More Social. Less Media.

Just about a year ago, I participated in a social media fast. I logged out of Instagram (and Facebook) and didn’t log back in for more than 10 days. Today I’m sharing what I learned and what I’m doing to stay focused on more uplifting social interaction—AND less drawn in by the distracting elements of instagram.

I started taking notes for today’s show when I listened to THIS PODCAST episode, where Dhru Purohit interviews Dallas Hartwig, the co-creator of Whole30. Dallas leads a 4-week program designed to help you change your relationship with media and technology to create more meaningful social interactions—he has also written a book, due out March 2020. You can learn more on Amazon.

Photo by  ROBIN WORRALL  on  Unsplash

Here are my practical tips for approaching social media with intention …
1. Schedule specific days and times when you will allow yourself to scroll social.

2. Turn off all notifications. This is an easy one!

3. Before you get on, fill in the blank, “I am hopping on to _____________.”

4. If your answer to the above statement is “scroll or catch up” then make sure you are actually engaging with people, by reading posts and thoughtfully commenting. I try to leave three comments each time I get on.

5. Be very careful about who you follow and remember that you are not obligated to follow anyone. Just because you work with them, live next door to them, know them, purchase products from them—you don’t need to follow them—especially if how they show up on social media creates thoughts and feelings that do not serve YOU well.

6. This tip is probably most important of all—practice creating nourishing (in person) interaction on a regular basis and model this for your children. Help them make plans to bring people together and then teach them how to prepare and enjoy that experience.

Here are some additional resources that I’ve enjoyed:

This TED talk by Tristan Harris. I really like the idea of bringing choice back into our relationship with technology—and specifically with social media platforms.

I’m currently listening to Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I’m not far enough along to fully understand my takeaway, but I’m super grateful that there are resources available to help us understand how technology and digital algorithms that are governing our attention.

Ultimately this episode celebrates a personal milestone for me where I’m beginning to feel confident and at peace with my social media position—I’ve spent the last year paying closer attention and abiding by these pretty specific rails that I have put in place. By far, the most powerful thing I’ve done is limit the days and times that I get on to scroll or share. This has allowed me to get clearer about WHY I’m on at all—I’ll be consolidating my three IG accounts into one, so that I can do a better job of promoting ideas and projects I care most about without giving in to the doubt, comparison and distraction that pulls me away from personal productivity.

As always, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts and feedback—here in the comments section or via the SpeakPipe button (see my sidebar), email or on my (now only) Instagram account, @stacyjulian — thank YOU for listening.