Starting today I’m switching off for a few days. Disconnecting to reconnect. My phone is getting turned off and it’s going in the drawer. Because I know I won’t be able to not check my phone if it’s on and nearby.
For a while I’ve been questioning how I feel about Instagram and whether my online experience and real life are morphing into one.
Whether my personality has become so deeply submerged in the flood of my activity, that it almost seems I have become @link_and_luna rather than a flesh and blood human being!
So dramatic and intense, I know 😆! But it's within my nature to lose myself in my work, as much as it is to over explain things, coz #aries ♈️
Am I living my life one photo at a time? Is this photo good enough for my feed? Should I take a video of my lunch or my outfit for stories? Should I tailor my day to create content opportunities for this app?
Without a doubt I spend WAY too much time on my phone, it’s in Finn’s face more than I’d like to admit and I’ve struggled to accept that it consumes a huge chunk of my life and time.
I come from a time of no phones and no internet and Instagram is still a relatively new phenomenon and for so many people it’s becoming or already is, the new normal.
More and more I’m becoming conscious of this and more and more I question my experience. Am I living my life for the sake of living my life? Or am I living it through the lens of social media? Am I living it only to upload it to Instagram? Where do I draw the line between “real life” vs my online experience? Do I take it too seriously? Am I overthinking it?
Maybe. Probably. Maybe not.
Its always a point of conversation with James and I’m always feeling guilty and torn.
You see now that I’m a stay at home mum and have a business I operate from my phone, at home, I have never had this much time.
I have never been so alone (not lonely. I can get lonely sometimes, but for the most part, feeling lonely and being alone are different. I’ve just always worked with so many people beside me and with face to face customers).
I think the need to “fill” up my time with “something” is a way to stay engaged with something, when the world around me (my peaceful, quiet, calm sanctuary of a home) is so different to that of the loud cafes I’ve worked in or the insanely busy and highly functioning stress addict travel agent I used to be.
In other words, besides Instagram being my creative outlet that I genuinely and thoroughly enjoy, I think being on my phone is (or was) just an innocent way to pass the time, to ignore the discomfort I feel when I’m by myself, or in comparison to my old life - not busy.
The thing is, Instagram IS my “real life” now. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to run my “real life” business and have “real life” customers and make “real life” connections or friendships. I wouldn’t be able to help “real life” people and I wouldn’t be able to therapeutically share my “real life” experiences (especially with grief and motherhood) without having to pay “real life” money for a therapist 🤣
I am constantly in awe of the possibilities of this app (the way it connects the international community for greater good!) and I always appreciate the value that it adds to my life. But sometimes I find myself so entranced on my phone, that over and over throughout the course of the day, I mindlessly check my phone with no intention whatsoever. First Instagram, then Facebook, then email, then Pages and I catch myself doing that a handful of times before I look up and realise that it’s sunny outside or that I haven’t had breakfast.
Then I feel guilty and it makes me question my life!
Not really, but really. You know what I mean?
I suppose in a really round about way (stay with me, you know I love a good ramble), what I’m trying to say is, social media is a form of connection. A convenient one at that. And connection is (I believe) the thing we crave and desire the most.
So it’s no wonder that with James gone for 14 hours a day, all my family and friends at work and a baby that doesn’t talk back, that I look to social media for some connection and validation.
And I guess what I’ve come to realise from this thought exercise, is just how uncomfortable I feel being present when I’m by myself.
But when I’m playing with Finn and I’m thinking about when I can next check my phone? Or what caption to write? Or what a good photo op this is? That’s when I know I need to rein it in.
Maybe you can relate? Or maybe you think I’m absolutely nutso for giving this SO much thought.
Either way, bear with me while I have this digital detox. I’ll be back next week. No doubt telling you how much I love Insta 😝