My Real Life Off Social Media

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It has now been more than 30 days since I have been on social media other than posting a medium.com article from the medium.com site. I have not scrolled through Facebook or Instagram in more than 30 days now and I can say that I don’t plan to in the foreseeable future. I set off on this experiment to un-clutter my mind and to gain back so much time in my days. I thought that I would take 30 days off, and then go back to a different schedule with social media. The main reason I went off social media is that for the first time in my life I could see that I was really getting addicted to something. I found myself checking my phone way too often and even times when I was off my phone I was wondering what was going on Facebook or Instagram. I often took so many photos only to think about posting them. This is not to say that sharing about our lives is a bad thing, but when it overtakes your days and your time, that is the time that the addiction has taken over our lives.

I feel that I have gained so very much from being off social media:

  • Connecting personally one on one with friends and family. Whether it is through a text, message, email or phone call, it is very special now to actually just communicate one on one with a friend. I find it’s much more personal to share photos or happenings in this way.

  • Connecting more with people in person. I have always loved to get together with friends every 1-2 months in person for coffee, tea, lunch, brunch, dinner or any fun activity. It’s really an important way to connect with others and keep our friendships alive and support each other. This month I have 3 events with friends on the calendar. I’m so thrilled about this!

  • Having more time to work on projects at home. The other day I took a day off and: rearranged my son’s furniture in his room so it works better, repainted a bathroom vanity, spent time making myself a latte at home and read an interesting book.

  • Having more space in my mind to truly think about the important things in life, what I want to do for myself, my family and the world.

  • Feeling free to be myself and create the life I want to create for myself and my family.

  • Taking time to daydream and plan amazing things like travel.

  • Taking time to make recipes I have been hanging on to in books and notebooks for such a long time.

  • Actually making many of the recipes I found on Pinterest.

I feel that the benefits are so very many! So far my friends have really understood and reached out to me outside of social media and I really appreciate them for that.

I found it interesting what was said in this New Yorker article about social media. It points out that even though through social media you can remain in contact with lots more people, you are spread more thinly trying to keep up with all of them and your ties are weaker:

With social media, we can easily keep up with the lives and interests of far more than a hundred and fifty people. But without investing the face-to-face time, we lack deeper connections to them, and the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones. We may widen our network to two, three, or four hundred people that we see as friends, not just acquaintances, but keeping up an actual friendship requires resources. “The amount of social capital you have is pretty fixed,” Dunbar said. “It involves time investment. If you garner connections with more people, you end up distributing your fixed amount of social capital more thinly so the average capital per person is lower.”

from “The Limits of Friendship” The New Yorker- by Maria Konnikova

For me personally I would rather strengthen friendships that I already have outside of social media and do more in-person networking. I have found that the type of work that I do requires a strong connection to someone, or a strong referral from someone who really knows the work that I do. I am strengthening these by getting to know people in person and really learning about them in real life. I feel that for me personally this is the life that I want to lead. I know that others really enjoy and can handle social media and it helps them remain in touch with people. I think that everyone has a different threshold, and for me I function better with one to one communication. For others, I think there is a place for social media.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you tried a few days off social media? How have you felt? I have decided to now share my thoughts through this blog only and I will share it on social media for those that find it easier to find me there.

Thank you so much for joining me here in this space.

With lots of love,

Trista

Joyful Minimalism:

If you are ready to explore your things but need support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients.


I have 2 consultations to choose from that help guide us to how I can best help you de-clutter your space. I also have an hourly rate after that for me to de-clutter and organize your space in a detailed manner.


Services:


http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:


http://expansive.me

Everything Comes with a Contract

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Just imagine that every time you brought anything into your home, it came with a detailed contract that you would need to review and sign, promising to take care of the item, find a place for it and look after it for as long as it remained useful to you. We don’t tend to think of it, but every item we own has an invisible contract attached to it. Contracts would be attached to everything from a toaster to a new bath towel.

Such a contract might read:

-You must promise to keep me clean, and in working order.

-You must promise to repair me immediately.

-You must find a proper storage space for me.

-You must make sure to replace me when I wear out, and give me away or dispose of me properly.

When we really think about it, the more items we own, the more contracts like these we are actually signing and agreeing to. When we decide to de-clutter and clear our homes of items that we can no longer hold contracts on, it frees us up so much and creates more peace in our lives.

Imagine if you could have a conversation with an item on a crowded garage shelf:

Fancy Tart Pan: You know, I have sat here for 5 years, all dusty and you haven’t made a single tart with me.

You: Yes, I understand. I just don’t bake much anymore, and when I do, it’s simple items. How about I give you away to a new home where you’ll be better cared for.

Fancy Tart Pan: That sounds much better. Maybe they can actually keep up with my contract.

Yes, that tart pan can be quite demanding, right? If we can imagine the contracts and the conversations our things would have with each other, this would be how it would go. When we let go of items and realize that they will find good homes with others who can use them, we can free up our space and free up our lives from the worry of upkeep and looking after so many things.

And yes, I will give away that tart pan today that is in my garage.

With lots of love,

Trista

Joyful Minimalism:

If you are ready to explore your things but need support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients.

I have 2 consultations to choose from that help guide us to how I can best help you de-clutter your space. I also have an hourly rate after that for me to de-clutter and organize your space in a detailed manner.


Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me


My Days Off Social Media

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On August 7, 2019 I decided to take 30 days off of social media. I am about halfway through this experiment and I have learned a lot from it and a lot about myself. I will be reporting throughout this experiment as I decide where social media fits or doesn’t fit into my life and into my business as a whole. After September 7th I will have made decisions on this and will keep you posted here on the blog.

