39/100 days of emotional badassery - In which social media is addictive

 
Photo by Hugh Han on Unsplash
I’m quite tired and a bit overwhelmed, so it’s easier and harder to notice it at the same time. 
Lately, my social media takes much more of my time than I’d like. I’m pretty sure this situation is not foreing to you, in some way or another. 
 
I’m taking on my tasks of the day, and then a thought pops up, suddenly I NEED to check out my few apps of choice. I don’t have them all thankfully, but still. 
 
I love Instagram for inspiration and connecting with other artists, healers and activists. 
I like Pinterest for inspiration for everything, from cooking to social justice, including arts in all forms and entertainment. 
I have a few groups on the Mighty networks I’m either curating, participating in (and connecting) or learning from.
I play with a few people on Facebook.
And besides this, I have a few email accounts to check up, WhatsApp for contacting my people.
 
More so since I moved to the other side of the world, I have a strong online network. Designed to get us hooked on top of this, it really reinforced how much I used those apps, and I have a love-hate relationship with it.
 
I have a very intentional relationship with social media and my phone, it’s part of my big happy mess, my life system so lovingly and thoughtfully curated.
And still, I am AMAZED by how sneaky it all gets. 
How blurry the line between connecting and getting inspired and the dreaded mind-numbing, soul-sucking scroll rabbit hole.
How easy it is to get sucked in and see time disappear.
 
In those moments, I feel so grateful I don’t have TV and we have a strong policy at home on limiting Netflix and Amazon Prime bingeing. Those used to get me into trouble too. 
Social media is enough of a time and motivation stealer right now.
 
So I used my usual tools here. I made the access more difficult, so I’m getting more mindful, observing myself as often as possible. Stopping myself from scrolling as soon as I’m physically able, and asking myself “Do I really want to do this? Am I deeply enjoying this? Or am I avoiding something important to me?”.
 
Answers usually are : “No. Not really. Yes, Could be doing X right now, that’d be way more fulfilling and joyful”. Then I reparent myself gently but firmly, often speaking out loud, saying “Ok Laetitia, that’s enough then, let’s do the thing instead”.
 
I know, I make it sound more easy than it is. It’s not. It’s really really not.
But it’s a practice. Each time I do it it becomes easier. And sometimes it gets hard again, but that’s because it’s also a process, and I’m human, I get very stressed, overwhelmed, overthinking, irritable, exhausted.
 
And like all humans, it gets my defense mechanisms all riled up. That’s how we work. And since avoidance is one of mine, like so many of us, and I healed enough to part from most of my main addictions (so I don't have much else to go to for this), I keep going back to my damn phone all day and night long.
 
There’s no secret in this. When we are facing any kind of addictions and want to break or weaken the cycle, we have to both take care of our inner child and get more responsible towards ourselves.
 
It often feels like we’re not even perpetuating those addictive behaviors, we are in some sort of trance. We are. But it’s sill us. A part of us we may not like very much or be very proud of, but still us. And feeding the belief we can’t do anything about it is only making things worse and making us feel powerless and weak, which is shameful AND feeding more of the addiction.
 
We can always delay a little bit. Even if it’s just for 10 seconds, it counts as a starting point. Anything we can put between us and the addictive behaviour will weaken the link between us and ‘it’. Right now, I’m writing in the middle of the day for the first time since the beginning of the challenge, so I have something I’m used to concentrate on, and keep going through my task list of the day. I cultivate the intention to use my phone as little as possible all day long. I keep telling myself “No” over and over.
 
Yes, a part of me feels pissed off, annoyed and like I’m being punished for no good reason. But another part feels so relieved to see that she can go on without it more and more, that part feels proud, more in control, and free.
 
That part is more important to me, because that part is getting important shit done, one baby step at the time, towards my bigger goals. The other would like to relish in comfort, numbing and entertainment all day long. I’ve got shit to do. This is not an option, or at least something I want. So I work against it. 
 
And in the middle of this transition where I get a lot of shit done, and because of this, the other part tries to make me feel like I need way more “breaks” on my phone. Let’s be clear on this, those aren’t breaks for the brain, a real break is breathing, stretching my body, drink some water, meditating... not over stimulating my brain looking for dopamine with mini-rewards like a message or a like. 
 
Synchronicity in all its magic brought me a “divine” intervention through my wonderful new coach, Tiffany Han who double-dog dared me to have a social media break for 2 weeks. Perfect after all this time struggling, I’m so curious to see what will happen for my first social media break for so long in forever.
 
I don’t even know when was the last time I wasn’t at all on there for more than 3 days. I have an online summit on social justice and then my first real vacations in 2 years, 5 days of nothing but adventure, beaches, and rest with my Love. I cannot dream of a more perfect moment to just pause everything. No work allowed (even books) and no Internet. It’s going to be really hard at times, and hopefully awesome at others. I’ll write about it.
 
I hope you find in this offering something inspired, my dear hummingbird. What habit gets in the way of your living? How can you make tiny steps towards distancing yourself from it?
 
Love,
L.

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