Feeling the anxiety

Feb 17, 2022

Yes, I'm already feeling the anxiety of knowing I'll be completely off social media in March.  

Yesterday our internet was down in our area and where we live it's like a black hole for any connectivity - even using my cellular data.  Some people would take the opportunity and enjoy the quiet - the downtime.  Not me.  Nope.  I was feeling a bit stressed about it.  I wanted to check in on my emails.  I had a survey on social media that I had been keeping up with.  With my internet down, I could see the results coming in, but was not able to open the survey platform and keep track of the numbers coming in.  

I had also received some messages via Messenger and wasn't able to view or download some pictures my family members had sent.  This felt rather perplexing.  

I also had some work I needed to do in Canva on a slide show that I was also not able to do.    

All in all - I didn't like not being and feeling "connected".  However, I also feel like most of this was brought on because I was not prepared and did not expect this sudden disconnection.  It made me wonder how it's going to feel in March when I uninstall all social media.  It made me wonder how many times I will be grabbing for my phone only to realize  I don't have 100s of notifications waiting for me.  

I guess the point of this blog post is learning the difference between spontaneous disconnection and planned disconnection.  

I was listening to a podcast episode today by one of my favorite people - Chalene Johnson.  She talked about how most of us are addicted to our phones.  Obviously, this is me.  She did point out that in this day and age, phones are a necessity, especially those of use who utilize our phones for business.   She talked about how one researcher said if you can't put your phone down without picking it up for 5 hours, you're addicted.  But I love that Chalene came back and said she didn't feel that was necessarily true.  It all depends on what you are doing while you are on your phone.  Are you mindlessly scrolling?  Are you just there for the rush of the notifications and the feel-good chemicals it wakes up in your brain?  Or, are you there being productive?  Are you working on what pays your bills?  And I do agree. 

For myself, however, while social media definitely has helped me build my SLAM Networking business, I also know it's a constant distraction for me.  I do fall into the "mindlessly scrolling" trap.  It fills time and doesn't serve a purpose other than mindless entertainment.  But I also find that even when I'm doing something else I enjoy - like watching a favorite movie or show with my husband, I do tend to reach for my phone to check for notifications and scroll a little.   I don't feel this is healthy behavior, which is why I feel like I personally need a full "reset" on my habits. 

It feels like a compulsion at this point.  Even without internet yesterday, I felt like I had to keep checking my phone.  I recognized the behavior and it really upset me that I was having this reaction.   Even thought I know the unplanned disconnection aspect of this triggered an anxiety.   I would compare it to having your car break down and not having access to transportation.  Even thought I'm a homebody, it would make me feel somehow trapped. 

Creating lists of healthier habits for while I'm away from social media I think is going to help alleviate some of the stress and the impulsiveness of grabbing for phone.  Utilizing other new behaviors are going to be the defining difference between being successful at staying away for a month and reinstalling the apps before the 30 days is up. 

Preparing my business is also helping me emotionally to get ready for the absence from social media.  

I'm looking forward to being more present and making that a new habit in my life. 

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