I hope you all had an incredible holiday weekend!
Caleb and I are currently passing through Indiana. We left Virginia around 10am this morning and so far the drive has been easy; minimal traffic and great driving weather!
We’ve been listening to podcasts and talk radio. Thank you to everyone who gave us some amazing Podcast suggestions on instagram today! This 14+ hour drive is going by so fast!
Overall, I will say the disconnect was really amazing. The constant pressure/worry/anxiety/envy that arises with social media dissipated. In my initial post before we un-plugged, I discussed the double-edge-sword-effect that social media has on my life. And after this weekend, even just after three days I feel completely refreshed and refocused. I also feel like I had some amazing in-depth conversations with my family members that might have been side-tracked or shortened without the disconnect.
By blocking out the distractions of social media I was able to fully focus on everything around me. I was able to find the good and be content.
I had plenty of notifications, text messages, emails, and voicemails waiting for me when I turned on my phone this morning and that made me a little anxious, but none of them were super time sensitive and did not need to be answered over the holiday weekend so my time off was warranted.
Alyson and I came up with some reflection questions to help us navigate our feelings and open the discussion to our readers, like you. Here are her answers . . .
Reflections After the Disconnect
What did you enjoy about the disconnect?
A: I most enjoyed the sense of freedom. Because there was nothing to check up on or log into I found myself staying a little longer and melting into the sweetest moments with my family. I found myself laughing, playing and being more silly. I enjoyed the sense of freedom that came when I put my phone down and walked away.
Summary/highlights of your weekend?
A: Our weekend was a slow one. On Friday morning we picked up our newest family member, little chicks. That was such a fun moment and a great way to celebrate Easter and the beginning of Spring. After that, I unplugged. I found it difficult to separate myself from my phone at first. Little moments or inspirations kept popping up and I would think “oh, I’d like to share that”. Our whole weekend was slow and easy, much more so because I had no obligation to my phone. On Saturday the whole family took naps (which might have been my highlight), we started a fire, played outside, took walks, drove through the Driftless and sang together. Saturday night I hosted an intimate full moon gathering and felt extremely present, open and vulnerable. Sunday we spent time with the old owner of our house, she walked around the garden with us, she told me how to care for the rose bushes and about some of the flowers and plants that were planted by her grandmother years ago. I was really able to soak in her words and stories in a more profound way. Sunday night a friend called and asked if I would want to moon gaze and hot tub, so that was a perfect way to end the weekend.
What things were you able to focus on better?
A: I was able to focus better in conversations. To really take in and hold what people were saying to me instead of thinking of the next thing to post or the next thing to check in on. I was really able to get present in moments with AJ and the kids. AJ also went phone free: for him Reddit is his biggest distraction. And because there was no place to go, I found us focusing more on each other we started silly and random conversations more often.
What was challenging about disconnecting?
A: It was challenging to not be able to just pick up my phone. It was challenging to be left alone with my thoughts. I connect with a lot of friends and acquaintances through social media so it was challenging not to just tell someone a little thing that made me think of them, etc. I also follow a lot of people on Instagram that are speaking to self care, wellness, astrology and I love those daily hits of the feel goods and dopamine from their posts. But instead the giggles from my kids, the signs of spring and the peeps of my chickens had to do. It was also challenging to start making dinner and realizing that a ton of my favorite recipes + resources live on Pinterest.
Did the disconnect change anything for you?
A: It definitely changed how I want to structure my time with social media and my phone. I want stop using my phone as much in front of my children. I want to make more structure and boundaries around it so I can create more space and moments like I had this weekend in my everyday. I want social media to be a choice I make to participate not to feel bound to it. I think I will try to like to log on for posts at specific times, when I have down time or moments alone.
Were there any things you learned that you can bring into you day to day?
A: AJ and I did this in the past and decided to reinstate it. But we used to and will again put our phones down when he gets home from work until the kids go to bed. Then we take some allotted time to indulge and then put them away to reconnect at night. Of course there is flexibility around it, but setting the intention to not have our phones apart of specific parts of our day feels like we are choosing ourselves, each others and our families.
I’m so happy that we did this blog post together and so happy we both had a successful disconnect weekend! You can read my full answers to the reflection questions on her blog post Part 2
Because I had such a boost of positivity this weekend I am going to attempt to spend less time on social media. I am going to put my phone away during dinner with Caleb. I am going to stop checking emails at 6pm everyday. I am going to remember to live more in the moment instead of just trying to document it for the sake of an instagram story. I am going to literally stop trying to prove I have a life.
Thank you for coming back and reading part 2 of Un-Plugged!
Have you ever taken a vacation from social media? What were your feelings before/during/afterwards?
Have an amazing week, friends!