Confession #1: I spend hours on social media each and every single day…..HOURS.
Confession #2: My index finger hurts from constant swiping. My fingers hurt from typing. And my hand hurts from holding my iPhone and iPad.
Confession #3: We are all GUILTY of this……you are, aren’t you?
So social media is a huge part of our lives. We can’t deny that fact. From liking Instagram photos to replying to Facebook comments – social media is kind of a big deal. A big deal that’s causing big problems with our health and attention spans. And it’s not going away.
I could tell you that I will give up social media cold turkey, but that’s also never going to happen.
I’m a freelance social media strategist and manager – so my life is basically all things social media. And more importantly, I’m also a blogger – which means my audience is out there on the inter webs. But you know what’s happening as I recklessly browse all night long? I get tired, uninspired, and I stay up all night long because I’ve been staring at a bright screen for the past 3 hours. All things considered, I think that I need to rethink the way I am spending my time on social media.
The way we spend our time has changed drastically in the past couple of years. People like you and I are spending time around electronics, indoors, or working our life away. So when it comes to having some downtime from a long day at work, the easiest thing to do is stream some Netflix and chill….on our phones, that is. It’s a sad truth with bad consequences.
How Social Media Affects Our Health
- It reinforces addictive behavior (waiting for likes/comments)
- We compare – causing low self esteem (comparing likes/comments)
- Restlessness (bright screens keeping us up at night)
- Rise to cyberbullying (we hide behind profiles)
- Increases multitasking (we have all the platforms open at the same time)
- It makes us unhappy (see all of the above)
Did you know there was even a Facebook Addiction Scale? Me neither. Check out this article.
But hey – social media isn’t ALL too bad. We love to socialize and express ourselves creatively via these platforms. Some of my best blogging buddies were found on social media! So social media is a great way to connect.
But what if we take a step back to help ourselves become less #socialobssessed ?
If you were a shy and awkward kid (like me) you probably enjoyed reading. Heck, maybe you enjoyed reading no matter what kind of kid you were. Do you remember a story that captivated you? Motivated you? Or inspirited you? Do you remember spending hours reading instead of swiping on your phone?
I remember. I remember getting the Harry Potter books the day they were published. Running down the stairs in my pajamas at 6 in the morning just to pick up the book that was waiting on my front porch steps. For the rest of the day I spent every single minute glued to the book. I took it with me to breakfast, then outside, then to lunch. One time my mother told me to put the books down and go swimming (we had a small swimming pool for a while) and I took it on a pool floaty! Yes – I was obsessed.
There was a time when we used to spend more time learning and imagining worlds from wonderful books. That time is not lost. And I don’t want you to get uninspired, tired, or physically hurt from swiping. Kicks your figurative butt – it really does!
Last night I got so fed up with my Instagram glitching (damn you apple updates) and I just turned to my mother and said:
Why haven’t I read a damn thing in months? I just spent 4 hours scrolling….what the heck am I doing?!
I got up, paused the Netflix, put down my phone, and made a list of books I wanted to read. And from that spur of frustration and social media burnout came the #ReadMoreSwipeLess Reading Challenge.
How It Works
For the next 30 days I want you to vow to read 1 book.
Yep, just 1 book. But here’s the catch:
Read this book the moment you get the urge to check your Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Periscope – whatever
Now I’m not saying don’t check these things at all – but rather make an effort NOT to check them, if possible. One way it can be done is by carrying 1 book with you wherever you go. This book can fit in your purse, be on your kindle, or simply next to the coffee table on the couch. Just have it nearby.
What we’re doing here is eliminating the need to constantly swipe your phone. Your time can be better spent! If you’re not the book type and this challenge isn’t for you, then that’s ok too. Just go and do something else beside browse social media.
Like cooking? Great! Bake something new. Like Jogging? Even better. The point is – don’t give in.
Don’t give in to the temptation to swipe. Reward your brain with a little break and pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read – or re-read!
To Help You On Your Way
To help you get into the spirit or #readmoreswipeless I’ve created a fun little giveaway and reading list! Join others who are taking the vow to read more!
The Book List
Here are a few titles that you might be interested in!
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Waves by Virginia Woolf
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works 2nd Edition by William Shakespeare
Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics) by Emily Brontë
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , Parts I & II by J.K Rowling (NEW)
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
The Secret Garden by Josephine Bailey
1984 by George Orwell
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
If you’re looking for some more suggestions I highly recommend doing the Rory Gilmore reading challenge! She’s basically the chicest book worm ever. Find the reading challenge here.
I am giving away a $50 Barnes & Noble GiftCard to one lucky reader (haha, get it?)
Two ways to enter this giveaway: one of them is at my Instagram (here) the other is right on this blog post! If you entered the IG giveaway it does not count as a second submission if you enter via the blog post.
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Leave a comment below with your favorite book title or what book you are planning to read! Simple as that!
Do you plan on joining our #ReadMoreSwipeLess Reading Challenge? Leave a comment below with your favorite book title or something you want to read! Let’s get a bigger list going!