What happened when I took a social media break . . .

In the past few months, my Facebook has been filled with empowering stories of disconnecting from social media to focus on your family; a “Facebook Fast” if you will.  I’ve even had friends temporarily disable their Facebook accounts so that they cannot be tempted (cheers to each of you that can do that!)

For the past two weeks, my family and I were in Florida. During that time we squeezed in our first ever family vacation with a 4-day blissful cruise.  I thought, this is the perfect time to unplug and not only see if I can do it (Confession Time: I am a social media addict!), but see if there are benefits.  While I never intended to log-off indefinitely, I did disconnect for more than 6 full days of our 12 day trip.  Yes, between the travel, a cruise, and driving across the entire state of Florida, you don’t really have time to think about social media.  I came out on the other side feeling both refreshed and disconnected, and definitely with a new outlook on my social media usage. 

Distractions still happen when you are unplugged…

Three hours in to my Facebook Fast I was enjoying family time at the pool. My kiddos had ice cream in hand and it was a beautiful afternoon. I started fidgeting with our towels, turned around less than 20 seconds, and my 2-year-old was gone! He had run back to the ice cream stand. Thankfully a fellow mom saw him dart off and pointed me in the right direction. This was not to blame on social media or true distraction; it should be blamed on a towel.

On day three, the wind blew a pool chair over and it knocked into the back of my daughter’s head.  Terrifying but she was okay, I was glad I was fully there and able to quickly help her not feel scared.

I absolutely had more connection with every day tasks.

With limited technology, I was able to focus wholeheartedly on the things that matter the most.  I laid with my daughter and sang her to sleep for a very long time, each and every night.  I rocked my son without a phone in hand or inclination to connect with anyone else but him in that moment.  I went out on dinner dates with my husband, where we paid full-on attention to one another.  It was like living in a pre-2004 world (the year I signed up for Facebook) and it was an awesome, blast-from-the-past, type of feeling.

I have been home now for a few days and have since turned my phone back on and am back on the daily routine; work, daycare, kids, shopping, friends, etc.  While elated to see my friends adorable photos of their kiddos, daily activities, gym workouts, meals, and political banter, I do sort of miss the feelings I had when being semi-disconnected.  

It’s like they say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I realize how much I love seeing photos and updates from pals, both old and new. But I also know that it can take much time away from those we love the most.  Now I have a personal goal of working on finding the delicate balance of checking social media, but present at home with my kids and husband each and every time they need me.  

I encourage you, if you are a true social media addict, to take just a few solid days to dismiss social media, then, when you’re ready, reconnect slowly with your new set of boundaries.

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