I read an article a few weeks ago about how the first thing that most people living in the U.S. do upon waking is look at their phones. Forgive me if I say, “I cannot imagine that being the way I could or would start any day.”
Let me explain—I grew up in the 70s, and most people I knew had a phone for work, gossip, keeping in touch (though long distance calls were expensive), and emergencies. People usually didn’t call before 8am and generally stopped calling by 10pm. Few received calls during dinner time unless someone in the family was dying. The only decisions one had to make about their phone were the color and whether to mount it on a desk or on a wall.I think service ran about $20.00 or so a month, more if long distance calls or calls out of your exchange were made. The area I grew up in was late in getting telephone wires in, so initially, in the 70s, we still had a party line. Our phone would ring a certain ring, and unless it was “our” ring, we didn’t pick it up. If you did pick up, you could hear people conversing and would be kindly told the line was engaged and to hang up.
Getting back to my point— if the first thing I looked at was my phone, I would be instantly stressed out. Phones nowadays, like social media, are hungry for you to engage with them. Someone is always sharing something, talking about something, telling you about something, needing or wanting you for something. No more hiding from the world on social media. No longer can a person take the proverbial phone off the hook. Oh, people silence them on vibrate, ignore calls, and turn off their phones. But, realistically, for how long?
To live with intention, to design one’s day, cannot and should not start with scrolling Instagram, perusing Facebook, or texting messages back and forth about this, that, and the other thing. Designing your day from that standpoint relies almost completely on what others are engaged in, their day, and your perception/response to it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m often distracted by Instagram. There are so many pretty flower photos to look at, and then there are camera tutorials, and look!–more flower photos. But, I get distracted by these kinds of things when I don’t feel like doing anything. My distraction can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour–where 10 minutes is my general rule for being distracted, there have been times it’s been a full hour. My day’s plan begins to fade fast if I’m distracted for an hour or more on social media. Then there is the comparison game of who takes better pictures, who has more likes, how many followers, how can we go on that vacation, new furniture, kitchen remodel, and on and on. It’s not hard to see how plans and intentions for the day can go off track when there are so many things being added daily to our lists of wants and needs.
Make the things that are yours to do your intent. Make them your purpose. Fill your list with the wants and needs of your family, your goals, and wishes. Start your day by focusing directly on your home, your to-do list, and the things that you have set aside to work on today. This doesn’t mean you can’t use social media. Social media can and does serve a purpose– inspiration, connection, friendships, and more. That said, I think it can be hard to accomplish the things you want to accomplish in your life if you’re often looking at your life vs. someone else’s life through social media. Sometimes you can get drawn into someone else’s narrative and forget about your own.
Design your day intentionally. Be present. Take some time to be still. Instead of looking at something on your phone to make you laugh, or entertain you, or distract you, take a look around at your own life. Take stock of what’s going on in your life. Look at your life from your own perspective, not through someone else’s. Often times, we see how someone on social media responds to happiness, tragedy, stress, death, etc. and begin to think there is something wrong with us if we’re responding differently. It’s important to remember that what is shared on social media, most of the time, is the best of someone’s life, of themselves, and of their family, job, or home. Yes, sometimes there is a conciliatory picture of someone’s messy laundry room–as if to say, “See, we’re alike, I’m just like you.” And you may very well have that same thing in common, but unless you know every little thing about that person’s life 24/7/365, chances are their life is way different than the life they’re portraying online. So, take a minute and breathe, exhale, breathe, exhale, and get ready to design your best day!
I enjoyed this article in the Huffington Post a few years ago–The Best Reason to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others on Social Media.
I hope your holidays were fabulous! Thanks for stopping by!