The word ‘cleanse’ normally elicits a reflexive reaction on my part, being a medical doctor, and having encountered fascinating ways in which people clean themselves out.
I’ll spare you from the discomfort of inserting an ‘exhibit A or B’ here, mainly because I think we’ve all come across our fair share of ridiculous cleanses in recent years.
Maybe they’ve always been around, but have been merely been amplified by the ease of social media.
The cleanse I do want to openly discuss here is long overdue.
It’s the social media cleanse we all need; we’ve had it coming.
It was getting excessive; my use of social media had not only taken over the free time in my day, but was bordering on becoming an addiction.
It’s not just a problem that I was having, I noticed; it’s an increasingly worrisome problem for our society as a whole.
Think about the number of times you clicked into that FB app. Or that Instagram button.
They do make them cute and all, I confess. It’s all in the marketing, as they say.
Take any of the other links meant to connect us with one another in this day and age, and you find yourself at the same exact crossroad: useful for connecting, but addicting as hell.
Think about all that time you spend scrolling through an app’s feed – reading your contacts’ updates (I won’t even refer to them as friends anymore because so many of us are now linking up for business), looking at photos of everyone in your circles (and beyond!), or even (who me? NEVER!) checking the status of your ‘favorite’ all-time frenemy, or boyfriend from the past (geesh, we’re getting old..).
It’s just incredible who we connect with on that little screen, and how fast; especially when a geographical distance separates us, and yet it takes a mere seconds to “say” a hello. Impact can be a matter of seconds in this new virtual world. And that’s pretty fantastic concept, when you think about it in that way.
But using it – this new and exciting virtual world – also comes at a price.
Awareness: When Intervention is Needed
It took a soft nudge from my son the other day – an innocent comment made that ended up knocking me off of my swivle-chair-that’s-so-perfect-for-online-scrolling seat – to realize just how bad it had gotten. It felt almost as if he had pulled off some imaginary blinders and commented on how I’m ‘always on the phone‘.
And while it was true that work required some degree of screen use, and that my passion for writing required it, too, I realized right then and there that my time had been unevenly spent, and that my sons were paying for it; it was a high price to pay for mere entertainment.
I’m not willing to pay it, I decided.Impact can be a matter of seconds in this new virtual world. And that's pretty fantastic concept, when you think about it in that way. Click To Tweet
Taking a Step (Or Two) Back
So I took a deep breath in – really inhaled the will to part with my beloved virtual world (temporarily, of course, since it’s got incredible value!) – and re-evaluated how I’d tackle what I realized was a relatively new form of addiction.
Soon, I had a plan, and set it into action- I’d undergo one of those cleanses I always cringed at, when I saw them on my newsfeed.
Except mine would be medically necessary; a social media cleanse.
And so I put the gears into motion, and I did it.
I made a conscientious decision to limit use of my phone.
Even better, I decided a week of abstinence was a better plan in keeping away from my screen – not reading anyone’s updates, whereabouts, one-million dollar idea that only I could be privvy to, unnecessary award, or comedic reel production (*ahem*, yours truly has sorta, kinda been infected in the reel-department.. & if you do subject yourself to watching my own comedic-fail, be gentle in comments..).
No more scrolling of the thumbs for a while – it was time to give those suckers a rest.
.. and I’m guessing some of you can imagine how this ends.
Out of the Shadows I Emerged..
When I put away that phone, I picked up my son more.
Spent quality time looking into his eyes; into the eyes of all of my children, in fact.
One of them had gotten so tall that I swore he had been stretched overnight by a secret nighttime gnome. I said it out loud, by accident, and my kid laughed. MY KID LAUGHED at my joke.
Had a conversation, or two – no, twenty.
I finished some things that had been in the back burner – one of those I’ll-finish-this-later’s. Got to spend one on one – truly one on one – with my husband. Listened to music on my way home instead of the yapping of a podcast. Started taking in landscapes on the drive. Got to exercise by walking with my family – playing tennis and boxing and jumping and wrestling.
But best of all was the laughter. It was the well-needed and long-forgotten laughter of yesteryear. But it had made a comeback and was bigger and better than ever.
I got it all back thanks to the cleanse and it was worth every single second.
My entrepreneurial effort.
A Venture Aimed at Amplifying Health- & Healthcare Voices.
End-of Post Confession
I can’t promise that social media is now a thing of my past.
Because it’s not.
I’m still very active on it because I’ve experienced incredible career growth, thanks to the possibilities that exist using this space & the fact that it allows me to grow my business further (don’t forget that it’s “media”.. & if you need of help understanding that, or building our your own influential space, use my expertise through my new consultation services).
I even regularly convince other professionals, just like me, to get themselves on here and make an impact, so that their own voices are heard.
There are so many great reasons to use this space:
I’m using it to make connections.
Reading the latest in research findings (as medical journals have taken to the virtual world to publish their results).
Learning from others who are using it too.
But we need to be careful about getting sucked in. And that’s where the cleanse comes handy.
With my re-entry into this time-consuming world, I’m also cognizant of finding a healthy balance. Because no matter how hard I try, I can’t ‘unsee’ the happiness that came about from temporarily putting this world away.
It’s all about balance, after all.
I would even go as far as admitting that the feeling I felt when I bonded with my children has its own “addictive” qualities to it; except it’s a healthy kind.
There does seem to exist a comfort zone, somewhere in the middle. The “in-between”, and I highly recommend that you actively search for it, and stay there.
It’s a perfect sweet-spot that lets you comfortably experience the best of both worlds, and opens up space you need for soaking up this beautiful life (that we only get to live out once).
So go ahead. Cleanse away.
Because this particular cleanse is medically-approved!So go ahead. Cleanse away. This particular cleanse - my 'virtual cleanse' - is medically-approved! Click To Tweet