Social Media Isn't Making You Happy

26 Feb 2015

As most of you know, I’m heading off to Bali next week for an intensive 3 week yoga teacher training course. I plan on staying out there a few days after to go explore and enjoy being out of my element. There really is nothing more magical about traveling and learning new cultures, trying new foods, and meeting new people. Traveling also helps to show you who YOU are, what you want out of life, what you believe, and how to treat yourself. I have found that through all my travels over the past many years, I have learned to become more compassionate and that negative things I might think about myself really, really aren’t true/don’t matter at the end of the day.

The past few days I have been thinking that when I get to Gili Meno that I will turn off my phone, laptop, and not check anything that has to do with this social world that we live in for at least a week. I have done this once before when I was in Brazil {the first week in Rio that I was there} and I must say it was quite possibly the most rewarding thing I have done while traveling. Instead of checking Instagram, Facebook, emails, the news, Tumblr and whatever else was interesting that morning as soon as I would wake up, I would go do some yoga then head for a run on the beach, read a book while at breakfast, or complete my studies for the day. I felt so much more accomplished and happy with not only myself but with the fact that I was really enjoying where I was.

During my one week of social media freedom: diligently working

Then it all changed the following week when I finally turned on my phone. There were emails to get through, IG posts to comment back on, Facebook messages to respond to and so the downward spiral began. Instead of getting up and going for a run in this second week, I would immediately reach over, look at my phone and 40 minutes realize that I was still laying in bed and on social media! With phone in hand, I would head to breakfast and proceed to post the green juice I was drinking, the bikini shot from the day before and then constantly check to see the comments and likes. Oh boy!

Enjoying Brazil’s Carnival, sans any social media posts

We love sharing our lives with others. Posting photos and status updates about where we are on Facebook, edited photos on Instagram, Tweets, Snapchats, Vine videos…you name it- there is a social media that we all use in today’s day and age. I totally get this because as a professional traveler, it can get rather lonely while on the road when you are alone. This is why sharing our lives is a very cool thing; it makes us not feel so alone. There is also the other factor that we like showing off and through that, we post the coolest photos of what we do and only the best photos of ourselves. It’s a false world that we show off to others, and I’ll be there first to admit this. We never post photos or status updates about ourselves when we aren’t wearing makeup, or without the best lighting, maybe when we are feeling down and don’t want to talk to others. We tend to post things that will make others jealous of our lives. Now I’m not saying there is anything inherently wrong with this, I’m just saying that when you really think about what you are posting, are you giving a TRUE projection of your world?

Once I turned my phone back on, of course I had to instagram this.

There is a side part to this, that social media is a wonderful thing and I will be the first to admit it! But there is also a side that allows us to get jealous easier and think bad about our own lives. There are many people I follow on Instagram and when I see the amazing photos they post, how many followers they have, how much they travel, etc. I find myself getting down on myself. But seriously, how silly is this?! We all have unique beautiful lives and can get side tracked so easily by the shiny things of someone else’s life instead of focusing on being the best WE can be. Just remember, that person you spend hours stalking will most likely be doing the same thing with someone else.

Anyways, I get side tracked. My point was this. As I woke up this morning, I did the usual: check phone to see what time it is, check emails, check Facebook, then Instagram, where I managed to look at the most random people looking at their beautiful photos. Then Tumblr. Honestly, about 35 minutes later I was still laying in bed and thinking how much valuable time I had just wasted. I could have done some morning stretches. I could have read my yoga book. I could have gone for a run. Or even just go up to make a tea and start my day.

So it was there and then that this blog post came rushing into my head and as I finally sit here at my desk with my tea, I have completely decided that for at least the first week while I am in Bali I will not post anything on social media. I won’t even turn on my phone. And I have never been so excited about doing this!

My question to you, my dear reader, is this: does this sound like you at all? Do you post on social media to show the best of your life, but never the worst? Do you find yourself checking your phone constantly to see how many likes or comments your have received? Do you waste precious time on your phone instead of doing what you need to be doing? Or do you check your phone often while with friends?

If the answer is yes to any of these, have you ever thought about taking a small break from social media or your phone? Even if you make a small resolution of not checking your phone before 10am, it’s a chance to enjoy this beautiful life we live in…in 3D! So I challenge you to put your phone away, not check facebook while at work, and have real conversations with people in real life for at least one day. Your social bubble will survive and still be there when you are back, I promise 🙂

With love,

Nikki

PS- Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for updates while I’m in Bali, including photos, how the yoga training is, and so much more! Click HERE to sign up.

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