Some thoughts on social media – that seemingly inescapable presence in modern life – and why I’ve decided to take a social media sabbatical.

Facebook icon on an eye: social mediaAs we move towards the Equinox (on 23rd September) – one of the two points of balance of light & dark in the year – I find myself drawn to slowing down and reflecting on what’s important in my life and where to focus my precious energy and time…

And I’ve come to the conclusion that one aspect of modern life which just isn’t suiting me is the relentless pressure to share and interact on social media.

So this week I decided to take a social media sabbatical. I’ve taken the Facebook and Instagram apps off my phone. I’m not saying it’s forever. And there are a few Facebook groups I’ll stick want to check in with…

But phew! It feels such a relief. A deep, long, releasing exhale. Ah that’s better!

How does social media use you?

What’s your relationship with social media like?

Do you use it? Does it use you? Do you find it useful? Does it nourish your soul?

My answers to these question are: Yes; YES it monkeys with my brain; no that much any more; and a resounding NO!

This stuff is designed to be addictive; to get you spinning the roulette wheel of refreshing your feed to see something new; to get the dopamine hit of likes and notifications; to get you spending as much time on there so you’re exposed to as many ads as possible AND (more disturbingly) to gather as much data and psychological profiling about you as possible so Facebook can keep the $billions rolling in.

I’ve been noticing my attention span has felt pretty shot of late and my nervous system all jangled, and the reaching out “just to have a quick check” felt like the actions of an addict.  And, I’m sad to say, the ratio of genuine connection to restless disappointment is just not worth the stress.

Just look at the flowers!

But the thing that pushed me to make this decision? The last straw? I was sitting in my garden, enjoying the late-summer flowers this week and I felt this pull to jump up, get my phone and post a picture of the flowers on Instagram.

Instead of following the urge, I sat with it and asked “why?”. “How would this be adding to the sum of human joy?! How does feeling I can’t enjoy something beautiful in front of me without feeling the urge to take a picture for social media contribute to MY joy?” And the conclusion I came to is that it isn’t and it doesn’t.  And the decision was made.

Time for a break…  Time to give my nervous system some rest. Time to look within and connect to inner peace and time to step outside and connect with nature, instead of being bombarded with feelings of FOMO, comparisonitis and irritation.

Sensitive to social media

If you feel like this too, please know you’re not alone!

We high sensitives are going to find social media more toxic than most.

As well as the noise and bluster and click-bait titles and disturbing images affecting us deeply, we can also feel the energy behind the posts. The need to be seen. The need for approval and validation. The dishonesty and/or manipulation of adverts. The cruelty and unkindness. Ouch.

Social Suffocation

I don’t often share my poetry (yet!), but I’d like to share this poem with you, which I actually wrote a couple of years ago. It pretty much sums up where I’m at with social media. It may resonate with you.

Social suffocation

Static. Hum. Crackle.
I click the icon and fall into the howling desperation to be seen.
It pulls me, pulls me, pulls my mind apart.
Click, scroll, compare.
Click, scroll, despair.
While wishing, yearning for a click, scroll, connect … which so rarely comes. 

Static. Hum. Crackle. Scream.
Fills my mind.
It draws me in and disgusts me
Feeling weak-willed and addicted. 

Static. Hum. Crackle. Howls.
Look at me! Look at me! 
Please, look at me!
Affirm my existence with your likes.

Static. Hum. Crackle.
I don’t need this in my life.
Exhale. Switch off. Walk away.
Connect with someone I love, face to face and heart to heart.
Peace, peace, peace.

Honesty and courage

Now, I realize that this doesn’t feel the most upbeat of posts!

But I trust you appreciate my honesty in a world full of dishonestly easy answers. (And I know we HSPs aren’t afraid of big issues and deep conversations.)

Sometimes I feel you just need to look at what isn’t working in your life with courage and honesty and then take positive action.

So, coming off social media may seem like a negative action because perhaps I’m turning my back on something and rejecting it.

But to me it feels like the most important self-care practice I have undertaken this year.

It’s a choice I have taken: to step off the treadmill of habit to embrace a simpler, more soulful and nurturing way of life.

So, dear soul friend, I invite you, if you wish, to embrace the energy of this season – to reflect and let go – and if there’s something in your life you know you need a break from, be inspired and take courage that you CAN make that change.

I believe in you.
I believe in you and me and all of us.
I believe that your true nature is joy.
So do what you can to embrace it!

About Stella

Stella Tomlinson - Living in Rhythm - movement, yoga, meditation, relaxation, stillness, inner peace

Hi, I’m Stella Tomlinson and I guide highly sensitive women to live with peace & purpose.

I work with highly sensitive, intuitive women like you, who feel overwhelmed, frustrated and misunderstood and I help you to find the calm, ease and confidence you yearn for so you can live with peace and purpose.

I’ll guide you to reconnect to the inner intuitive guidance available to you through the sacred temple of your body; the wise whispers of your heart and soul; and the divine feminine energies of the seasons and cycles of life as a grounded spiritual practice.

And in doing so you’ll find clarity of mind, grounded inner peace, self-acceptance, a confident mindset, spiritual nourishment, and you’ll feel in flow with life.

I am a Priestess of the Goddess Brighid (in training), an experienced Dru Meditation & Yoga teacher, a writer (author of ‘Peace Lies Within’), and an energy worker/healer. I offer heart-healing meditation & yoga classes, and Soul Space for Sensitives events in Hampshire, UK. View of all my upcoming events here

Why I’ve left social media
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