We are having a baby girl! #genderreveal

Double tap.

Breaking News: Three children rescued and a trafficker prosecuted.

Double tap.

Lunch break with my bae (In-N-Out burger).

Double tap.

#PrayForLondon.

Double tap.

I had become numb. Information was no longer informing me, it was anesthetizing me. Social media had become my hiding place, consumed my world, and yet bypassed my heart.

In a moment of clarity, after having spent longer than I want to admit “clearing” my instastory of new posts (my extremist side), and feeling lonelier and more pathetic than ever, I decided to take a break.

This summer, I went black… Err, that sounded different in my head. I mean I turned off my feed and used my phone to…. Talk to people. I know right? I’m basically Amish. Or just stuck in the 90’s, which actually sounds fantastic. Take me back to the days of Blockbuster, 7th Heaven, and the original double denim (never forget).

Coming off social media didn’t transport me back in time (unfortunately), but it did create space.  But the problem with phone-less space is that… It’s terrifying! It’s just like you… and space… and that’s it.

I never realized how much we fill the space between ourselves with technology.
In an elevator.
On a plane.
In an uncomfortable conversation.
During the sermon. (just me? liar.)
I didn’t realize how quickly I reached for my phone for no reason, and how anxious I got when I could no longer hide behind it.

You know where not having a space-filler sucks? Green rooms. I was in one recently while attending a conference, and it was in the middle of my (anti) social media experiment. While most people were on their phones (thank God), I had nothing to hide behind except for hummus and sparkling water. I felt offensively vulnerable.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my human skills were rusty and after one too many awkward interactions about life and marriage from people I wasn’t sure I even knew, I found the nearest exit, channeled Moses and fled.

When did green rooms become so intimidating?

When did I get so vulnerable being void of my phone??

Why did I just ask the host if I could “borrow” the bathroom?!

The truth was somewhere in first two questions… And proof was in the third.

I decided it was time to take back my humanity. I wrote myself a permission slip:

I hereby give myself permission to be the beautifully imperfect girl that lives behind the phone and off the platform, the one without the filters. I validate every memory that is made without an upload, and every day that is lived without a post. I give myself permission to be awkwardly human and passionately vulnerable.

I give myself permission to be imperfectly, beautifully, honestly human.

Signed,

Elyse Murphy.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to write ‘hereby’, I guess it felt more official. There was nothing necessarily powerful about the words, but there was something powerful about the decision I made that night. It started me on a journey to disconnect with a platform and reconnect with people. Here’s what I learned:

1.    Boundaries are a blessing

I don’t have to say yes to everything. I can say no, even if it means I don’t get tagged. It sounds pathetic to say out loud, and it probably is, but there have been times I have gone to events just so I can post something. Dear Lord, help me.

Coming off social media helped me realize the type of environments I want to be in. I want to laugh. I want to forget where my phone is. I want to look at the time and say, “When did that happen?!”

2.    You don’t have to follow all of the peoples.

This was a tough one, but one of the best moves I made. I realized so much of my time was spent scrolling, simply because I was following so many people. Most people have the self-discipline to stop after the first few scrolls, but as I mentioned I’m a little extreme. Because I know me, I knew I needed to limit the people in order to limit the time.

At first I felt like the captain of the dodgeball team during tryouts, trying to include everyone and not offend anyone. That was exhausting. But after a conversation with one of my mentors I realized that unfollowing people had nothing to do with them or my relationship with them. It was simply about me knowing me.

I’m not saying go all passive aggressive and start following and unfollowing like you’re a judge on The Voice, I’m suggesting you consider the idea of a spring clean in order to focus up and create some space.

3.    Real conversations don’t happen in the comments section

A public post is not the playground for debate. Please, take it offline. And before you shut someone down (whether by post or by reply), ask yourself, is this building a case, or a relationship?

Real conversations with authentic understanding rarely (if ever) happen in the comments section of a post. Family is not built there.

Family is built around the kitchen table when you realize the sun is coming up and you’ve been talking all night. Authenticity happens when two people are willing to look each other in the eye without having to see eye to eye. Understanding happens when we choose to listen to understanding, instead of respond.

4.    Social Media is like salt.

Social media is a lot like salt -- it’s a great enhancement but a gross main ingredient.
Often we want to blame the tool for taking over, when really we need to look at ourselves. It wasn’t social media’s fault that I stopped giving myself permission to be human. I’m back on social media now, but I’m back on my terms. It’s an enhancement to my life, it is not the main ingredient. Because salt as the main ingredient? Let's just say that's definitely not Whole 30 approved.

Maybe social media doesn’t affect you like it affects me. If not, double tap! If you’re anything like me, and comparison is a frustrating reality you face daily, maybe it’s time to go back to the 90’s for a second.

Even if just for today, give yourself permission to live without posting. Take a deep breath. Be imperfectly, beautifully, honestly, human.

Till next time.... Kisses from LA xx

 

 

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