5 Things You Can Do Instead of Social Media (Facebook Disabled My Account and I’m Thankful!)

Oh my goodness! 

It’s going to be Christmas soon, then New Year, and I still haven’t blogged about the things I’ve always wanted to blog about (like the happiest Halloween we’ve ever had)! As usual, so many joyful and exciting things have happened and continue to happen in my life for which I am very much thankful! I’m living my dream beach life and each and every day I try my best to spend it as if it were my last but without sacrificing my health too much this time around (hence, I’m not forcing myself to stay awake and do more than what my 16 waking hours would permit) coz health is one thing that we really treasure the most these days plus, at this day and age, it could really be our last with Covid around and this endless pandemic!

Anyway, it’s a blessing in disguise that Facebook disabled my account last Friday night just because I was posting photos of Mahal and Tuz in a five-star resort bathtub! They weren’t fully naked and I didn’t know bathtub photos were not allowed so I immediately deleted the post only to be disabled afterward. I can’t post, I can’t comment, I can’t react… and it’s going to be for a week! Argh! Has this happened to you before? What did you do? 

On the other hand, now that I’m free from the black hole that is Facebook, for a week at least, (and inadvertently in Instagram as well because I post the same things on both platforms, and being the O.C. person that I am, I don’t want to post on Instagram without posting on my FB as well, lol!), I find myself with so much free time that I now think would be better used in other productive things. In fact, getting off social media made me feel like I am living my life more, feeling everything more, being in the moment more. Isn’t that amazingly crazy? So thank you, Facebook, for disabling my account! 

Before this incident, I try to get offline during weekends so I can devote more time to being with my family, having fun, going off somewhere exciting, or simply just spending time with my hobbies — vegetable gardening, playing with my guitar, reading books, etc. But this time around, I was really FORCED to stay offline and it’s amazing how it did wonders to my psyche! It really makes me think how we don’t need to be on social media AT ALL, lol! For one, I finished all my client work on time last Friday; I got to spend more time with Mahal during the weekend because he is off to Cagayan de Oro tonight to take care of some farm stuff in Claveria; plus I got to process my feelings about it sooner rather than later. 

Why do I have to process my feelings, you ask? Well, I had so many worries about him heading to Cagayan de Oro because we still choose to be “unvaccinated” until now (Pls. don’t judge us but in our opinion, until real vaccines are developed for Covid-19, meaning, vaccines that will make one permanently safe from Covid without any rare harmful side effects like blood clots and heart attacks, unlike the ones we have now that are still experimental for 2-3 years, we will take our chances. Add to that the fact that we now have a number of people we know who got jabbed and died after [aside from my grandfather last June], and a lot of us in the family already got Covid and survived to think we are all unvaxxed. So… )

Anyway, I cried for a bit when I found out he has to go to Cagayan de Oro to take care of some land he owns. I’m not used anymore to being away from him. The last time this happened was when he would go up the mountains to develop another land he bought. This was months ago and I’m glad it hasn’t happened again yet, until this trip to CDO. LDR, no matter how short the distance, is really not my cup of tea. He will be with his elder brother so at least, that’s a relief. He won’t be alone and they’ll take care of the things they need to take care of together. I hope they get to do everything in a jiffy and without any hassle so they can come back home soon. They have all the requirements they need and I’m hoping IATF rules won’t be drastically changing any time soon. 

So anyway, back to my unexpectedly having this extra time. Just to give you an idea, posting photos on my personal FB, FB page, Instagram + looking for quotes or thinking of captions + uploading stories already take about 20-30 minutes per batch. So if I post, say, every 10 am, 12 pm, 3pm, 7pm every day, that’s already about almost 2 hours of just posting stuff on my social media. It doesn’t yet include reacting to other posts, replying to comments, looking at my feeds, and answering messages. All in all, that’s already probably about 3-4 hours of my life in a day just taking care of my own social media stuff. And those hours are unpaid, mind you! Blame it on the dopamine in my brain getting triggered every time I post. Suffice it to say I derive a little pleasure from it and I know that it’s something that I really either need to delegate to someone else or really lessen and streamline in the future so I don’t spend so much unpaid time for it. 

