Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Off the Grid

Almost five months ago, I made the choice to go "off the grid" with a popular social media site. The decision had been a long time coming. I had noticed how much time each day I spent scrolling through other people's random thoughts, rants, activities, and drama. I was wasting more and more time, planning my own posts, and agonizing over what other people had, did, said, or thought.

After these five months, I am happier and calmer than I have been since I joined the social media site almost 9 years ago. I can't believe I wasted so much time worrying about a website! Now, I know this decision will not be for most people. But it has improved my life in numerous ways. I have more time to focus on my husband, family, and friends. I have deeper connections with those most important to me and no connection to "cyber friends." My life is drama-free and I have more time to do my hobbies and activities, like learning new recipes, researching things for work, volunteering, and reading good books.

If you still belong to social media sites, please continue if it is right for you!!! I'm not asking anyone to make the same choice that I made. The choice to go "off the grid" was deeply personal. I made the choice because I have a weakness for comparing myself and my life to what others portray on social media websites. I've learned that pictures, statements, and "happiness" people post are not always what they appear to be.

I choose to focus on learning to be content with the life my husband and I share with our families and friends. I choose to be grateful for each breath, day, adventure and memory we make. I don't need the "likes" or thumbs up or comments from cyber friends to feel validated, admired, special, or important.

You may not care at all about this post. You may not have even noticed I gave up the social media site!!! That's perfectly fine. You may wonder why I still maintain a blog, which in itself is a form of social media. I enjoy posting on a blog because I know only my family and closest friends read it. Maybe a few strangers have found their way over from Pinterest (another form of social media I continue to use because I adore finding new recipes and gardening ideas). Plus, my blog is usually only recipes, cleaning tips, or photos of an adventure my husband and I have shared. But again, these posts are usually only seen by friends or family and nothing too personal or inappropriate is revealed.

To sum up, I learned last night during a phone call with my best friend Kara that I am even more committed to staying away from that particular social media site for the foreseeable future. I am learning to be more grateful for what I do have.... instead of spending time looking at what others' have. Some day I may return to the website, when I know that my weakness for comparison has been overcome. Until that day, I encourage you to stop, take a look around at your life, and be grateful for even the littlest things. Or if you need to, go "off the grid" in your own way.

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