I was scrolling Facebook, looking over my morning notifications, sipping my coffee and BAM. It happened. My eyes scrolled over my worst nightmare. It was the longest, nastiest, creepiest snake, playing in a pool of water with an innocent toddler, her mom, the spectator, looking on and LAUGHING. I died a little. My heart jumped right into my throat and started pounding out of my chest. I started to sweat and shake. I could feel my blood pressure begin to elevate and my breathing increased rapidly. The core belief part of my brain, was like, “ Oh no she didn’t! I will fight that woman! How dare she put that child in the water with a snake!” That feeling was my stress response quickly coming to my rescue, and I was ready to take her ON. Now listen, I realize this lady was probably laughing because the child was actually enjoying it and the snake wasn’t poisonous, but let me tell you something. I have an EXTREME unhealthy view of snakes because of past experiences growing up on a lake in Alabama. We have some nasty, nasty boys down here that don’t want to play with you but would much rather just kill you. I sat there and watched that video multiple times. Why was I torturing myself? I have zero clue, but I sent it to several of my friends who would appreciate it. Y’all, before I knew it I had wasted an HOUR of precious time freaking out over something I could not control nor did I even like.
Over the past six years, social media has become my best friend and my worst enemy. I have used it to grow a small health and wellness business into a multimillion dollar health and wellness business. I use it everyday to connect with Young Living members all over the world who are sharing their love for health and growing their own businesses. I use it to spread my message of holistic health to anyone who will listen. I use it to find valuable information in my field. I use it to connect with old friends I have not seen in years and to keep up with my family who live out of town. It is the absolute best tool with so many remarkable benefits. However, there have been times that I have let social media steal from me by letting it have too much power over my life. I just recently took a 21 day social media break. I do this every January and it feels SO good to reset boundaries, have a little peace and quiet for my mind and rest for my soul. It was glorious. Now that I am back, I can think clearer, I have the control, and I am ready to use it strictly for its positive benefits. Social media use must be controlled or it will eventually control you.
Here are three ways social media can steal from you and solutions to keep it in its place.
It can steal your time. Getting wrapped up in a random snake and baby video is obviously a waste of time. I didn’t set out to spend over an hour messing around with that, it just happened. It stole from me in a blink. Time is such a precious gift and we must guard it. Just one hour a day on wasted scrolling will equal to 336 hours a year and an average of 23,520 hours over a span of an average life. In 336 hours over the course of a year, you could have read an average of 150 books. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY. Y’all that is insane. Warren Buffet, the wealthiest man in the world said this when asked about his secret to success. “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will…” Leaders are learners, so stop scrolling and start reading! The best way to get the most out of your social media experience is to schedule the time you will spend using it. I usually spend some dedicated time in the morning, after lunch and then another small check in at night. This requires some serious self discipline and a timer for me. You may even need to take it off of your phone and use a desktop or a laptop to access it for better self control.
It can steal your self esteem. If we are not guarded and very careful, social media can open the door to comparison and rob you of your own self esteem. No one flaunts their junk on social media. Skeletons stay buried in the closet and all we tend to see is a perfect mom with a perfect marriage, the perfect children, and the perfect diet while you are sitting there fighting with your husband, cleaning crayons off of the walls and downing a bag of Cheetos. Don’t compare your behind the scenes life to everyone else’s Oscar winning performance. ERRRRYBODY got issues. They are just hiding them behind the big red curtain.
3. It can steal your health. Have you ever seen something on Facebook that literally made your blood boil? This person’s comment made you so mad that you could feel the blood rising and all you wanted to do was tell that person what’s up? I know I have, but I have had to seriously reign it in and exercise self control. Why do we do that? Anytime there is a threat to your core belief system, your brain activates the stress response and adrenaline is produced so that you can fight the big bad bear which may happen to be your ignorant classmate from 20 years ago who just embarrassed himself on facebook with a stupid comment. This is why people spend hours trying to argue their point in the comments section even though the outcome will not be in their favor. The stress response is a defense mechanism that is important for survival, but if continually turned on can lead to chronic inflammation and set you up for all kinds of disease such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. So just walk away. Shut the computer down, close the app, take a deep breath, huff some Peace and Calming Essential oil and RETREAT. It’s not worth it. You gain nothing but harm for yourself and your reputation on social media. If this is something that tends to bother you more often than not, taking a 30 day social media break may be a good idea for you.
So the next time you log into Facebook or Instagram, set a timer! Don’t get sucked in and don’t look for an argument. Do the stuff and then get out. If you can’t seem to get a grip, take a break and let your mind rest and reset. Your body will thank you. Your brain will thank you, your family will thank you and you can keep on keeping on, rockin’ your best self.