This is also why I don’t post in real-time. Social media takes so much time and energy that I don’t want to miss out on what’s really happening offline, in real life. If we are vacationing somewhere, I only use my phone to take pictures and videos. I then put it away so I can enjoy the priceless vacation moments with my loves! I stay off social media. Posting will just start to happen once we are already home and I just incorporate my posting activities into my other activities (like when I’m in the toilet, haha; when I walk or jog; when I rest and get a massage, etc). This way, I won’t feel like I’m being unproductive or wasting my time. But still, the effort I spend on it takes a toll on my energy levels that at the end of the day, even if I still have a little extra time left, I no longer have the energy to do more productive things. I always end up watching Netflix instead, or mindlessly scrolling my social media feeds until I fall asleep. Tsk, tsk. Bad, bad, bad!

So what other things did I do and continue to do now that I find myself offline? It’s amazing how many other more useful and productive things replaced my social media activities. These things have always been on my list of to-do’s but they keep getting put on the back burner because of lack of time and energy. Now I know why. 

Anyway, here are some of the things I now have more time for… and what’s amazing is that these activities end up giving me more energy rather than depleting it such that I had to start incorporating winding down activities at the end of my day to help me sleep! If this is something you’ve been wanting to do too but have been remiss in doing because you kept being sucked into the social media black hole, perhaps now is the time. Here’s my list:  

1. Meditation

  • Before, I always find myself reaching for my phone upon waking up and immediately checking my social media notifications. I was aware that this was a bad habit, but I still continued to mindlessly do it until I can somehow force myself to stop. Since I got disabled, I no longer reach for my phone first thing upon waking up. I now do a different morning routine which includes more time for meditation. It sets the tone of my day right and I find myself with more energy throughout the day. 

2. Listening to Self-Help Podcasts

  • Before, I used to do social media stuff while walking. Now, I listen to podcasts about success, happiness, business, etc. while doing my walk and workout. I paticularly like @robdialjr‘s podcasts. It is so much more helpful, inspiring, and energizing!

3. Re-Reading Self-Help Books

  • Reviewing the lessons I learned from many of my self-help books has always been one of the things I wanted to do. I blame not getting this task done to getting more client work before. But now, I have more time to re-read my favorite books despite having a lot of client work! And it’s all because I’m off social media. At the moment, I am re-reading the pages I bookmarked at my copy of Gretchen Rubin‘s The Happiness Project. It’s so refreshing to re-educate myself about happiness! I’m thinking of dedicating a blog post at least once a month for reviewing a good book I’ve read.

4. Taking Helpful Courses

  • I’ve bought a lot of courses in the past that I never really got to finish or dig deep into. Just like the task above, this one has been perpetually on my list of to-do’s too. Now, I can mindfully get back to them:
    • Mindvalley’s Lifebook (worth P20K)
    • 6 courses I bought from Marina de Giovanni (worth P5K)
    • Karen Salmansohn’s course about the Secrets of Happy Couples (worth P2K)
    • Marie Forleo’s B-School (worth P100K)
    • Plus about a hundred other free courses I’ve downloaded from various sites

5. Planning for Tuz’s Independent Homeschooling

  • Mahal and I have fully decided to independently homeschool Tuz. I want to do everything right in this department and I’ve always promised myself to spend time doing more research about it so we can be guided on how to best do it for Tuz’s own benefit. Now, it’s getting done and I have this unexpected free time to thank for it. 

So I guess even after Facebook lets me use my account again in less than 5 days, I am now more mindful of how I can better use my time. My personal social media activities will be lessened for sure and will be more streamlined because I now rediscovered other things that give me more joy and energy.  

So again, thank you, Facebook. Everything really happens for a reason. And I’m glad I took matters into my own hands rather than get depressed by it. Suffice it to say that you’ll see more of me here on my blog. It’s my own space, a space I am paying for, unlike Facebook and other social media sites that we really have no control over.

How about you? Have you tried getting off social media? Or was your Facebook account ever disabled? How did you spend your time instead?

Til my next post real soon! 😉

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