Social media detox lesson: don’t be social all the time

We are living in a tech-obsessed world where social media is literally attached to our watches. It’s  a world where computer screens, apps and notifications are how we communicate.

So, in December 2016, I decided to take a break from social media. I wanted to focus on achieving my goals. Staying connected to family and friends is great through social media, but I was spending (in my eyes) too much time on their lives and not enough on my own. I noticed myself disengaging and worrying about things other people posted on social media. Things that were out of my control.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing social media, I think it’s a great way to get news, updates and stay connected. But did I think it was time for a social media detox? Absolutely. My New Year’s resolution was to stop staring at everyone else and start focusing on ME.

As a committee member of HylandWIN, whose mission is to support women at Hyland, I wanted to share my advice with everyone on how I’ve successfully cut back on social media usage and hope you can too. Five months into my social media detox, I am glad to say, I’m living in the moment, more productive and happier.

Whether you are an extrovert or not, I’m here to share news that you don’t need to be social all the time and see how it transforms your life. With a little self-discipline, and making you your number one priority, I guarantee you will see the positive benefits of downsizing your social usage.

You start to be present

Life is busy, from work responsibilities, such as meetings, to personal duties, such as picking up the kids and taking care of your pets. As humans, we encounter interruptions hour by hour. Throw social media in the bag – from Snapchat notifications to Instagram pics – and you are constantly giving your brain too much information.

How in the world can we find time to focus on one thing?

The first opportunity I took to channel my focus was deleting social media from my phone. This prevented notifications from popping up and causing distractions. It wasn’t easy, and I would be lying if I said I may have downloaded social media apps once or twice, but after making the commitment and summoning A LOT of self-discipline, I noticed a huge difference in my attention.

I became present, noticing my surroundings, and providing additional value in meetings and engagements. Now, during networking events, I take the opportunity to say hello to new faces and keep my phone in my purse.

You start to be more productive

Instead of looking through social media, I focus my attention on my to-do list and my goals. As Hyland grows as an organization, I focus my attention on developing programs to help employees support one another. When I stopped checking my social media, I was able to better center my attention to my personal and professional goals.

I’m attending conferences to educate myself on new technologies and using them as opportunities to meet individuals and benchmark to help make myself, and ultimately, Hyland, better. Through downsizing social media, I’ve taken the opportunity to spend my time listening to podcasts on how to improve myself as a professional, signed up for Harvard Business Reviews emails to stay up-to-date and found the opportunity to learn more about OnBase, which makes me more knowledgeable when talking to potential tech candidates.

You start to be happier

I’m extremely grateful to work for a company that values my well-being. Hyland allows me two 20-minute breaks during my day, so instead of checking my Instagram, I now take full advantage of my breaks by catching up with coworkers while walking through Hyland’s nature path, taking in a beautiful day.

Or I’ll take an online course to improve professionally. This has helped me manage my stress and keep my anxiety in check.

After a couple of weeks into my social media detox, I noticed feeling happier and more content. Turns out, there’s positive stats behind it, too. Participants who went just seven days without Facebook felt happier and enjoyed their lives more, according to a study by Huhmagazine.

While social media will always be at our fingertips, take time out of your day to focus on you. It will truly make you a better person.

What’s that saying? Oh yeah, time is money! Take care of you and the rest will fall into place. Speaking of which, if you are interested in working at Hyland, we have many perks to help you grow personally and professionally. Just take a look – you will be glad you did!

You start to learn

While part of my job is to stay up-to-date on the latest recruiting trends and keeping Hyland competitive, I couldn’t completely turn off social media, but I did find a great option, especially for Facebook.

Social media tip: to receive notifications that mattered to me, I found this Facebook tip. It allowed me to stay up to date on the current @OnBase software, find where the latest OnBase conference is (have you signed up for CommunityLIVE yet?) and told me what all my friends at @Hyland were doing, but it kept me from aimlessly scrolling through my social media newsfeeds. This has saved me time and I can click my notification and be instantly up-to-date on the exciting news Hyland is up to.

My detox has taught me balance as I slowly reenter the social media world. But I think after all I’ve learned, I’m totally ready.

Courtney Byham is a recruiting program manager at Hyland. She has been a member of Hyland’s Recruiting team for five years. In her current role, she manages recruiting relationships and implements programs to improve Hyland. She holds a business degree from John Carroll University. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, hiking and spending time with family and friends. Her favorite Hyland perk is the walking path.
Courtney Byham
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Courtney Byham

Courtney Byham is a recruiting program manager at Hyland. She has been a member of Hyland’s Recruiting team for five years. In her current role, she manages recruiting relationships and... read more about: Courtney Byham