My kids and I just returned from a wonderful three weeks in Canada, time spent reconnecting with family and friends as we traveled through British Columbia. At the same time, somewhat subconsciously, I disconnected from email, Facebook, Instagram and all but the closest of friends in Switzerland.
A few weeks prior to our trip, I had started to notice this unsettled and somewhat annoyed feeling rise in me every time I got on social media. I found myself having less and less tolerance for the hypocritical and fake posts of people I knew posting one thing on social media and doing another in "real" life. I felt irritated and discouraged by the rude, egocentric comments of keyboard warriors whose mission it seems is to thwart people who are trying to make positive change. I also started becoming depressed by all of the negative news in the world, feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders.
As an empath who is highly sensitive to what is going on around me, yoga is my go-to tool when I need to shut off the outside world and reconnect with my inner world. I packed my new travel mat in my suitcase, and for the first time ever maintained a regular yoga practice while on vacation. Without really thinking about it, I stopped having the urge to go on social media and instead fully focused on the people and scenery right in front of me.
A highlight of our trip was the 5 days we spent with family at my Aunt and Uncle's cabin on a remote island north of B.C.'s Sunshine Coast. Being on this island was akin to going off grid, like being taken back in time when things were simple. I reveled in the luxury of dirt roads where we didn't see cars for days and could ride our bicycles under the canopy of trees. I treasured the novelty of limited power except for what a few solar panels could deliver. I was thankful for the patchy wifi that had to be manually turned on and loaded for 10 minutes before being used, which meant I only used it a few times with the sole purpose of video calling my husband.
I felt disconnected to the outside world and totally connected to my inner world and to those I was spending my time with.
I started surfing social media again this week to see what has been going on within my realm of contacts and in the world beyond. My 3 week detox seems to have had some effect, as I no longer feel instantly annoyed or depressed. My shield to the outside world has been strengthened again.
Interestingly, my smartphone suddenly stopped working yesterday afternoon. From one minute to the next, it just decided to turn off and won't start again, no matter what tricks my husband and I try to pull out of the hat. Perhaps this is the Universe's not so subtle way of telling me to stay connected to what's important in life?
Have you ever had the urge to disconnect to reconnect? To take a social media detox?
Michelle Borner, a mom on 23 missions, blogs about her Deep Thoughts on a wide range of topics from parenting to conscious living to lessons from brain cancer.
Like Growing Hearts Switzerland on Facebook to get notified of new blog posts!