There. I said it.
The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Then fine, I have a problem.
I see the signs: My battery is almost always under 20% because I either charge it and use it all up by scrolling like a junkie, or I don't even charge it to 100% because I can't let it sit on the counter long enough to let it get some well deserved juice. I also can take a hint when my boyfriend chucks it to the end of the bed in the morning and says "nuh-uh."
I wasn't always this bad. But with the blog going public, and starting a new IG account for ACE, and yoga teacher training inspiring me to follow ALL THE YOGIS, it's gotten bad. I am either watching inversions, seeing what my friends are up to on FB, posting a story to IG, reading an article from my 5,000 newsletters I get, or looking up a recipe. None of this stuff is bad! But the amount of time I am on my phone is out. of. control.
So it's detox time. Starting Wednesday 7/19 through Wednesday 7/26 I will be conducting an experiment by putting my phone on airplane mode during sleeping hours (no chance to be woken up by a text, while simultaneously cutting down energetic waves floating around my dreamy little head? Yes, please.) I will also leave it on airplane mode for the entire first hour I am up in the morning. No checking my email. No seeing what people were up to on Snapchat the night before - nada. Zilch. I will start my day with presence and gratefulness. At least for the first hour.
Last stipulation. I will only check my Insta 3 times a day. That's it. That's when I can see what Island Yoga Girl is doing in Aruba, or Amanda Bisk is up to in Australia. It's my dedicated time to post for myself and enjoy a quick scroll or two. 3 times a day. That's it.
I'm still nailing down the email and FB thing. Honestly those aren't as big of issues. I'm in, I'm out - that's that. I mostly want to cut down my IG rabbit hole adventures and I have a deep need to start my mornings out without the blue light of a phone screen sucking my soul.
So here is how it's going:
Day one: Easy Peasy. Phone was charged to 100% when I woke up, I left on airplane mode, made the BF a green smoothie, hung out with the pups and then...wait "what do I do with myself while I eat breakfast? Um....how about just eat breakfast?" After breakfast I didn't have anything to do with my hands again. So I decided to read some of my yoga book that was assigned for homework. I noticed the breeze, I read, I was aware of my surroundings. Ah yes, I remember what this feels like. Hello old friend. The hour passed and I still didn't need my phone. After I had checked my emails for work, I decided to go downstairs and grab it.
Then I had my first of three social media sessions. I posted my new blog on FB and IG, did some scrolling checked my email and bank account, read a couple of articles and then got back to work. So far so good.
In all honesty I have been on my phone a good amount still today. Checking FB notifications, checking email, reading a couple articles for yoga homework, chatting with friends who just peeped my blog post - things like that. But I stuck to my 1 hour rule and I have only been on IG for breakfast and lunch. Might be sad to call this progress, but it is what it is. I ain't gonna lie.
Day Two: Little bit harder. Phone immediately went on airplane mode when i crawled into bed after teacher training (you guys 3 hours 3 times a week including travel time and classes feels like a LOT) and that was that. Woke up and joked around with Chris like usual - didn't really even think about it. I logged in for work early because I was presenting a virtual meeting at 9 am, checked my emails and then really wanted my phone. But it was only 7:00 and I had technically not woken up (like, for good waking up - not the half hazey wake up when Chris got up to go work out) at 6:30. So I couldn't check my phone yet.
I cheated a little. I took it off airplane mode, watching the notifications roll through on my locked screen, and then realized what I was doing and turned it face down out of arms length. I didn't unlock it. So I don't think I technically broke the rules. But I came close and I don't feel proud about it.
After my hour was up i gleefully checked my FB, email, work app, and then scrolled through IG until I reached a point where I had seen posts from the night before. And then I put it down and got to work!
Not 100% successful, but I think I'm getting there...
Day Three: It's beginning to feel routine. We joked, got up, make breakfast, hung out with the pups, made smoothies, and before I knew it, I had been up for an hour and hadn't peeped my phone once.
What I am surprised by, is the ease of not wanting to be on IG all the time. I realize now that it wasn't that I wanted to see all the stuff I was looking at so badly, but that it was an easy distraction to distract me from stuff I just didn't really want to be doing.
Here is where you think I am going to say "so I realized I should be more focused at work." But you would be wrong, my friend! Here is where I say "I found more useful shit to distract me from work!" Hahaha. Just being honest.
Instead of IG I am reading my yoga books, drawing to relax, reading a new book (Tao Te Ching for anyone curious), running around rough housing with the pups, and checking things off my non-work To Do List. I am getting things done for work just fine still. In fact, I am working way more efficiently, because I know if I check it all off my list and I can do something I really want to do!
So it's lunch and I'm still not craving to be on my phone. I will here in a little bit, but no rush. And that's that for today.
Day Four and Five (Saturday and Sunday): I FELL OFF THE WAGON. Okay, not totally. But my little feet are caught in the wheels and I being drug through the dirt.
Maybe that's a tad dramatic. I am still going full airplane mode and not checking for the first hour I am up - but I FOR SURE checked and posted to IG more than three times a day this weekend. Yes I had an awesome BBQ at my BFF's new perfect home in MIlliken. Yes, I was at an aiport/on a plane/waiting for a rental car and bored on Sunday. But I will not use that as an excuse.
I will say that while on the plane and while waiting for my car, that instead of being on my phone toooooo much, I rehearsed teaching our C1 yoga sequence in my head and also did a lot of reading. I'm wasn't perfect this weekend, but I really am making progress!
Day 6: I want to scrap this piece which is probably a strong indicator that I am embarrassed about failing at it. (Cue eye roll.) But I'm going to finish what I started. Monday was my first full day in NorCal and I forgot to put my phone on airplane mode. I did however wake up before my alarm and still not peep my phone until an hour after I had been up. But then I used it a lot.
I went to a nearby park to watch the sun come up and do some yoga. I Insta Stroried the shit out of my day. But I also didn't look at it once during business hours because I wanted to be respectful of the conference I was in. So my all day use was limited, but on my free time I was posting for sure. Not to mention we took the BART to San Francisco, so I was scrolling away there too.
So, I'm a little disappointed in myself. I'm not totally a failure at this, but I'm definitely not as strong as I was on the first few days. Maybe I actually do have a problem....
Day 7: This last day creeped up on me. I didn't use airplane mode and I checked my phone first thing in the morning. NOT the way I wanted it to end. But I will say I wias pretty good the rest of the day.
Honestly, I need to remind myself this was an experiment - it was so I could learn something and see how I feel. Well, how I feel is that I have more of a problem than I thought I did. Not quite as "haha funny" as I felt at the beginning of this little musing. So, I think I will keep the airplane and one hour rule and really try to be aware of my social media usage moving forward. At least I learned some boundaries, and how to stockpile posts so I can throw em up all at once instead of picking up my phone every half hour.
If I have learned one thing in all my endeavors for self improvement, it's that for me, changes come with time - not force. Being mindful of how I start my day and how many times I check my feeds throughout the day is a good start for where I am at right now. The rest will come when it's time.