When I was a kid back in the nineteen seventies, we had society, and social gatherings, yes there was media, but social media was still a gleam in some programmer’s mind, not reality just yet. Me personally I did not get near Facebook or Twitter or any social media platforms until about 2014, and if you view my resume you will see I have been in and out of IT for many decades. I wasn’t on social media sites because, well, quite frankly I was just doing other stuff, reading, writing, yes building websites, selling things, searching for love, etc. In this post we will talk about a very controversial experience but not in a way that should upset anyone, let’s just use good old fashioned common sense and natural principles that work!
Today I was reading (and teaching) part of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to someone, as per the author’s instructions, and we covered the “Character Ethic”, again, verses the “Personality Ethic”. One of the items listed for the character ethic is “industry”, I take it to mean work, and not always for money but in getting tasks done, which has always been extremely important to me despite my lack of abilities and or my disabilities that often prevent me from so doing. If we look up the definition of industry it does say “hard work”, and now I have officially gone back to public work, I hope to get my part time public job soon, I am certainly excited about it!!
Habits are what makes us or breaks us, we can either take time off after each relationship when they end, to manage on our own emotional state and well being, or we can dangerously rebound all over the place and not only mess up our lives but everyone else’s around us too. We can wake up and drink a minimum of half of our body weight in ounces of good clean filtered water in a day, or we can sip on bottles and not track it and not know or care. You have the choice of reading on the internet, sharing on social media, or creating your content that you own and have legal rights to. These are all choices and just a few examples, technically we never HAVE to do anything, it’s been said we are free up to the point of choice, and that is solid truth!
Our attention can only be focused on one thing at a time, as much as we all love to believe we are the ultimate multi tasker, this means we need to make wise decisions about what we do with our minutes. While I realize much business may be generated through the correct use of social media, I think human nature might be to sort of drag our personal lives into the fray as well, and this can be quite time consuming. What makes more sense to me is limiting our time on social media sites, so we can focus on tasks offline or online, that might actually produce something, like money, or an in person meeting, or buying another piece of rental property, or reading about health and fitness.
Last year, in the fall, I decided to change two of my habits, one was driving at or slightly above the speed limit and not driving correctly, the other was discontinuing and completely stopping any and all posting of comments or images or anything on any and all social media sites. Now, I drive at the speed limit or five to ten miles an hour below it, and use my cruise control to assist me, this has translated into much less anxiety while driving (and more safety and awareness), and has actually changed the way I drive completely. Since I stopped posting anything and everything on any and all social media sites, I have spent much less time on them, this change means I now have a lot more free time to get tasks done off line and here on this website.
To detox just means to detoxify, or remove something, typically we think of chemicals when discussing it but people can get hooked and strung out or addicted to just about anything! We all know the best way to detox from something is never start the addiction in the first place, but these things can get out of hand quick, especially when they seem as friendly, family oriented, “safe”, and innocuous as social media. Depending on how much time we spend on social media will determine just how difficult or prolonged the process of decreasing that time might be. Dave Ramsey the financial guru says we can either rip the band aid off fast, or we can pull it off painfully slow, I like to opt for the former. Cold turkey may be painful but it can certainly be extremely powerful!
Look, how many times have you logged onto Facebook with the innocent intentions of just saying hello to someone, next thing you know, the clock says its been two hours since you started your session?? Easy to do right?? I know, that is one of the reasons I never plugged into it in the first place, as of this writing I have completely shattered any and all traces of any Facebook problem or addiction I might have had. Due to the fact that my habit has changed, now if I log in, I have posted nothing, and there are zero “friends”, so I look at what I need to see, and generally log back off in 1 minute or less, if I catch myself staying any longer my radar goes off and tells me, then I log off. I just don’t “have time” for Facebook, they don’t pay me any money, so what is the use??? HAHA!!
Head down in the phone?? Neck hurting and stiff?? Feeling a little over anxious?? How is your depression today?? Was your profile or account hijacked or hacked?? Are you burning up and just HAVE to leave a comment?? Did you see someone do something and now you are going to tell someone else?? Do you consider yourself an internet sleuth or investigator?? Keeping tabs on your “children” who are now 33 year old adults?? I know, you just want to do what everyone else is doing right?? Your in love with traveling and everyone is going to know it?? The company you work for does social media background searches?? We can all come up with hundreds of reasons for creating a Facebook or Instagram account but, about the wisest thing I ever read on any social media site was “the details of other people’s lives do not interest me”. You go man!!
