I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my phone, two social media platforms that allow me to scroll and mindlessly read for hours. I do check them on the computer, but on my phone, I’ve only kept Instagram, Whatsapp, Telegram (all notifications are silenced). When I walk the dog or go groceries’ shopping, the phone stays home. It’s part of a new routine of taking care of myself, especially my neck, my spine and my self-confidence.
What are you checking your phone for?
The question my coach asked me was this: What information does my mobile phone provide while I walk the dog? What do I fear to lose if I am not connected at all times? And why do I do this to my neck?
Staring down at your phone is bad for your eyes – and for your neck. Tilting the head 15º the force on your neck increases from 4 kg to 12kg – that’s a lot of pressure for very little content.
Still, health issue notwithstanding – leaving my phone at home is difficult. If I don’t have the phone to distract me, what do I do, alone with my dog and my thoughts? It’s scary to engage with myself and maybe figure out stuff that I don’t want to figure out about myself. What if I remember things I am desperately trying to not think about?
Me, myself, and my thoughts
So far, the experience has been bearable, maybe even interesting. I’ve started running again without audio distraction – no music nor podcasts. Just my breath, my rhythm and I, letting my mind wander, doubt and struggle where necessary. And it is doing me good. I managed to get out of most of those depressive thoughts of a few weeks back. It turns out that I can stand myself – and sometimes I even enjoy my own company, without distractions.
To be me, I have to listen to myself, with compassion and realism. It is the only way to discover and define my limits, to be faithful to myself. My challenge is to connect with the world without losing myself. Hiding isn’t an option anymore.
In an interesting twist of fate, getting away from social media might be the catalyst to daring myself to show up and be seen more often.