It started off as something I only did in moments of needing mild distraction. I’d post something online for my business, take a quick look around at what my friends were doing on social media, then get offline and back to work. But then my “quick look” turned into longer and longer stretches of time. One day in particular I calculated that I spent four hours on social media — half my work day.
It became a natural part of my day. But I realized that the longer I spent doing it, the worse I felt about my life. I began to wonder why I kept coming back when it made me feel so bad. It wasn’t even about “staying connected” anymore.
In an effort to find out what I was actually doing with this time, I decided to take a seven-day inventory of what happened in the moments prior to every incident of autopilot-social media activity. It didn’t even take 48 hours before I realized I browsed for hours at a time as a pressure and anxiety release valve. Because, when it came to an area of my life where I had great insecurity and doubt, my “friends” seemed completely secure: financial success in their businesses.
I’d read through months of newsfeed updates and seen pictures of people whose profiles delivered the promise and dream of what life might look like if I could figure out “success and money” too. I’d examined their well-manicured and perfectly presented lives, how many people “liked,” “hearted,” or “shared” their updates and compared myself unforgivingly to their ever-increasing popularity and social media fame.
Now I’m not saying financial success is my only metric for success in life. However, when it comes to running a business in its infancy, it is one of the first indicators that helps you determine if your business is viable or not.
My other personal metrics for success in life include:
- Playing full out (did I go BIG?).
- Risking my fears coming true in pursuit of making my dreams come true.
- Feeling fully alive.
- Making extraordinary choices in the face of challenges.
- Giving and receiving more than I thought I could.
Finally, one day I told myself: Kristen this social media madness has got to stop. So I set up a 40-day detox.