Day 1

by Mrs. Smith on May 24, 2020

Today is the first official day of my 40-Day Break from Social Media.

…Except that I totally didn’t make it the whole day. Darnit.

What happened?
Bedtime for the 7yo happened, and without even thinking, I found myself opening the browser on my phone and checking those notifications. Oh, look, I was tagged in a comment — Just gonna read it, not going to actually say anything, nope… It’s a slippery slope, friends. She asked me a question. And I really want to answer. Won’t take long. This is super helpful…

Oops. Well, I could have read it and not commented. I also could have NOT CHECKED IT AT ALL, SELF, UGH.

I totally would have left it alone, because hello, Self, what are you doing? What part of “break from facebook” was unclear?

…But old habits die hard, man, and I just did not hold up to the 7yo who likes to get out of bed half a dozen times when she goes to bed. (How do I deal with her wigglyness? Mindless scrolling, baby. That’s the secret.)


Checking that one thing, of course, opened the door to scrolling -just a tiny bit- which led to more commenting, which of course sets the stage for another fun discussion the next time I check that darn tab.

*unintelligble muttering about how lame it is that Facebook is this self-propelling entertainment beast of an obnoxicity.

*obnoxicity should be a word, y’all. It should be.


I went in to this bedtime routine, blind to the power of habit, deep in denial about any need to brace myself.

I did alright at first. La-la-la, just playing relaxing music on this phone here, la-la-la… And then she got up for the 3rd time. That’s when I cracked, in case you wanted to know. I’d already dealt with the 30 minute detour of her reeeeeeally wanting to clean up her kinetic sand.  We must needs encourage responsible behavior. And then having a really good, almost-meditative time playing with it while it was in its baggy, before it went in the box. That totally counts as bedtime story-time, right? Right. And then dealt with the major meltdown about having not eaten dinner yet. Hello, what was the 30 minutes of “cleaning up” when you could have been eating, then???? Gah, EAT BEFORE PLAY. Don’t get me started, holy cow, this happens every single night. I had also handled with incredible grace, this child intentionally wetting her bedtime pullup almost immediately after she put it on. Ommmmmmmmm, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, OMMMMMMM…

By the time we got to the third “but I need to…” that was it. Into the phone I went, to lose my mind and save my soul.

Or was it, save my mind and lose my soul?
Probably the latter. Mm-hm.

And it was worth it.

But let us not dwell on that little mishap.

No, no – let us notice what OTHER kinds of things I learned on Day 1.

I remembered this Science of Happiness course by Yale that I really am interested in running through, but haven’t seemed to find time for in the last month and a half, despite who-knows-how-many-hours spent on social media. Yay hooray for that thing resurfacing. Woot woot.

I had a really lovely time reviewing some inspirational material this morning before anyone else was up.

Journalling! Hellllllo, speaking of lovely, I had a good time today with that, yes, I did.

Noticing lots of maybe-not-as-lovely feelings that I would otherwise be numbing out by my being distracted. I shall spare you the gory details in that department, ha, but let it suffice to say that they helped me see what kinds of things are important to me and what I want to change for the better, blah blah blah, feelings are messengers, blah blah blah, they’re all neutral, all equally lovely-and-not-lovely, yeah yeah yeah.

And, of course, one of the best parts:

I FOUND YOU AGAIN, oh sweet dusty archaic blog of mine!
Oh charming acquaintance.
Oh, darling, mischievous, sneaky little space!

You’ve been sitting here waiting for so long, haven’t you? Not saying a word. Not even making me feel guilty. Just a fun hobby I used to have. Just a great outlet for a young mom who was pretending to not be totally burned out and wanted some way to document how not-burned-out she was. Ha.

Just a nice little place to post pictures once they were uploaded to the computer… Oh man, remember that?! Remember when I had a digital camera that wasn’t also my phone? It was a… Panasonic? No. Something nicer. (Dangit. What was it???) Started with an L, I think? And it took amazing pictures, but I had to actually plug it in to the computer (!) if I wanted to share them or see them on a screen bigger than like 1.5 square inches?

