Your Phone is Shaping Your Reality–Digital Minimalism Can Help

Take Back Your Authentic Thoughts and Emotions

Phones are shaping the way we interact with each other and the way that we view the world. We think through the lens of marketers who want us to spend money on items that will likely end up in a donation bin, money that we earned with life time we can’t get back. We see our lives in comparison to others.

We got tricked, you guys.

When we scroll social media, we’re telling our brains to accept what we see. We’re absorbing without scrutiny. We believe that what we see on the screen is “how things are,” because that’s how humans are wired to think.

Marketing aims to alter our subconscious feelings so that when we make a decision, we’re convinced that the idea was our own and came from our conscious, thinking brain. A lot of the time, it didn’t.

What I’m getting at is this: if you view a steady stream of information and judgments that aren’t necessarily your own, especially if you do it daily, it’ll alter you. It’ll change how you feel, how you think, what values you hold, make you believe that you’re lacking, and might even influence the way you remember certain moments of your life.

Super heavy, right? That thought alone gave me the kick I needed to break up with FB for good and re-join the real world. Whewww. I’m glad I did.

Why It Took Me a Year To Delete Facebook and Why I Feel More Free Without It

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In my previous post about intentional living, I asked readers:

How many times do you impulsively pull out your phone when you experience discomfort, boredom, or dread? How often do you drive somewhere and barely remember the ride?

As a person with anxiety and a natural ability to space out, I used to spend a lot of time on my phone avoiding things, even avoiding my own authentic thoughts. It wasn’t conscious, but hours would roll by unaccounted for.

I put off deleting Facebook because I was worried I would miss events, wouldn’t see so-and-so’s Burning Man photos, would miss birthdays, and would stop being connected with acquaintances that I wished I knew better.

For me though, I realized that I wasn’t interacting with people as much as I thought. “Liking” posts felt like a substitute for genuine human interaction (it wasn’t). 

So, I got rid of it, even though it took me a year to commit to the idea.

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Once I deleted Facebook and all other social media, I felt more free. I didn’t realize how burdensome it was until I removed the temptation to use it. I didn’t realize the amount of space and emotion that it occupied in my subconscious. I didn’t realize how much my social media usage shaped my perception of reality.

When it comes to social media, if you’re someone who can’t stop the finger twitch, perhaps it shouldn’t be included in your life anymore. Simple as that.

Commit to a Digital Detox

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I’m not saying that all social media is bad, or that there isn’t value in it. What I’m saying is that it’s important to evaluate your usage and decide whether or not it aligns with your goals and intuition.

I recently finished a six month digital detox and it was a blissful experience. I absolutely needed the rigidity of a detox to break the social media spell and to get myself out of the habit of checking my phone.

Now I only use Instagram, sparingly, to promote my freelance writing business and this blog (@newmoonwriting / @hestiaspeaks). I realized that while social media can be a negative influence in my life, it is an unavoidable necessity as a creative entrepreneur.

Now though, instead of social media being a burden, it’s a jumping point to help me succeed. It was necessary to re-frame the way I used and interacted with social media to use it responsibly. I had to shift social media usage from being part of my lifestyle to being just a tool. 

Do This Right Now

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I double dog dare you to delete a social media app from your phone. If you’re feeling brave, delete EVERY app that takes away your time and attention if it doesn’t bring joy and value to your life.

Ask yourself these questions fearlessly and without self-judgement:

>Do I  compulsively look at my phone?
>Does my phone usage have a negative impact on my life or detract from doing things that are important to me?
>Have I looked at my phone while having a conversation lately?
>Do I ever feel sad, angry, jealous, or otherwise bad after viewing social media?
>Do I find that time slips away when I’m on social media?
>Have I ever purchased something as a result of seeing it on social media? Am I still happy with that purchase?
>Do I have a digital addiction?

Many of us would answer “yes” to most or all of these–I’m certainly guilty.

Your experiences are so important! Please share your thoughts below if you’re compelled to do so.

❤ Also be sure to like, share, and subscribe before you head out! It helps me greatly!

This post is the first of a two-part series featured on the blog this week–stay tuned for Thursday’s post, which will include a downloadable freebie! 

3 Comments

  1. Don’t be shy to comment! I’m genuinely curious about your experiences with technology and how it has effective your lives.

    Like

  2. I wish I could delete social media from my phone… but I’m not quite sure Im there yet. Considering it took me over a year to delete messages from an ex! Oops! I’m thinking about doing a phone free weekend soon. As daft as that sounds, I’m going to find it really tough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not daft, I totally understand. There was a time when I’d get anxious if I forgot my phone at home when I went out, or even if I was at home and my phone wasn’t near me. The digital detox helped tremendously to get me out of the habit of checking it, though. I recommend even taking a half day break from your phone to start if a whole day is too much.

      Liked by 1 person

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