I rarely go on Facebook anymore, and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself in terms of how disciplined I felt I was being about it. However, I didn’t realize that I had basically replaced the time sink of Facebook with a forum.
I gain so much from the forum and the wonderful people there. I credit it with saving my hair. I will forever be grateful to the forum participants and will someday return to participating at it. But when I happened upon this blog post by Jane of the blog Single Devotion, I found myself nodding my head up and down: I could DEFINITELY stand to improve how much time I was spending on social media.
So I took the needed steps: I made it so that I can’t visit most of the pages of the forum, and I began reclaiming more of my time for in-person interactions. For example, I reconnected with a Meetup group of women that I really enjoy. And already I’m so excited about upcoming Meetups with them. We’ll be getting together at the spa and cutting up on the dance floor, and if I know these ladies like I think I do, a good time will be had by all.
Three Ways We Increase Our Happiness
The great thing about having these social events on my calendar is that they already directly contribute to an increased level of happiness. This is what Valerie Burton explains in her book “Happy Women Live Better.” I turns out that we can INCREASE OUR HAPPINESS by (1) anticipating happy times, (2) experiencing happy times, and (3) remembering happy times. Each of these three things make us happy, not just the second one (experiencing happy events)! What’s cool about that is that the first and the third activities are mental activities and completely free!
It’s easier to anticipate happy times that are actually pending–that you’ve put on your calendar. I started small: I put 3 social events on my calendar for the month of May. And though I restricted my ability to post to the forum I mentioned above, I still permit myself to browse and did not cut it out cold turkey. I’m enjoying the forum so much more now that I’m more balanced about how I spend my time. I feel zero stress and guilt about how much time I’m on the computer versus how much time I’m interacting face-to-face with folks, and that feels wonderful.
Turning Regular Events into Socially-Rejuvenating Events
Social meetups aren’t the only way to shift from social media to in-person connection. For example, though I hardly ever go to the hair salon anymore (because I do my hair myself as it’s kind of one of the “rules” long-haired naturals gave me for reaching serious lengths), I am super, super excited about an upcoming hair appointment I’ve made at a new-to-me salon. I will be getting a scalp exfoliation, a scalp treatment, a deep conditioning treatment, a steam treatment, a silk press, and a trim. Ooooooo laaaa laaaa: The royal treatment. 😀 (My last trim was back in December, so it’s about that time. It’ll be good to have someone else’s eyes on my ends and to let me know whether my hair care practices are rendering my hair as healthy as I think it is.)
Besides the boost to my hair, I anticipate that going to the salon will boost my spirits. At the salon I will meet new ladies that share a common passion–the care, health, retention, and styling of natural hair. Interacting with NEW people will broaden my knowledge base and cause me to rethink what I think I know about natural hair care. (I tend to be a little resistant to hearing advice about afro-textured hair from too many sources, so I’m going to have to work to bring an open mind. 😉 Should be good, though.)
What Are Your Thoughts?
What about you? Do you feel you could spend less time on social media? Could you turn your next facial or mani-pedi into a socially rejuvenating event by say, going with your mom or daughter or a good friend? Instead of grocery shopping hurriedly (by yourself, like it’s a chore), could you make it a fun mommy-son date during which you teach him about consumer math and budgeting and so forth? Is there a safe meetup on Meetup.com that you keep putting off joining? When will you join and meetup?
Please share your thoughts in the comments, and as always, thanks for visiting. Many blessings to you and yours!