The Day I Curbed My Impulsivity

//The Day I Curbed My Impulsivity

The Day I Curbed My Impulsivity

The Day I Curbed My Impulsivity

I legitimately have a social media addiction. It began when I had my children and they were small. I was consistently up at 3am, 4am and whatever am nursing babies. It was exhausting and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I needed an outlet to vent my overwhelmed thoughts. I began blogging to share the thoughts I had with other parents. It was rewarding to commiserate with other parents about their challenges. I felt less alone and it was gratifying to feel that sense of community. Then I began to use Facebook and Twitter to share some of my inner most thoughts and feelings. To this day I use Facebook and Twitter differently than other people. I use them both as a vomitorium to share my excess thoughts.

Over the years I began to notice how frequently I checked social media and how much I posted on it. At first I rationalized it. Now, I am becoming increasingly concerned with how much time it is taking out of my day. I started thinking about why I post so much online and there are a variety of factors. One is that because I have young children I am often at the mercy of their schedules which means I am at school events, play dates, or stuck in the house. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for me to hang with friends or do my own thing.

So, I started sharing my thoughts online as a form of therapeutic release. I do have an actual therapist and friends that I talk to and hang out with, however I value my online friendships as well. They are real and fulfilling. Some of those digital connections have developed into real life friendships.

I thought more about the impetus for posting a lot on social media and the biggest factor was my impulsivity. I have ADHD which pushes me to act in an impulsive manner. Some of that behavior comes out when I spontaneously call a friend, say something without thinking and posting random shit on the internet in a high frequency manner.

I took a look at myself in the proverbial mirror, and asked: self, do you want to keep doing this? Does this truly make you happy? And the answer I came to was: I don’t know. I decided to conduct a sociological experiment. Every time I wanted to post something online, instead I wrote in the “notes” section of my phone:

“The time- 10:18am- I want to go on social media”

The results were not surprising, but I wasn’t pleased with them either.

Every few minutes I had the impulse to check my social media platforms. After I wrote that note to myself I distracted myself with another activity like walking in the woods, singing, making a lanyard bracelet or playing with my daughter. I don’t particularly like my impulsive nature, but today I am working on curbing my impulses.

Another way I am doing this is with text messages. If I have the urge to text someone, I stop and think three things:

1. Is this time sensitive?
2. What do I hope to accomplish here?
3. What am I feeing and why?

These three questions help me take a beat before sending a text.

This day has taught me to be more mindful in this digitally based age. Personally, I prefer hanging out with people in person or talking on the phone to texting/emailing them, but I am a minority in that it seems.

What about you? Do you find yourself compulsively checking your phone and social media platforms?


By | 2017-07-02T18:03:56+00:00 July 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Day I Curbed My Impulsivity

About the Author:

Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.