Please don’t get me wrong, people matter, what we say matters, it is fun sometimes to look at photos of old classmates or flames or distant family members, but if it sucks up two hours of your day while the dirty dishes are piled up and your laundry needs washing then it might just be a problem. There are only 24 hours in a day, we should be in the bed sleeping for at least 8 of those, that leaves 16, deduct another 2 hours to get ready in the mornings and to go to bed and we have 14 hours, minus 1 hour commute time and 9 hours at work and we are down to 4 hours, we still need to eat food, and exercise, and continue our educations, and look at our finances, and work on our businesses, and maintain our assets, and work on our houses, and love people, and have fun, and read our bibles and self help books, and travel, and so much more.
Having a mentor or multiple mentors and also accountability partners has proven to be astronomically beneficial for me, currently and in the past. Mentors help us stay on track, we find people who are successful and we admire, they share and teach us, in turn we mimic what they are doing, bingo, we get some success too! Traction! Surround yourself with successful people, it will rub off on us, hang out with the reactive blaming addicted depressed slaves, and before long you will be one also, the choice is yours, it may mean we need to go it alone for a while, but success has a way of rewarding the courageous and brave. No, I am not trying to be harsh, I love all people, no matter their social or financial class, but bills need to be paid, what does your balance sheet and cash flow chart look like, that is the question. They say success waits for no one, that means, get MOVING and GO, NOW!!
A couple of years ago I completely deactivated my entire cell phone service for about 60 days, that really helped my issues with social media and I mean a lot. Make a list of all your plans, goals, timelines, and dreams, because a goal without a timeline is just a dream and it may never come true. Schedule the next week of time, day by day and hour by hour, and fit tasks inside those blocks, when it ends move on to the next task, don’t over think this, it is not that complicated or difficult. If we sit around doing essentially nothing, we will gain exactly nothing, if we put time into tasks that further our education, our businesses, our love lives, and our health, then those areas will flourish. Focus is a skill, one that you and I both can develop!! Learn how to say no instead of yes to so many tasks that take us away from what is truly important, and for the average American family, money has become very important because of all the debt.
As an individual, as a family, as a neighborhood, as a town or city, as a state, as a social media group, and as a nation we need to learn to say NO to credit cards, no to exorbitant student loans, no to car payments, no to unplanned medical bills, no to family loans, no to being a slave employee that is underpaid and over worked, no to mortgages we can’t afford, no to living check to check on two incomes instead of one, no to so much consumerism and materialism, no to addictions we can’t break, no to the top 1% by striving to replace at least one of them, and no to everyone who wants us to give our time away for free. As we learn in the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, we need to “mind our own business” by starting our own businesses!!
Other tips for staying off social media and focusing on your bottom line and love life and health are: try deactivating some of your accounts for a while, tell family members and friends what you are doing and ask them to hold you accountable, I know this sounds harsh but delete lots of images after you download them or just forget about them and do it anyway because you make make new memories, stop commenting and refrain yourself and use discretion, get a worn out or old chair and sit in it at the computer as it will remind you to stand up and take a break, use a timer that goes off every 15 minutes and then go do a task offline, spend more time in nature, take up writing, create your own blog and have fun with it, work on your new business, go to a local meet up and make new friends, start a new hobby, there are so many ways to stay off social media sites.
You wouldn’t hang out with people shooting heroin would you?? Why would you help someone break into a house?? I know your not an abductor are you?? Criminals lurk around in the shadows of the real world, and they are prolific on Facebook and social media and dating sites, just think, every single time we log in we are supporting the platform that they use, which in my opinion is just wrong on so many levels. Don’t be sneaky or aloof, don’t give away your time, don’t attack people online, don’t use anonymous hate speech online, don’t lie about what you are doing, don’t be aggressive and drive above the speed limits, don’t tailgate people on the road, don’t bully the disabled or the elderly or women and children, don’t support criminal activity, don’t believe you are a detective and work for the police, mind your own business and be productive.
Feel free to write us at our P.O. Box which can be found in our contact page, we will read your mail and possibly respond, please be kind and authentic and an adult. We love to work, and we do all kinds of odd jobs others have no interest in, like cleaning up cluttered houses, hauling off junk, doing IT work, planning events, helping people start their own business, learning how to destroy the 5K run, and or our expedited van delivery services. We are open for business, and would sure appreciate yours, you can log off social media and reclaim your time, your schedule, your future, your friendships, your love life, your bank account, and your future!!! Have a wonderful day and thank you again, so much, stop by for more inspirational blog posts!!!
Marc White CEO MCP USN-RET