• Elaine Zito

Social Media Discipline

In my mind, there are two kinds of people in this world: ones that have social media accounts and pretty much get on it everyday, and ones that don't use it at all (my husband being the latter...lucky guy). Maybe there are some in-betweeners that can check it only a few times a week, but in my small circle, most people check it everyday as a filler to their time. I envy anyone who has cut it out of their life, but then again if its used right it can do amazing things (inspire, create, lead to new friends, teach you new things, etc.) And by used right, I mean with a purpose, intentionally, and with a time limit. Because haven't we all fallen victim to the rabbit hole of social media that sucks you in and steals your joy through comparison and jealousy? If you have, keep reading. If you haven't you're probably lying.

To fight the negativity, I implemented a two hour social media time limit as a discipline on myself to become more productive and spend my time doing better things. Not only do I waste time when I constantly scroll, but I also tend to spiral down the comparison trap and end up feeling somewhat shitty and blah. It’s also addictive, the more I watch, the more I want. It’s kinda creepy how enthralled we get with other peoples day to day lives. For instance, some of my favorite insta stories to watch are of cute kids just doing normal kid stuff at home. Like what?! Why am I captivated by other people’s lives? Maybe because I dream of their life being mine one day? (Kids have been on my mind a lot lately) But what is so wrong with my life that I feel the desire to get lost watching other people’s lives? Absolutely nothing is wrong with my life. And the less time I spend on social media, the better I feel about it.

I’ve been disciplining myself for a year now. I got really good this summer at never going over the time limit, and therefore having more confidence and less comparison than I’ve had in awhile. But, I was also working a lot and stayed really busy. I find myself struggle the most when I have too much free time on my hands, and don’t keep myself busy socially. However, I have come to a fork in the road since I started blogging. Obviously, blogging involves social media. You have to be on it to do research, put yourself out there, learn, grow, and evolve. I’ve found myself spending increasingly more time on it because I’ve been trying to make something out of it. And whether you're using it like me, or just for fun, workout motivation, or outfit ideas, it’s a fine line between using it resourcefully/ for inspiration and letting it use you (yes, I went there) to feel bad about yourself and your life. If I’m focused and motivated, my time spent on social is successful. If I’m on it from boredom and end up endlessly scrolling, that’s when the negativity hits. That’s when limiting myself becomes so important. Because like I said previously, it’s addicting. So some days when I’m working on my blog, I may go over my 2 hour time limit. Thats ok, because this time is focused, intentional and leading to a greater purpose. But on days where I didn’t do anything more than fold laundry and lay on the couch while Allyn watches football, I’ve had too much time to sit and spiral down the comparison trap. And so when my phone alerts me that my time is up, I know no good can come from anymore mindless scrolling.

Some of my go to things I do to occupy my time away from my phone include: reading, listening to podcasts, going for a walk, or cleaning . So, if you find yourself feeling like you're wasting your time, write down a list of other things that would be more beneficial to your life. I know it's so easy to plop on the couch and scroll, but think about how much better you will feel if you stimulate your brain in non technological ways.

My final piece of advice which I'm still trying to conquer, is to not have the first or last thing you do of the day, to be on social media. This morning I woke up and read a chapter in my book. Then, Allyn and I watched a quick 20 minute sitcom before we got our day started. I got ready to leave the house before I even looked at my phone. By starting my day away from it, I'm less likely to feel unmotivated and lazy. On the other end of the day, if I haven't hit my time limit, I try to put my phone away for the night before we wind down. I mean, I charge it on my nightstand, but an hour or more of quality time with Allyn before bed makes for a better sleep as opposed to the last thing I see being this girls Range Rover, and that woman's trip to NY fashion week.

The most important thing is to not get caught up in other peoples lives. Don't compare and don't feel bad about your life. Less time away is better, but make sure the time you are spending is intentional and cut off before you fall in that trap, again.

And if you ever feel like you need help on getting out of your own way, to become motivated and inspired again, please feel free to message me. It took me awhile to find a hobby worth shutting the tv off, and putting my phone down for. But, I feel so much more productive and worthwhile with a purpose. Now, I just need some kiddos to take allll this free time away lol.

xoxo, Isla Girl