This post has been a long time in the making. The past 6 months or so I've been really focused on growing this little blog- networking with other bloggers, putting myself out there to bigger companies, creating new content, working on my writing and photography skills. And it has indeed been growing! Simply Liv is expanding from just a personal online journal of our family life to a community of like-minded people who are passionate about living simply. I've been so excited to see some of my hard work paying off. It's mostly just behind the scenes, but I'm really proud of this little space and have loved engaging with so many people through it.
However, I've noticed a tendency in myself to go overboard. In the bad way. I become so excited and obsessed with my stats and likes and keeping up with Facebook and Instagram feeds that I forget the entire purpose behind my blog- simple living.
Numbers are addicting and grabbing my phone is all I have to do to access them. I realized how much time I was spending on aimless scrolling and was kind of embarrassed. I thought about the example I was setting for Evie and Mara; I don't want them to remember me always plugged in to something. I know that there has to be a way to enjoy social media and use it for the purpose it was intended for- connecting with others- without wasting ALL of my time on it.
And I don't think I'm the only one who struggles with the addictiveness of social media.
So I thought a challenge might be in order.
This challenge isn't just for me- though I will obviously be participating. I would love to see other people join me in re-training ourselves to view social media as a tool and not "the ultimate" and to reconnect with the everyday things we may otherwise miss. So share this with your friends/family/blogging buddies and lets make it grow! I will be doing the challenge for the next 30 days, so feel free to join me now or any 30 day period that works for you.
Here's what the 30 day challenge is all about:
1// to be more present in the actual moment
2// to spend less time "scrolling" and more time connecting
3// to view social media as a tool, not a way to spend your time
4// to interact with people (in "real life" and online) and not use our phone to hide behind (think grocery store checkouts, bus rides, people sitting next to you...)
Again, this challenge is totally customizable. If our goals are the same, I trust that the boundaries you set for yourself will reflect that. These are the guidelines that I'm setting for myself and to give you some inspiration for what might work for you.
1// No social media 1 hr before bed. Use this time to read, talk with your spouse, watch a movie together or unwind.
2// No devices by your bed. I'll be keeping my phone outside of the bedroom during the night and putting an actual clock in the room to make the late night nursing sessions with Mara less tempting.
3// ONE device at a time. No browsing Facebook while watching a movie with AJ. No scrolling through Instagram in the middle of a conversation. (Yikes...as I'm saying these it sounds super bad....this truly is an addiction we're dealing with here...)
4// No devices during a meal or face-to-face conversation OR while in the car. Leave it in your purse.
5// Post to social media and be done. No checking for new likes/comments every 30 seconds. I will probably set times for myself to check- like in the morning and a night. Not just whenever I get bored.
Every week I will set one big goal for myself. Since it's a 30 day challenge, I'll have 4 goals. They aim at connecting with people and setting down the phones. If you have great ideas for a weekly challenge, let me know and I'll change them up!
1// take an actual person out for coffee that you haven't connected with in a while and leave your phone in your bag.
2// Write a letter to a friend and send it the old fashioned way ;)
3// Get outside! Do something active/relaxing/fun outside for the day. It can be anything as long as you're fully present!
4// Open for suggestions! I can only brainstorm so much people....
I know for some of us, social media is part of our job. The goal isn't to abandon our responsibilities or even fast from all social media but simply to retrain ourselves to see them as a means to an end and not use them as distractions from "real life".
Ok. I struggled with this part for a long time. It felt counter productive almost, but I've decided to go for it anyway because I reallyreallyreally want to be able to see how the challenge is affecting everyone.
We will be using the hashtag #simplydisconnect to post (not excessively, of course) ways the challenge is helping us and to connect with other people taking the challenge. This is tricky because the whole point of the challenge is to lessen our social media use- but I think we can do this the right way. I'm thinking of using #simplydisconnect to share our weekly challenges and such with each other or even one post at the end of the 30 days. I'm open to input on this one too ;)
Alright, let's do this! AJ and I will be starting the challenge tomorrow (August 1st) and going until the 30th. I will do a weekly blog post on Fridays about it during the month of August as well as using the hashtag on my instagram.
Let's disconnect so that we can be intentional about connecting with others both offline and online! It won't be easy, but I know you can do it.
Oh- and if you're participating, be sure and tell me so I can follow you and see how it's going!