My Social Media Detox
Almost a month ago now, I decided to log out of social media and give myself a mini tech detox. Initially I planned this to last no longer than a week, however, it slowly turned into a 29 day experiment.
It seems kinda crazy, in an era that is so consumed by technology and social media, but I believe this little break was just what I needed.
So, you may be reading this and firstly asking, “But why?”
Well, I'm not sure if I have one massive reason, or triggering event that sparked this break. It came to me as I spent a very low key Sunday relaxing on the couch, constantly scrolling.
Scrolling like a total boss, I may add. All I did that day was glance at the movie(s) we were watching maybe 10 times, then wondering why I had no idea what the storyline was. More than that though, I spent that entire day consumed by what everyone else was doing. Which don't get me wrong (I will probably mention this again) I do like keeping up to date with what my friends and family are doing. I love to share a moment, be it a birthday, engagement, photos from events, or just an ole Tuesday. However, this particular day, I was not just engrossed in the lives of the people I love, I was comparing them to mine. Leaving me with some deep questions about who I am. What I am doing? Am I successful? Am I exciting? Am I good enough? And the list goes on.
Now, I know some of that sounds extreme. But, if there's one thing about me you should learn right now.. Is that I am and will always be 100% real, raw and honest. I am a heart on my sleeve kind of gal, and that isn't changing anytime soon.
So, back to me being scroll queen that Sunday afternoon. After those bursts of, let's say - intriguing - thoughts, it came to me - one week social media FREE.
Initially, the thought of being logged out, feeling like I am out of touch, scared the hell out of me. I wouldn't know what was going on, I wouldn't see the small snapshots of people's daily happenings, and I kinda had a bit of FOMO. Nevertheless, I committed to the mini challenge, got my determined hat on and got mentally ready to give this a go.
Quite seriously, what's the worst that would happen?
Day one commenced, being a Monday and diving straight into a new week, I didn't notice the lack of social connection. The day seemed to pass without me really noticing that I hadn't checked into Facebook or Instagram. I will make mention, that it isn't uncommon for me to have a day where I am preoccupied and don't check social media.
As a side note to this story: I do believe I have always used social media in positive ways, subconsciously trying to inject positivity into the feeds of others. I would also say, that I didn't have a massive problem with my social media use, as in, I could catch up with people and not feel the need to have a cheeky (rude) mid conversation scroll.
The days continued and to my surprise I didn't find myself auto-tapping into the applications, as I would do frequently when I found myself alone, waiting or passing time. I didn't want to go and deactivate my accounts as I felt that would be taking it to the other extreme. I did decide to log out of Facebook, as I would receive push notifications on my phone, which I felt defeated the purpose of this whole experiment.
Now you may be wondering, how it felt?
Well, I expected to have a thousand more hours to spare. Which wasn't the case. I found I was busier in that time catching up with family and friends. However, when I was catching up with loved ones, perhaps I was 100% consumed with my present company, instead of being distracted momentarily when my phone lit up with a notification. I also found that I filled in the time with other miscellaneous activities, some of which I hadn't spent the time doing before. Which is interesting, because the time off had in fact given me the time of to colour in, learn German and read. However, these activities can still replicate social media in the form of procrastination, which I certainly proved.
For a very, very long time I have been an active user of social media. Therefore, I have connected with a lot of people that I have been close with at one time or another, which I think is the BEST thing about social media. The ability to stay connected to friends and family, because, as we all know, life can be crazy busy. So I think it does make it a lot easier to stay in the loop with people's lives. Also, it brings endless opportunities to connect with people, that you may not have had the chance to if it wasn't for social media and its capabilities.
My biggest revelation about this break was that I am connected with 1000+ people, and on a subconscious level, I am constantly thinking about all of those people. Everyone who posts something that appears on my feed, I am consuming that information, storing it and thinking about it later at some point. Yes, this means that I am spending my time subconsciously thinking about people I am not that close with at this point in my life. Perhaps, even not giving the same thought attention to my people. (My people: my close friends, best m8s, those who keep a spesh place in my heart). This break has meant I haven't had that automatic stimulation, finding myself out of the blue wondering, 'oh I wonder how so and so are doing, what they are up to'.
What's next then?
Well, I have certainly jumped straight back into social media with the launching of this space. Which I am excited about. I feel rejuvenated, post detox and I'm feeling good about being “logged in” again, and I am of course nervously pumped about the beginning of The Soul Echo. I will continue to be on social media, sharing, posting, observing & participating in the updates of those I'm connected to. With an enlightened & refreshed perspective on my use and consumption of social media.
If you're really wondering what it's like.. Give it a go! Jump in (or out), challenge yourself if you're feeling it, even if it's for a day or two. Focus on your thoughts and feelings (both conscious & subconscious) with and without social media. And if you do decide to have a social media detox, I would love to hear about your experience.