I decided to do this 30 day experiment for many reasons, but the main one was to do a kind of “mental de-cluttering” I was feeling overwhelmed every time I was on social media. I felt the need to respond to all of the information and images coming at me, and it left me drained rather than energized. It left me always feeling behind, like I couldn’t catch up with everything there. I found that if I started my day on social media I would feel much more scatterbrained and unable to focus as much as I would like. I felt that I needed to make a major change by challenging myself to 30 days off of Facebook and Instagram.

I also know that I was addicted to checking social media too often. It gave me the illusion that I was connected to others in a real way. However, I notice that I feel much more connected to people that I know by direct messages with them, or best of all, in person meetings. I have remained in touch with my close friends and family in this way and I know in my heart that we are there for each other.

The first few days off social media were a bit disorienting. I felt a little bit lonely not checking in with what others I knew were doing through posts and pictures. However, I love what a dear friend of mine said that Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and all of the rest aren’t “real.” You can’t touch anything there or have a real connection with anyone like you can through direct communication, it’s especially not the same as meeting in person with someone to have coffee or lunch. Those are my most treasured times, when you can really communicate with someone. This quote by a colleague of Susan Dunbar (currently head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford), Sue Fudge said it best:

"Although social media may seem like the perfect way to make and maintain friendships, this research shows that face-to-face interaction is essential for truly authentic relationships and that shares, selfies and 'likes' are no replacement for the bonding that takes place whilst sharing food, experiences and anecdotes.” —Sue Fudge

This is why I have ultimately felt much better off of social media and I am looking forward to the times that I meet my friends in person. We will have much more to chat about and really catch up on each other’s lives because I haven’t followed them on social media for such a long while. It’s kind of an experiment in making social time more special, more of a celebration rather than something that you just scroll through endlessly.

I have communicated through some direct messages and some emails with friends and I have found it refreshing to only communicate with one person at a time (unless there is a thread about a get-together or party). It really makes you focus on what matters rather than how many people commented on or liked something you posted out to a very large group on social media.

I actually have found myself taking fewer pictures, but fun pictures to remember events nonetheless because I know I will share some of them with friends in person, or make a photo album of them to remember fun times by.

The other benefit of being off social media is the freedom to explore other things in life. I have learned to make more delicious foods from recipes in actual books, I have daydreamed about and started to plan some trips and I actually bought paper maps to plot points to visit on our travels. I have spent much more time outside, and fun times with my son this summer. I also have learned how to make cappuccinos with our little espresso machine! Of course I have also really enjoyed de-cluttering different areas of our home even more.

So much fun and magic has come my way in these days! My plan right now is to just blog about my experiences here on my website which I can post to social media and to medium.com for a larger audience. That way I don’t need to be on social media to reach people and help them. This feels right to me so far and it is like I have started a new life over again. It is thrilling and I invite you to try it for yourself!

With lots of love,

Trista

Happy Failures

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The other day I sent a photo of my side garden to a long distance friend. I told her that this now successful side garden made up of mostly free plants that I got from my Aunt’s garden, some plants I got from the farmer’s market long ago and about 3-4 perennials that I bought and planted was a result of many “happy failures.” This story of the evolution of my side garden is one that can teach us a lot about failing and getting up again in life.

I remember at one time there were two large trees there. They were two close to the house and provided too much shade and roots for planting much in the side garden. We had them removed. Then, I tried some different plants there. First, I started with some annuals. They did ok, but required a lot of watering and much more fuss than what I have now. Later I planted most of the plants that I have now when my Aunt was thinning out her garden and she gave me lots of plants. I worked as quickly to plant those plants along with the large plants that I got from the farmer’s market. Part of the front of the garden was still bare. Over the years I tried different plants there. Some of them didn’t like the full sun, others grew too “leggy” and I didn’t like the way they looked with the rest of the plants and others were too small or short and got “lost.” in the other plants. A few days ago I bought one last perennial to fill in a gap for a plant that eventually died because that spot wasn’t right for it. Now, I feel that I have a fully lovely and functioning garden which will take little water and maintenance other than occasionally weeding in that area. Luckily the plants are now mostly so large that there aren’t many weeds that grow there. I’m so glad that I learned so much from this garden. I learned what plants grow best where, how much sunlight they need and also that it’s important to space plants of different heights in different spots.

This garden project reminds me also that even when we “get it right” there will be work to do. The garden must still be watered and weeded in order to flourish. So is our life. Even when we find the perfect mix of career/business/family/friends/free time we still need to stop and nourish ourselves along the way. We need to stop and see if we are truly thriving where we are currently rooted, or if we need to make a change to really grow and blossom in our lives.

How can we equate this garden project with life? Here are some ways:

  1. There are many things that we will try in life that may not survive or may not be a good fit for us. This can be relationships, careers and places we live. They simply may not agree with our true selves or how we want to live.

  2. Sometimes our projects don’t take root because we think we “ought” to do it, or it’s the next logical step, but our hearts aren’t in it.

  3. Sometimes we need a break. Our area of the garden is “too shady.” We need to take a moment to step out into the light to see our true potential. We need to stop what we are doing and look within for the answers.

  4. Sometimes we need to fail in order to learn a particular lesson. We need to look at difficult times and challenges as lessons that come to teach us something. Just like some of the plants that didn’t do well in that area were telling me- move me or compost me. Sometimes we need a different perspective or need to learn to quit and move on to another project, job, home or relationship.

What have your happy failures taught you? I’d love your comments below on this post with your stories!

Joyful Minimalism: 


If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 


I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from:


Services:

http://expansive.me/services