This month is a break for social media for me. I know that Instagram and Facebook can be a great way to share stories and tips about living lightly. But every once in a while, it’s good to step back and take a break.
I have some great plans for this month, including lots of time outside with my family. I’m also hoping to get work done on some projects I’ve been putting off (more details on those in the coming weeks.)
I believe one of the first steps on the living lightly journey is to spend more time outside. As our family has found a passion for hiking and spending time in natural surroundings, our desire to protect wild places and care for the planet has grown as well. We are grateful for the way our time in nature has impacted us individually and as a family, and we want to make sure it’s still around for our kids and grandkids.
This desire to protect and care for the planet is why I started this blog and the related social media accounts in the first place. I wanted to share my passion for the Earth, and encourage others to join me. I wanted to show my friends and family that taking small steps to live differently and better can make an impact.
But getting caught up in how many followers I had, how many likes each post got, and other engagement metrics became more of a focus than the original goal. I got a little lost in trying to make a BIG impact, and forgot that my own mantra has been “small steps add up to big change.” It’s time to take a break.
Day one, I had to confront how much of a habit it is to open my phone and scroll through social media. Before I left to take my son to school at 7:40, I had already absentmindedly tried to open facebook and instagram FIVE TIMES! The sun was barely up, and I had only been up for an hour and a half. That’s just ridiculous, friends.
It’s getting easier each day, and I’m excited for all that I’ll be able to accomplish this month since I won’t be stuck in the social media trance. So far, I’ve connected more with my people (sending a text to my neighbor with the cute picture of our kids together instead of posting it and tagging her), read more books (I’ve nearly finished a fiction book and read a third of a non-fiction book I bought a year ago but never “had time for”!), and now that the weather has calmed down we’ll be spending lots more time outside (record high temps kept us hiding inside for the last few days–we just can’t handle 90 degree temps in October!).
Four days in, we’ve also seen the impact it’s had on our kids. (They’ve had their screen time cut back as well.) We have had family game nights, and they are playing more. I love seeing their imaginations and creativity taking off again, as it should. Just last night, my son was building a matchbox track while my daughter created a story for her dolls living in a castle.
Plus, look at me blogging two days in a row! That’s a good change as well. I started a blog a year ago and have mostly spent my energy on social media and let this sit idle much of the year. And I’m finally getting my email list up and running. If you haven’t subscribed already, please go HERE and sign up. I’ll be sending my first email tomorrow, with some fun surprises and fall tips.
I think October is going to be a great month. I hope that this month will be a turning point for me and for our family. Just as my year of no buying new changed my habits for life (see yesterday’s blog post here), I hope that this month will have lasting impacts.
Have you ever taken purposeful time away from social media? How did it affect you?
How do you see social media affecting your ability to spend time on what matters?
If this isn’t an area you struggle with, how do you keep yourself from getting caught in our culture of online “connection”?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for my weekly-ish email list HERE. Let’s keep the conversation going.