June 29, 2023
At the beginning of May, I shared on Instagram that I would be taking a break from social media. I deleted the app from my phone so I wouldn’t be tempted to randomly scroll and took some time to get clear about my intentions to be more present with this break.
In a world dominated by digital connections, I always want to make being present a priority over the pressures of constantly being visible online.
Join me as I share more details about my break and the valuable lessons we can all learn from taking time to be more present offline.
The Power of Authenticity
I have always prided myself on my authenticity and genuine engagement with my audience. Through my social media platforms, I strive to provide authentic spaces rooted in good vibes, culture, community and confidence. However, even the strongest advocates need to recharge.
As I was preparing for new beginnings, I recognized the need for a temporary hiatus to maintain my authenticity. Authenticity is the genuine expression of who we are, without pretense or the need to conform to societal expectations. By taking a break, I stayed true to my desires in that moment and was able to prioritize my mental and emotional well-being. It don’t get more authentic than that.
The Importance of Setting Boundaries
In today’s digital age, it is sooo easy to let social media consume our lives, blurring the boundaries between work and personal time, especially if you have an online business like myself. My decision to take a step back served as a reminder to myself and hopefully to all of you about the importance of setting boundaries.
I’ve been online for 14 years and this is the longest I’ve been offline other than when my boyfriend Art passed in 2012. By consciously disconnecting from the digital world, I was able to focus on my big move (yes I moved, AGAIN), my personal growth, grieving (Art’s 11 year anniversary was in May), be fully present to serve my new B2B client, reconnect with loved ones, and gain a fresh perspective on something that has impacted me for years – housing trauma.
Throughout my life, I have faced my fair share of moving around A LOT, along with housing instability. Every time I move, it takes a toll on my mind, body and soul. Recognizing the impact of this trauma was crucial in acknowledging the fact that I needed to get offline for some much needed reflection and healing. I’m going to record a podcast episode on this because I have so much more to share on this topic!
All that to say that I want you all to know that it is okay to prioritize yourselves and establish healthy boundaries, both online and offline. Do what you have to do, FOR YOU!
The Illusion of Intimacy
Ok, lets keep it a buck. Social media creates an illusion of intimacy by providing us with constant updates and glimpses into other people’s lives.
We be scrolling through our feeds, feeling like we know someone deeply, even though our interactions with them are limited to virtual exchanges. This illusion of intimacy can lead to a false sense of connection and a distorted understanding of others’ realities.
And while yes, I’ve been able to create multiple businesses off my personal brand, I often struggle to balance how much of my personal life I want to share online now that I am no longer an influencer and have pivoted into business coaching/facilitating.
Creating content based on your personal life versus creating content to market your thought leadership and coaching program are two very different things. Transitioning from one approach to the other has been quite an interesting journey for me. Did I mention I’ve been creating content online for 14 years?!
Ok, back to this illusion of intimacy… If I’m being honest, being off of the ‘gram for the last 8 weeks allowed me to regain perspective and prioritize deeper offline connections. It made it so much easier to identify the people I have deep connections with versus those who I interact with through limited virtual exchanges that often give off the illusion of intimacy but really are surface level relationships.
While social media offers incredible opportunities for connection and sharing (don’t get it twisted, I am so grateful for the beautiful community I have built online over the years and the incredible people I have met), it’s crucial to recognize the potential downsides of excessive access that social media grants us to other people’s lives whether we use these apps for personal or business use.
Mothering Myself + Embracing Play
During my time off, I went to a salsa concert, read some books, worked out, recharged my creative energy, played video games, spent time with some of my favorite people, gained inspiration from the world around me and took my time nurturing myself similar to a mother nurturing her child. It felt so damn good.
Stepping away from the digital noise allowed me to reconnect with my mind, body and soul, find balance, and reignite old passions (hello books and reading) that reignited my creativity and purpose.
Reconnecting with Nature
As many of you know, I love me some trees. I am a full on tree lover and tree hugger and I don’t give a damn how crazy that looks or sounds to people LOL I really wish more people knew about the magic of trees and can’t emphasize the importance of reconnecting with nature enough. Trees are full of healing energy and power!
During my social media break, I spent a lot of time outdoors, immersing myself in the natural surroundings of my new neighborhood.
It has been so incredibly refreshing to document my experiences – I’ve been taking so many pictures and videos during my daily walks. I’ve seen turtles, deers, bunny rabbits, ducks, birds (so many birds!!) and I get excited every single damn time as if I’ve never seen an animal before LOL
I encourage all of you to take a break from the virtual world and appreciate the beauty of the physical world around you. No matter where you live, go outside find some trees and ground yourself. I love how nature acts as a source of inspiration and rejuvenation, reminding us to slow down and find solace in the simplicity of life.
I hope my decision to take a social media break is a reminder of the importance of nurturing ourselves, setting boundaries, connecting deeper and embracing authenticity in the digital age.
Through my journey, I hope to encourage each of you to prioritize your mental well-being, reconnect with loved ones, and find inspiration in the world around you. Taking a break off social to be more present with yourself is not only necessary but also a crucial part of our personal growth and happiness.
So…when was the last time you took a social media break? How long did you bask in the pleasure of being offline?