Friday, July 24, 2015

Decluttering

This year I have really been striving towards a more hands free life. Phones, social media - all that stuff - can be so addictive and I didn't want my kids earliest memories of me always being with a phone stuck in front of my face. Turning 30 felt like a big milestone and as I've mentioned previously, I've really been craving a more simple existence. Less online clutter. And unless you are one of those few people that manage to only check in a couple times a week, Facebook was totally, completely and utterly cluttering my (already busy) mind.

So, I made a decision. It wasn't easy and had been something I had been thinking about for some time, but could never quite make the plunge. I was always full of excuses, but finally I did it: I deleted my Facebook account. The real deal. No deactivation, no break for Lent - I just pulled the plug completely.

And it may have been the best thing I've done in a long time.

Friends naturally asked me WHY?!?! and for me personally, it was a time waster. Lets face it - who really 'quickly' checks in with Facebook? 5 minutes would turn into 30 and I'd close the app feeling low. It was the first thing I'd check in the morning and the last at night. It sucked time and energy and quite frankly, exacerbated dramas I really could have done without over the years.

So I deleted it.

I deleted it.

I deleted Facebook.

To be honest, the first week or so felt like a limb was missing. I'd find myself going to hit that all familiar space on my iPhone where the app used to be and wondering what I was missing out on. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real, anxiety inducing thing. No joking. But you know, I got used to it. Life felt more simple. I was forced to actually reach out to people to find out what's going on in their lives instead of just feeling 'caught up' after clicking like on a few status updates or photos, and vice versa. People came out of the woodwork. Relationships that were really just holding on via a few social media threads faded and more meaningful connections were found. And gosh, I read 25 books. In three months!!! That really made me realise just how much time I had been whittling away on social media.

A little over three months after deleting my account - a clean break, a true Facebook detox - I decided to start afresh. New (smaller, more close knit) account of people I really am truly interested in staying connected with, not every person I ever went to high school or uni with. No app. Although there is a lot about Facebook that I still don't like, for various reasons I decided to go back. And you know what - within days, I realised something. I hadn't been missing out on anything these past few months. I no longer felt a need to check in all the time to see what people were up to. My 'detox' actually did help me gain some perspective and has helped me determine boundaries because I really don't want to get sucked in again.

This decluttering my online presence really is a gradual process and something I'll need to continually re-evaluate as the seasons of life change. Over the past year I've started taking steps in the right direction however and slowly but surely, I'm feeling the haze of constant random too much information in my brain is clearing. I recently completely cleaned out my Instagram account. I no longer feel anxious if I haven't blogged in awhile. My computer often doesn't get switched on. I only use Pinterest if there's something specific I'm looking for.

I guess at the end of the day, all I want is to be happy and healthy in myself. A good wife. A fully present mama. An authentic friend.

Life is forever a work in progress.

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