Screen Time

My friend, Charlie, has been doing this thing where he deletes Facebook and Instagram first thing Monday morning, and then reinstalls it after work on Friday. He has been more productive at work and home, and makes an effort to connect with friends individually instead of through social media. After two weeks,  his iPhone usage was down 10 hours per week. Ten hours. Can you imagine all the things you could do with an extra ten hours added to your week?

It made me realize that I spend too much time on my phone. At least, I spend more time than I’d like on my phone.

I got to a point last year where I loathed the phone. It drives me nuts to be reachable at all times, because I’m one of those people who feels obligated to respond as soon as I receive a message (I generally move on and forget otherwise). Social media felt like work. Because it is work for a lot of us. But it got to the point where it wasn’t fun work anymore.

Over the years I’ve experimented with month-long social media detoxes. Like Charlie, I found that I was way more productive and more present in my daily life, but when social media is a huge way of how you connect with students and clients, taking long periods away isn’t always an option.

I’ve never had notifications set on my phone. The only banners I get are for texts and phone calls. In January, I began using my sunrise simulating alarm clock and leaving my phone on a charger in the other room at bedtime.

I still spend too much time on my phone.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of things I love about technology and the way it brings us together. It’s amazing to be able to connect with friends and loved ones with a tap on a screen. I love being able to connect with other dancers, yogis, artists, writers, teachers, and inspiring humans across the globe. Funny memes, puppies, babies, smiling selfies, recipes, and thoughtful words keep me going on so many rainy days.

So I guess it’s a matter of setting boundaries. Which I suck at. But I know that I want to spend more of my time away from the screen, and more of it undistracted and actively participating in my environment.

Since I use my phone for music to teach, it gets a bit tricky. I can’t airplane mode to block out texts or use “screen time” since Spotify is considered entertainment. So I’m having to explore more creative solutions. One is turning on “read receipts” in hopes that I won’t open messages until I have the time to respond (the “unread” will let people know I’m not ignoring them). Another is exploring social media blocking apps that will allow me to pick and choose which apps (including Spoitify) are allowed during the times I’d like to limit phone usage.

Have any tips or tricks that have helped you minimize your phone time? I’d love to hear about it!


Social Media Detox: Lessons Learned

Sometimes you have to step away in order to view something more clearly.

I’ve been navigating through another transformational period. When it began, my direction was unclear, but the gravitational pull was there… the need for growth, change, and expansion.

For me, personal growth is very much like tending a garden:

  • It starts small, and requires lots of patience. It doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Next you prep your space by removing obstacles like rocks, weeds, and other things that might get in the way of new roots, and then enriching the soil to make it a safe, nourishing place for seeds to grow.
  • Consider the natural gifts you’re working with (climate, soil type, etc.) when selecting seeds to plant.
  • Once the seeds have been planted, there’s more of that patience stuff.
  • Tending the garden requires attention. You must mind your garden diligently and carefully with love, while making sure not to overwater it.

At the beginning of April I decided to step away from social media to get some weeding done give myself room for growth.


Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:

Leaving social media isn’t that hard. I put up a post letting everyone know my intention (so they didn’t think I was dead), and deleted all the apps from my phone.

The first afternoon, I felt naked. I’d reach for my phone out of habit to scroll through Instagram or Facebook. I realized very quickly how ingrained social media platforms had become in my day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute life. It was pretty humbling to be so dependent on something. By that evening, I felt liberated. 

After a week or so… I noticed I was spending more time doing stuff I like.

I got back to my roots. I reconnected with things that move me, bring me joy, and have shaped me as a person. Art, literature, classical dance and music – there’s so much beauty in this world! I pulled out albums and arias and picked up projects that have been ignored for weeks, months, and years. I spent spent countless hours researching, organizing, and writing about subjects that interest me. Not for work, but because it’s fun and I like it.

Once I made my own interests a priority, I learned…

I create my best work without external influence. I’m more productive, more inspired, and more creative when I turn inwards. I’m not worrying about photos, likes, and comments. I’m not comparing myself to others, looking for external validation, or questioning myself. I feel free. Safe. Grounded. And I’m really proud of the work I’m generating because I know it’s all authentically me.


By reducing noise, I’m more mindful. This manifests in small ways like observing that an occasional magenta bloom will pop up on the light pink rose bush next door, and that a tailless squirrel lives on our block.

I listen more closely to my body, and have discovered that I’m more energized when I take breaks instead of pushing through, and I now go to bed when I’m tired instead of trying to finish up “a few things.”

When people talk, I listen. Like, listen. I take the time to process what is being said instead of thinking about how to respond or what to say next.

Which brings us to…

Closing the space through deeper connections. Social media gives us the luxury of keeping up with friends, family, and students at our own convenience from afar. To find out what’s going on in people’s lives, I can’t cheat. I reach out via text, email, phone calls, FaceTime dates, and spend quality time with students before and after class. I feel connected in a more meaningful way.

And it turns out…

Quality > Quantity. I was concerned that my class numbers might decrease and that my already limited social life might evaporate completely along with my social media usage. As it turns out, a lot of the people are willing to meet me halfway. Friends call, check in, and still want to hang out. Yogis who enjoy my class are willing to make an effort to check the studio’s website or text me about my schedule.

Spending time and working with smaller groups of people who truly want to be there is far more fulfilling than 100 semi-friends and packed classes, and worth more than all the follows, likes, and comments on the internet.

Overall, this has been a wonderful experience. But it’s all about finding…

Balance. I’m nearing the end of my social media detox, and a little wary about returning. I’m looking forward to seeing the thoughts and ideas of others, but I don’t want to relive the pressure to create posts that will appeal to others. I want to protect the purity and integrity of my own.

I’m not exactly sure how I’ll transition back into the realm of social media, or how I’ll cultivate and maintain balance, but I’m grateful for the space and movement I’ve experienced in my time away.

And I think it will be another exercise for learning growth.

Cheers to perpetual movement, and beginning another leg of the journey.

See you guys Monday! xx