Mindfulness in Saying No to Social Media

cacti flowers by bentley post

My friend and I took break from social media for Lent. I didn't even think twice about giving it up. Since moving away from my primary base in Texas I realized I was using social media to help me feel not so alone.

And in the short-term it worked; short-term being defined as 3-5 minutes.

I have observed what the feeling of "loneliness" can do. It makes me appreciate every moment I meet and speak with friends, every visitor to Las Vegas that I get to see (even just for a buffet visit!), every text that comes in, and the memories of my friends and family that pop up.

It can compel me to take action and go watch the Heat-Bulls game for brunch at Honey Salt instead of watching another episode of VEEP (Note: Getting cable when living alone is a tricky choice!)

It takes much work to maintain awareness, validate, not judge, and be creative in my actions. I realize that for many of us humans, this effort isn't available all the time. Ten years ago I was just beginning to learn it. Ten minutes ago, I was reminding myself yet again.

Now that the social media break is over, I went back to facebook to check it out. And like many things that were bad for me, once I took a break, going back did not feel good. There was no longer attachment to it. There was no dopamine rush. There was no sense of glee. There was also no emotional "hangover" when the buzz wore off. The short-term buzz never came, because it was unnecessary, AND the long-term buzz of mastery still lingers.

For those of you who are changing behaviors, I think you might know what I'm referencing.

I used social media in this example but it could easily be drinking, drugs, a romantic relationship, money, food, working out, cable.... At the end of the day, anything in our life can become destructive when we are seeking some kind of easy fix.

Change is possible, detox is painful, reminders are necessary, redirection a constant, and the mastery so very worth it.

Now, here's to cutting out that delicious bread from Trader Joe's....I've been eating like 3 slices at a time! I'll have an orange instead.

Namaste, mi gente.