⇒ For those of you that follow me on || Intsagram|| you will know that I love to write long captions. I often write whole little stories. I decided to start a hashtag, I choose a picture every week and write my musings about it here. I will post on Instagram with the hashtag #talesofmymotherhood.
|| Minimalism – A Social Media Detox ||
Minimalism, where do I start? If you have been reading this blog or ever read anything I published over at Cherrysnotmyname then you will know I am what is known as a ‘Hot Mess Mama’. Unfortunately for me, this isn’t some kind of word play which secretly means I am a cool Mum. What it means is; I am unorganised, chaotic and often overwhelmed. For a few months I have been becoming more and more interested in the concept of minimalism. I discovered The Minimalists , Joshua and Ryan and have felt truly inspired and spent many hours listening to their Podcasts, reading their Blog and reading one of their three books Minimalism: Live a meaningful life.
I have slowly been decluttering, those who follow me on Instagram will have seen my Instastories, where I pared down our crockery, having only a basic amount stored in the kitchen and all the extras (needed for when we have guests, often at the weekend and special occasions such as Christmas are now stored elsewhere). You may have seen I pared down the boys clothes, which in all honesty has not only helped with the washing and maintenance, but I am also really starting to see a definitive style for each child, which is way more exciting than I anticipated. Then last week it was the big one, Toys! I got so overwhelmed that I tackled them in one go. I got rid of quite a substantial amount. It has been fantastic, the boys are now actually playing with their toys for extended periods of time, we are also very slowly, working on them learning they must tidy up their toys and look after them. One step at at time.
Now from everything I have written here it would be easy to assume, I was well on the way to getting my shit together. Well I am here to say “Do Not Be Fooled“. I have made some baby steps, but I still have a long way to go. However, it is hard, there is so much to focus on. So much to do, so many different things trying to get my time. I don’t know what to do or where to start. Then I add extra stuff on top like writing a blog and running an Instagram account and everyone knows if you want to be successful [whatever that means to you, you have to work on the stats]. I started looking into and adding in these extra dimensions to try and boost my stats and therefore boost my audience reach too. I always feel a bit of an idiot talking about this stuff, but the reality is at the end of the day, I do want people to read what I write. I want encourage and connect with people and me writing and no one reading, isn’t going to make that happen. I started to get sucked in, I also started losing my joy and my passion. I would find myself getting overwhelmed, uninspired and procrastinating and not producing the content I wanted to, because my head was basically too far up my own
arse trying to find a magic formula.
I continued listening and reading the minimalists material and I kept hearing the same themes over and over again. I knew that these where the things that I needed to focus on, but I didn’t really want to. It would mean work, emotional and mental legwork. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need to focus at the level they spoke of, and I tried to carry on anyway. I have learnt the hard way that it doesn’t work like that. Minimalism is so much more than getting rid of stuff. To quote Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist
“At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion
of the things we most value and the removal of
everything that distracts us from it”.
Joshua and Ryan also talk about minimalism being a tool rather than a final destination, They talk about having your core values, how what you do everyday becomes your life and how we as humans in today’s society have Pacifiers. Pacifiers are the things we use to distract ourselves so we don’t have to deal with the discontentment that we feel. Different people have different pacifiers, some common ones are Social Media, Television, Alcohol, Food and Computer Games. Any of these sound familiar? Now they do not say these things are inherently bad, Hey, we have to eat to live. When we are continually pacifying ourselves, it tends to mean we are not living to our full potential and we are not living a life of intention and purpose. When you are feeling dissatisfied with your life and you sit on the couch and let the evening pass you by, whist you sit and binge watch whatever programme takes your fancy. The next day you wake up and that niggling feeling of discontentment is there loud and clear, but it is OK, there is an app for that.
Literally. An app to distract you…Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Youtube, Pintrest, Periscope, Timehop, Snapchat the list goes on.
Again, don’t get me wrong, these things aren’t inherently bad, it is how we use them that often makes us end up seeing them as having a negative impact on our lives. Unsurprisingly a social media app was the first thing checked in the morning and last thing I saw at night. I would often have Instastories playing whilst I was using the
toilet…what the heck. I had began to think in statues and updates, I would see something and rather than appreciate the beauty in it, I would starting planning what I was going to say about it on Instagram [have you noticed Instagram is my jam]. Worst of all, was I started shhhhing my children and telling them to wait whilst I watched yet another Insta-story. It all came to a head when I was walking to the shops with my 9 year old and he inadvertently called me out on all this social media bullshit I had got caught up in. He pointed to a really pretty tree, what I now know is a Magnolia tree [Thanks for that Instagram *wink] and said
“Oh God, I shouldn’t have shown you,
now you are going to take 500 pictures
of it and make me stand next to it“.
I laughed and said “No I won’t” knowing full well, that was only because I didn’t have my phone with me, because my battery had died
from too much Instagram use.
If you haven’t realised, Instagram is my favourite of all the social media platforms and after this break, I plan to go back to it. It has a great community, which I want to be a part of. I just needed some time out to re evaluate and rediscover what my priorities truly are. Another thing The Minimalists say is that you can tell what somones priorities are by what they do everyday. I would tell you my priorities were my family, getting outside, spending quality time together, but my actions told another story loud and clear. I would also say my blog was really important to me, but I rarely took the time to create content for it. Through this break, I am planning to rectify this and begin to take back control of my social media use. I don’t hate social media [ in fact I kinda love it, a bit too much, hence this post]. I think it has a lot to do with my personality type, I can get a little tunnel visioned on stuff [I had over 500 pictures of Victoria Beckham when I was at secondary school *covers face with hands] any how, that was a fun fact for you. The whole point of this post, is to also say that minimalism extends far past the things you own and when you begin to walk down that path, you often find yourself walking down a very unexpected path, where you start questioning other aspects of your life.
♥ Have you done a social media detox? Are you planning to have a social media detox? Or have you managed to find a way where you are happy with your level of social media usage? Or have you been on path of minimalism and what was your most unexpected lesson you learnt?
Much love and many thanks