Dude. That was a lifetime ago.

And then remember how I had it in a diaper bag purse thing, with a bottle of breastmilk which turned out to NOT be water-tight, and it spilled all over and broke that camera???
*sniff sniff*
That was sad.

I digress.
Back to what I was saying.
Totally and completely unnecessary.
Outdated, you are.
Like Facebook almost* is, actually.
*almost. But not quite.

Now, I can easily share photos to all my everyone, swype out cutesie little captions for them and everything, all on that stupid little rectangular piece of amazing technology that I am grateful for. I can even edit said photos and make them all fancy-dancy. And videos, too! Oh, the fun filters they have now. You’d be so impressed, little blog. They even freaking make GAMES out of these filters, and the now-7-yo will play them with her cousin for…. as long as we let them, which is usually ’til the batteries die.

But social can’t quite replace you, I’m sorry. It’s just not quite the same, even if a good fb rant comes close. I *own* this space. It’s mine. I don’t own Facebook or Instagram and I don’t even have a twitter or a whateverelsethereis, and my tiktok is only for keeping track of my oldest kid, shhh, don’t tell her I said that…

I bet you knew I’d be back, didn’t you? Back to my tiny speck of webspace, just you and me. Probably not much of anybody else, actually, because hello. Who even reads blogs any more??? I mean, for reals, if I don’t share the link, is ANYONE going to see this? Probably not.

No matter that, though, because here you are! Ready to welcome me with open arms as I embark on what probably is a totally…. great idea.

Oh yes.

This break from social media is a wonderful plan. Not like that time I took a month off just to prove I could do it. Hahahahaha, no. Because I thought there was something wrong and I needed to fix it. Again, laughably silly of me, I know.

In fact, this is not really a “break from social media” as much as it is a delicious full-time dive into real life. Like a retreat where you leave to get away from everything for a while. Mm-hm. I’m “retreating” for the next 40 days – except I’m still surrounded by all kinds of “normal” life here in the weirdness that is some kind of pandemic that nobody knows what to do with but why not totally freak out and shut the world down if you have a viable reason to do so, you know?

Unlike the summer of 2018 – THIS TIME, I’m sure my little facebook fast will work out exactly like I think it should. No fanfare. No goodbyes. No see-you-laters. Cuz I just don’t care like I used to.
Or -more accurately- I care differently.

So yeah.

I’m just here at the end of the day, sending my words out into space because that’s what I do to unwind. And it feels great.

Like each letter I type
is a little black star
in a vast, empty sky
–  the cosmos, inverted –
a blank, white nothing,
the creative explosion
in each key stroke.


It’s nice to be back.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jarom Smith May 29, 2020 at 6:38 pm

I was about to reply to you on FB about this and then I realized that might not be supportive of your stated objective. So I’ll reply here.

Yes, I’m reading. You thought you were alone here, but you’re not.

And I’m responding because… the part about messing up on day 1 made me think of meditation.

In meditation, the goal is to sit there and focus on your breathing. “I’m breathing in” and then “I’m breathing out.” That’s it. Super simple. Any idiot can do it… for about 15 seconds. But it’s a lot harder to do for, say, 3 minutes. Or 5. Maybe it’s just me, but when I try to meditate, before very long (no matter how hard I try to concentrate) I find myself distracted, thinking about some stupid thing (work, or family, or whether or not I took out the trash, or did I close the drawer when I got the box of cereal? Or we’re out of toilet paper in that bathroom, I need to remember to put in another roll). You get the idea.

So what’s my point? When this happens in meditation, we don’t criticize or berate ourselves for becoming distracted. Of course we became distracted! That happens to everybody. We just note the distraction, and then return to focusing on our breathing. We just start over. No judgment. No recrimination. We just start over.

For some reason I thought that might be helpful to you with your 40 day social media retreat. If you messed up on day 1, Just start over. The same goes for any other day. Just start over.
And also, it might help to uninstall FB from your phone. You can always install it again after the 40 days are up if you want.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: