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What I Discovered When I Took A Social Media Cleanse

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by ABC through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about ABC Selfie, all opinions are my own.

My oldest son has been asking when his birthday is going to come practically everyday for the past 4 months. He has been obsessed with making his birthday list and showing and voicing it to everyone. After several weeks, we had enough of his behavior and told him his behavior was not appropriate and ungrateful therefore he would not have a birthday party on his birthday. Instead we were going to do a day of service- I know it sounds cheesy but when we start helping others our attitude seems to change.

Our day started by reading a book to his Babba and emailing her the video and then writing a thank you note to his Primary teacher for all the preparation she does to teach his class. Then he chose for our family to go to the zoo because Daddy had not yet been there to see the animals. We found ourselves at Target and the two youngest kids were fast asleep in their car seats. We had promised our son that he could pick something out for his birthday as well as perform some random acts of kindness to unsuspecting Target customers. Somehow I got stuck waiting in the car with our two sleeping babes- talk about torture! Being so close to my favorite store and not being able to go in. To pass the time I read some articles, caught up on Instagram and Facebook and perused Pinterest for inspiration on the million projects I wanted to complete. What did we all do before without my phone? I was hoping one of my kids would wake up so I could go in and see my son in action. I had already witnessed a change in attitude as he started thinking less of himself and more about what others wanted that morning. It was small but significant. And me being a documenting freak held myself back from any picture taking. I wanted to keep these special and sacred moments to myself.

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A couple of weeks ago, I watched the pilot of this show, Selfie, on ABC about a girl named Eliza Dooley- a social media maven who thrives on all the likes and comments she gets on her social media channels. Every moment is a perfect picture opportunity, a moment which in turn takes her away from living in that moment ignoring her surroundings as well as those surrounding her. One of her coworkers offers to help make over her image after it is destroyed by a viral internet fiasco- starting with her inner image. Not gonna lie- I love the likes and comments I get on my social media accounts. It is sort of a visual appreciation for the awesome meal you cooked, the stylish clothes you wore or how cute your kids look eating ice cream.

Although comically presented in the show, I saw those Instagram worthy moments a little differently. I took a day to be completely off the grid- a social media cleanse if you will- to enjoy my life without the distractions of the notification pop ups. This was incredibly difficult for me as my work is based off of using social media. I avoided Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, turned phone on vibrate and even avoided my camera phone. Was I more productive during the day? Possibly. But I definitely felt a little more fulfilled. That one less thing freed my mind to do things for myself, for my kids- things no one else would see. These special moments, although probably mundane to some, were just our moments. We built castles and spaceships with blocks. My daughter and I had one on one time where I just read her stories on the floor. She relished in being the center of attention and I relished in her smiles- not for the camera but for me. I watched and played with my kids at the playground but with a different set of eyes- one that just wanted to suck everything in. That isn’t to say when I am not “off the grid” I don’t pay attention to my kids. I do. And I love spending time with them, watching them play and get the courage to try new things. Obviously it is only natural to want to share those happy moments and even some vulnerable moments with others. It is natural to want to connect with others through experiences and I love that about social media. I have been able to reconnect, develop and strengthen relationships I’ve made with friends on the internet. And I love sharing part of my life with those friends. I’d like to and will keep on sharing those moments-happy and sad- but I’d also like to keep certain moments-those moments where I really 100% encompassed it all in- all for myself.

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social-media-cleanse_2If you’d like to get a few good laughs and get some of those a-ha moments, tune in to ABC on Tuesday, Sept 30th 8pm/7pm Central to watch Selfie. So that brings me back to my earlier question, what would you do without your phone for an entire day?

P.S. The pictures are not of the day I did the social media cleanse- I didn’t take any pictures that day as I wanted to 100% immerse myself in a deeper cleanse of being distraction free for a day.