and a commitment to my daughters that I would not be on social media for the week. That's the great thing about kids, good or bad they keep your a$$ in check. I'd like to think that they don't see me constantly looking at my phone, but they do. Kids see everything!
Thing is I kinda feel ashamed of myself with being a yoga teacher and allowing myself to be taken over by an electronic device. In yoga there is also the honesty (Satya-truthfullness) part and that's where I'm working from. My intention with putting this out there is to maybe make others aware of how time-consuming this addiction can be and how much more you could be doing with your time if you'd only put down that dang smartphone. We could all be practicing a little more satya in our lives and our relationship with social media could be one of them.
This is coming from me observing and not judging, because who the hell am I to judge. As I sit at this upscale coffee shop on Monday morning in Summit, NJ... I can't but help notice that EVERYONE is glued to their phones. To the left of me is a mom with her two young kids. She has been looking at her phone the whole time while her kids just repeat themselves (over and over again) to get her attention. I don't know her story, but I've been her and I regret that I put a device before my kids. We are all walking around like zombies whose heads are cocked down with eyes fixated on a screen totally unaware of our surroundings. I'm guilty of it!
Lucky are we to be born into the technology age or the age of information with it's immediate gratification. I'm starting to think it's a curse and we are all in need of a major shift. God forbid our kids are not well equipped with overly priced iphones to be able to keep up with this hyper-speed world that we live in. I'm concerned that their brains are just developing and they are going from one image to the next looking for their fix. So, I'm working on being a good role model. We've been manipulated to believe that we are more connected now with smart phones in hands, but we really have been disconnected from real human interaction. Sitting here enjoying my coffee, I've already made several interactions - meeting someone eyes and smiling at them. I know I'm blogging right now, but there is a difference with my use of time. I'm choosing to be productive and not just be a bystander to everyone else's "happy" lives.
The addiction to social media can drain you of your own creativity and happiness. Well, at least that's what it's doing for me. I think it's the comparing that we do that has a negative effect on our moods. This is the thing, those human interactions, that positive energy we exchange from one another is something that fuels us in good ways. Although a negative exchange can do the opposite, but that's the beauty of life, we are all at different vibrations and that's the yin and yang of it all. Just don't take the nasty exchanges personally, they are probably having a shit day. Learn to let the negative energy bounce off of you. (Do the shielding technique that I posted a few post back.)
I know this may sound a bit dramatic (I've been know to be a drama queen), but just being away from social media for the morning, I'm wondering how much I've missed out on??? You'd think it would be the opposite, but I'm feeling more alive now than I have in over a year. In the past I've tried to cut back and allow myself only so much time, but that never worked. I guess I'm a go-cold-turkey kinda of a girl. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again still expecting different results. I want more from my life and I'm quitting the insanity, I'm doing something different. I'm not saying we are all insane for being on social media, no not at all. Some of us have a healthy use of it and that's what I'm looking to get back to. What I'm saying for myself is - that too much social media for me is taking away productive time. I'm not going to find what I'm looking for on a screen, I'm going to find it from within!
Where may you ask, am I getting at? Well, this comes down to in a yogic sense, practicing brahmachyra (non-excess or moderation). So for me it was excess of social media and for you it may be something else. Practicing brahmacharya is using your energy wisely. Practicing yoga leads to self awareness... and you know I had to put that in there. Self awareness leads to noticing, of course, when things in your life have tipped the scale in a negative direction. So do more YOGA.
"Brahmacharya also evokes a sense of directing our energy away from external desires ... and instead, towards finding peace and happiness within ourselves." ~www.ekhartyoga.com
Sometimes pulling away from something that has some control over you gives you a nice break and some much needed clarity. I can see now that I was coming from a place of habit and needing direction in my life right now. I know now that with stillness comes clarity. So maybe give yourself a social media break of a day or two; hell try a week or maybe be super wild and go for a month... see how it might transform your life. I promise you really won't miss much!
My conclusion of my week off is that I want my energy to be on the relationships in my life because those are the things that matter most and not some fantasy world on a screen. I want to be FULLY PRESENT. Moving forward, I'm practicing moderation (brahmacharya) and taking the control back. Did I find my way? Yes, in a sense I did... I love being a mom. Although they are growing older they will need me forever and I will need them just as much. That's what's most important to me.