Every year since 3 years I take a Social Media detox, and overall break from work, during the 12 Sacred Nights. The 12 Nights start from midnight on the 24th of December until midnight of the 6th of January. A time to reflect on the past year, your desires for the upcoming new year and to turn within and surrender to the winter season of stillness.
From my winter cocoon I am slowly easing my way back into the realms of social media. I admit that I had to stay somewhat attentive to my Facebook group for the 12 nights. So, it was in some ways not a complete break. But I wanted to share some of my realizations from this year's detox.
From the minute I deleted Instagram, it was like I had all this time and space. What to do with it? That felt less overwhelming than when I deleted Netflix after the New Year which opened up even more space.
Something I love about detoxing from social media is that I come back with a new understanding of how I go about using Instagram.
Every year it brings new realizations about my habits. A journey to test the boundaries of those habits, question those habits and check within to what feels true for me now.
It gives me time to evaluate what I do like about social media and what I don’t. It sheds light to where I wasn’t using it consciously, how mindless scrolling can feel like a trap, and how I desire to use it as an app to share my creations and connect with community online, but desire very little to consume or be influenced too much by others.
It gives me clarity to what I see now needs to change for a more conscious use of this tool. Because I would never blame Instagram or anything outside of me for the things I don’t like in my life.
Oftentimes I would hear how others would demonize social media, yet still want to be a part of it. Because let’s face it, as humans we crave connection and being in loop of what everyone is up to.
For me it is about choosing deliberately as a consumer and business owner how I want to use this app. We as consumers can decide, and create it to be a space where we can feel inspired and supported by others and our community, and not let it consume us, even if it's hard sometimes to withstand the mindless scrolling.
My break from social media inspired me to take it a step further and even take a mindful break from Netflix. During Christmas we watched quite a few movies which is like a family ritual every year. But after I watched the movie, Don’t Look Up, it felt like a sign of what I already was feeling deep within. That I want to consume less, and create more. Be more present in the moment with myself and family, instead of watching other people live. I noticed how I use Netflix for my main entertainment in the evenings. I wanted to challenge myself to find other ways to spend my time and entertain myself. It challenged me to meet myself more in those moments of complete void and stillness.
If you feel the need to make a change. Take a radical step back, give yourself some perspective, time and see what it does for you. And when you do, ask yourself: What are your realizations of your habits? And where do you desire to make change?
I personally am a fan of the 80/20 principle, instead of cutting things out entirely, minimize it and take a more mindful approach to it. Because let’s face it, we will be in a technological world, full of distractions - it is about balance. Let us consume it, without being consumed by it.