Happy National Day of Unplugging

National Day of Unplugging

Is Facebook Making You Happy or Miserable?

Are you overwhelmed by social media?  Do you have a love hate relationship with Facebook? This morning, I wrote to Steve my client and told him I dreamt about him. He emailed back, “That’s because you were on Facebook before bed Chere!” He’s right!  I guess I am not alone.  Many clients are challenged with social media time replacing other activities that they hold deep to their heart, especially before bed time.  Today is the day you can feel freedom and celebrate the National Day of Unplugging.

Decisions are about “more” and “less”

Today a client and I were coaching about decisions. What does she want more of in her life and what she does she want less of in her life? She has already made some big decisions followed by actions like going to bed at 9 pm instead of 1 am or 2 am.  She has created Monday to be her gap day so she can enjoy her Sunday evening and not feel like she is racing around to get her four children ready for school the next day.  She also wants to feel more connected and grounded and dive into her Bible studies and books instead of social media. She wants more spirituality and less social media.  She wants to be an example to her kids. We created a plan for her to only keep her smartphone in her bedroom the evenings her children are not sleeping at home and are with their dad. She will have less temptation and will read her Bible studies in bed rather than reading Facebook.

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at the link between Facebook use and wellbeing.  The researchers found that the more you use Facebook over time, the more likely you are to experience negative physical health, negative mental health and negative life satisfaction.  Well-being is your secret to productivity and happiness. Two pillars of wellbeing are life satisfaction and positive mindset. And when you compare yourself to others’ “good times,” it is difficult to have a positive mindset and great life satisfaction, because someone always has more!  I felt very sad this past month when I saw Facebook posts of five of my girlfriends in Florida and I was not invited.  

A Facebook Fast

 Some studies have suggested that smartphone apps are engineered to increase the amount of time you spend on them. I periodically go on “fasts” from social media. It gives me peace, calm and a focus on my life and less “chatter” in my head about others! After about a day, or 24 hours, I notice that I don’t miss Facebook and then realize I am not really missing much at all. Do I really care about a friend’s friend going to Fiji? Or that another friend went skiing? It is all “nice to know” but not really “need to know” information. If you are really afraid of missing something, if you are really close to the person they will track you down and tell you their news.

Unplugging Ideas

  • Unplug from social media for 24 hours from sundown to sundown today on National Day of Unplugging or any day you choose.
  • Tell your friends and family you are going to take a break from social media.
  • Remove the app from your phone, even if you are not going to delete your account. You will not be enticed with alerts.
  • If you are parent, sign the Wait Until 8th pledge.

A study from Influence Central found that the average age of a first smartphone user is age 10, down from age 12 in 2012. The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade.  By banding together, Brooke Shannon of Austin, Texas and founder hopes this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over the kids having a smartphone. 

Before we had smart phones we actually connected with people at the store and on our errands.  If you want to be happier, remember that face to face social interactions enhance and boost your well-being. Get. Off. Your. Phone! Better Get Busy!

Happy National Day of Unplugging

We can’t wait to hear how you have unplugged!