When I looked up at the clock, I could not believe an hour had passed.
Not often do I get time alone to do whatever I want. However, when I do, I usually utilize the time to be productive or participate in some self-care. I have a to-do list a mile long. This list includes things that have to be done and things I want to do. Some of these items on my list are important yet extremely not urgent that I don’t often have time to do them.
I was excited to have some time to myself.
Then It Happened
I had plenty of time on Monday night as the kids were in bed and my husband went out with a friend. I had two small items to accomplish and my third item was to read a book that I have wanted to read for a long time, yet continued to put off.
I really thought this time was going to be awesome. No kids climbing on me or asking me for anything. No husband climbing on me and asking me for things. Just me!
After the two items were completed, I sat down to quickly check social media.
First I checked out Instagram, looking at the great quotes and cute pictures of my friends kids.
I then went on to Twitter and even scheduled some tweets for later in the week.
Then I landed on Facebook. I am a part of a few online communities so I made sure to check out the posts in those groups along with my normal news feed. I commented and got caught up. Before I knew it, an hour had passed. I had unintentionally lost an hour of my life.
For someone who prides them self on being a good with time I sure screwed that one up.
Then I started thinking about how often I am on social media and how much time it consumes. I find that if I am bored or simply need a mind numbing break I grab my phone. In all honesty, I know that I have been on my phone too much if my thumb is hurting at the end of the day.
In a report from 2009 published in the New York Times, the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in a single day. If the amount of bytes consumed has increased six percent each year, which means today the average American consumes 48 gigabytes of content in a day. This will continue to increase with the use of technology and social media use increases with Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Periscope.
What does this mean? It means I am consuming a lot of mind numbing information each day. Everyone has a message or is trying to sell something. That is great, and the “world” needs to hear your message. But not every single person needs to hear your message. I don’t need to hear everyone’s message. At times I think I do, but the reality is that taking in all of that information is all consuming, and not in a good way.
[bctt tweet=”Everyone has a message to share, but not every message is for you.”]
To try to combat the time suck that social media can be, I am going to put limits on when I can be on social media. I know this will be hard as my go-to when there is down time or when I am bored is to grab my phone to see what everyone else is doing.
This is my very loose, and modifiable, plan.
-If I am at home with my family, I plan on not being on social media from 6:00-8:00 pm on weeknights.
-I am going to limit when I am on social media during the day.
-On Sunday and Wednesday nights I will plan social media posts (automation so I don’t lose more track of time).
-I am going to limit when I am social media, and my phone in general, on the weekends.
I do not have this figured out in any way, shape or form. I know I need to work on it so that is where I start. A greater level of self-awareness and a plan to move forward. The online world should never be a replacement for real life that is going on in front of you. Hopefully, next time I have some time alone, I won’t be wondering how I lost an hour of my life to social media.
Do you find yourself “wasting” time on social media? Share below how you combat social media as a time sucker!
Here’s to the Journey!
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