Scroll of Shame
A tale of seeing my own truth
Day 1: At 9 am this morning, I deleted all the app shortcuts from my phone; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I can’t quite capture the emotions that this entailed.
It was just a really bizarre feeling of doing something that I intended and wanted to do, but in the present moment, I felt a fight inside myself; an indescribable tension.
My expectations, going into this week are: to feel less tied down, to be free from the burden of my phone, to be more focused, and to be more engaged in the present. I am hesitant about ACTUALLY logging off today, but I am also excited for what may become of this journey.
Fast forward to today, Wednesday, February 21st (exactly one week later).
Me, a week ago thought “I am giving my brain a break. Unplugging will be easy. I’m not even online that much. I only go on when I’m bored, so it will just be an adjustment during those boring times”
I never really thought that I was “that bad” with the whole “being on my phone thing”.
To be completely honest with you, I didn’t even want to write about this past week, because I’m so embarrassed and ashamed of myself. It’s one thing to realize something negative about yourself and kind of tuck it away and hide it or pretend, in your own mind, that you’ll just fix it and no one will know, but I want to share my journey with you. I’m sure you’ve heard of “walk of shame”, (insert personification), well, she had a millennial and her name is Scroll of Shame!
Scroll of shame, defined by me, is when one is found scrolling on their device with no defined rhyme or reason.
Let me paint the picture for you: I literally was scrolling through my photo gallery, on my phone, just to scroll through my phone…AND not just once or twice, but multiples times, every day, during the first few days of being “unplugged”. I was at work, picking up my phone and then realizing, “Oh, right, I’m not supposed to go on social media”….. But I couldn’t put my phone down!! So I opened things on the phone; Bitmoji, old texts, organizing the layout of my phone, playing with the background and mostly scrolling through my photos….Shame, shame, scroll of shame!
→I can say that I was successful in not logging on to any social media, but I am struggling and fighting myself to put down my phone. It doesn’t seem to be a problem on the weekends when I am with my family or hanging out with friends. I don’t even know where my phone is most of that time.
Unplugging is helping me discover truths about myself. I’m not who I thought I was. It’s like I was in the dark and now there’s a spotlight on me, forcing me to see all parts of myself. I’m finding that what began as unplugging from the cyber world is far more than just that.
Why???? Why can’t I just put the phone down and be in the present moment and stay focused during the week? Why is it that, when I’m at work or during “breaks” throughout my day, I am picking up my phone to scroll through things???
Why do I have to intentionally force myself to put my phone down when I find myself about to go another round of the scroll of shame?
My expectation was to be more engaged in the present. It’s not as easy as just shutting off social media. I needed an answer on why I’m doing this to myself? I read a few articles online for help…..
According to DevelopGoodHabits.com, there are 8 reasons for procrastination. The one I most related to was experiencing a lack of motivation. “If you are able to clearly see how your work connects to your interests or goals, you are more likely to value your work and be motivated to put your energy into it,” so the article says. Well, I work in finance and managing spreadsheets and billing clients, as challenging and busy-work as it may be, it is certainly not fulfilling. I’ve developed an addiction to my phone because I’m procrastinating when I’m at work.
The “world” isn’t distracting me (via social media), I’m distracting myself.
I spend 40 hours of my week, sitting in front of a computer or attending meetings in a setting of 5 other women who do the same. At best, I can say the environment is negative. There is constant negativity and I pretty much keep to myself to just stay out of it.
But this is not to say that there is anything wrong with my company. On the contrary, I have worked at 4 other offices and have come to the understanding that this is just how business offices are.
I have yet to come across a fun or happy accounting/finance office. The offices I have experienced are just routine, mundane, people coming in and putting in their time just to get by.
It’s almost like voluntary jail time with better pay…I used to think working in finance would mean I would be pretty well off. Turns out that this is as much a fallacy, as office environments being like that of Dundler Mifflin, in #The Office, # Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels.
Therefore, the days are pretty lonely, working with people that I can’t and don’t really talk to. I work hard and get my work done but there is zero appreciation or recognition from management so I find myself less and less motivated each day.
I can honestly say that this is not how I imagined living my life, as a child or even a college student. Most days I feel like a drone or a slave of society forced to work in order to pay back student loans and provide for myself and my family. I look at people in their cars, on my drive in to work and on the drive home. They look how I feel, beaten down- defeated- undervalued, miserable.
I’m not happy with what I do and the work I have is way below my skill-set and not challenging enough to engage my full attention. My managers have even said to me, multiple times, that I bring a large skill set to the table, but yet don’t give me more than busy work. I can’t imagine doing this for another 30 years
All those cliché quotes about following your passion come to mind:
“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”- Confucius
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom”- Vincent Van Gogh
“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy”-Malcolm Forbes
Maybe Confucius, Forbes and Van Gogh are quoted for a reason more than just another cliché.
As embarrassed as I am about the truths that are coming to light about my own phone addictions, I am still excited about this journey.
I have identified I have an addiction to my phone and that it’s because I am bored with my work. I do not want to be a procrastinator who distracts themselves from their day by seeing what everyone else is doing, much less scrolling through my photo gallery just for anything else to do.
40 hours a week is a lot of thrown away time, for doing something that you are bored with or unfulfilled by. It calculates to 25% of your entire year (weekends included).
Unplugging this week, helped me realize that I am wasting my time and I need to decide if I want to KEEP CHASING A PAYCHECK OR START CHASING MY DREAMS.
All of my expectations going into this week were just scraping the surface of what unplugging can really do to your real life.
-Until next week- no more scrolls of shame- disconnect to reconnect→to yourself.