Later this week my husband and I are running off to the tropics for a long overdue and silly fun vacation. We are going to an all inclusive on the beach, to a magical land where food and drinks are always available, the ocean is right there to jump into at will, and a bracelet serves as currency.
It’s been quite a while since we took a trip like this. We’ve travelled a lot since I became a Tarot pro, but usually these trips involve Tarot conferences or events, so they are wonderful but not fully relaxing. Or, we have travelled to destinations that involved rigorous sightseeing, so we felt inspired but not so relaxed on the return home.
This trip will be a first for me in a long time. I’m not going to have internet access on my phone. I’m not bringing my computer. I’m not going to check email, and I’m not going to post on Facebook or Instagram. More importantly, I’m not going to look at Facebook or Instagram.
I am really curious to see what will happen to me.
Will I be able to relax? Will I freak out? Will I flourish and suddenly be inspired and creative and better attuned with the universe? Will I break down and pay for an hour of overpriced and unreliable WiFi in the hotel lobby? Will I attain some kind of enlightenment, or at least some perspective? Who knows? I can’t wait to find out.
In any case, I realize that I have become way too fixated on social media, and it is having a detrimental impact on my life and well-being.
I love keeping in touch with friends, family and my Tarot tribe via Facebook and Instagram, and I am truly grateful to have access to these platforms to share my thoughts, Tarot offerings and cat photos with the world. Social media posts can be inspiring, and funny, and informative, they open a wider world to us and provide connection.
However, I realize that for me social media is:
- a great way to waste time and put off more important work while kidding myself that I am actually doing work
- a source of anxiety, low self-esteem and general angst
- something that keeps me in my head rather than being present in the moment and appreciating what is around me right now
- full of temptations and opportunity for instant gratification in the form of online shopping
- distracting and shortens my attention span and ability to focus on one thing at a time
- a way to give my ego a temporary boost via likes and shares
- negative, cruel, inaccurate and makes me despair at the state of the world
And yet, I always seem to have my phone in my hand, I sleep with my cellphone right next to me, I check my email first thing every morning.
I know, right? It has to stop.
So, I am embarking on this vacation with hope and faith. This break will be the first step towards putting social media in its place, so that I can use it in a more beneficial way, and have it be an enriching force in my life, rather than something that causes me stress.
I don’t have any magical answers for you right now when it comes to finding a balance between life and the virtual world. All I can say is that it is helpful to take a look at how social media is impacting you, and if necessary, make some adjustments.
And, here are some small things that I’m working on that have already had an impact:
- read an actual paper book every day, spend more time away from your screens
- leave your phone in another room rather than carrying it with you when you’re at home
- go for a walk and leave your phone at home, or turn it to silent
- don’t check your email or look at social media right before you go to bed
- don’t be available 24/7 via email or private messages
- turn off as many notifications as possible
- turn your phone off or to airplane mode when you’re working, spending time with loved ones, or watching a movie
- be mindful of how much time you spend staring at your phone, and take note of how it makes you feel, is it uplifting or not
- keep your sense of humor and don’t take everything that you see on social media personally
Wish me good luck with my social media hiatus, and I wish us all peace and appreciation of the real world that is around us right now.