So I went back and forth in my head debating whether I’d write about this but in the end I decided I’d share about my month without social media. That’s right, I unplugged – specifically I unplugged from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I didn’t post that I was going to do this I just did it. The day after we got back from Germany I deleted the apps off my phone and didn’t check once in a month. It was blissful. No really, let me repeat that – IT WAS BLISSFUL.
It’s no surprise to anyone that we spend too much time on social media. A lot of people would probably put themselves in the same category I was in. I was on my phone too much. I couldn’t not check. I would physically throw my phone across the sofa so that I couldn’t check. That’s a problem…
I was sick and tired of myself for looking at Instagram ALL the time. And posting to Instagram ALL the time. I would say to myself it was for my business – I HAVE to be on social media – but guess what I learned this last month? I don’t. And I certainly don’t need to be following other people’s lives all day long. WHY do I care about Jillian Harris?? I don’t! And yet I would see what she was up to almost every single day.
It is an addiction plain and simple and I wanted to rid myself of it once and for all.
So what happened when I deleted the apps? Did I rid myself of mindlessly checking all day long? No – not at first.
I would keep grabbing for my phone to check and then realize I had no app – yes, I’d remind myself, I’m NOT checking – this is good.
Numerous times a day I would think ‘I should post that!’ and then realize…no app.
As the days went by I thought about it less and less.
Now some of you may be thinking this sounds ridiculous but hear me out. On Facebook and Instagram we are CONSTANTLY seeing each other’s lives and whether it’s subconcious or not – we ARE affected by it. You can’t help it. You’re seeing what people’s kids are doing, what sports they’re playing, what vacations they’re on, what restaurants they’ve gone to, what clothes they’re wearing, what person they’re hanging out with, and ON and ON and ON. Now remove all that. Just go through your day without seeing what a single other person is doing. Just DO you. Just BE you.
I haven’t even mentioned the negativity part of social media. Falling into the rabbit holes of reading a post and then reading the negative comments that follow. On Facebook, people complaining about this, that or the other (Yes Facebook is the worst for complaining). It’s really too much.
So what did I replace social media with? Because you can’t just go cold turkey – you need something to look at when you grab your phone 😉
Well first, I read a LOT of news. Me and the iPhone News app got to know each other very well this last month. I read the news before of course but this month I personalized it and it really became my go to reading app.
I also just didn’t look at my phone as much. I would grab it and then realize I had nothing to look at so I’d simply put it down and do something else…what a concept.
I read books. I read magazines. See I’m a person that needs to read. As a kid I’d always have something to read – whether it was a Babysitter’s Club book or my Mom’s National Enquirer – I’d take anything.
What happened in this month that I normally would have shared but I didn’t?
My oldest son turned 11. Typically I’d take photos of him and post about it but not this time.
I went to my sister in law’s surprise 50th birthday.
I saw the Billy Elliot musical – this was hard – I was dying to post about this as I LOVED it and wanted to share.
I did several photo sessions – kept quiet.
Went to my bestie’s 40th birthday party – no Instastories – whan whan.
Tried Ax Throwing (oh the Boomerangs I could have done, heh heh).
But here’s the thing. When all these fun things happened I was there – I was present – I wasn’t on my phone – that’s important.
Now that’s its been a month I truly don’t feel the least bit like I want to return to social media. I actually felt a pit in my stomach when I uploaded the apps again. I do use Instagram for work so it’s not avoidable but now I know it is more manageable.
I’ve been back on for a bit now (I had some DM’s about dropping off the face of the earth – I didn’t! ha ha) and what I’ve found to be working for me now is posting but still not scrolling. The mindless scrolling is my downfall. I also unfollowed a TON of people. I need to pair down the list even more but it’s an improvement.
If you’re feeling like me and finding social media is taking up too much of your life I encourage you to try giving it up for a period. Whether it’s a day, a week, a month. Use that extra time to foster the REAL relationships in your life. Pay attention to how you feel without social media. If you felt worse I would be shocked. I can only imagine positive results.
Do you feel like social media is making your life better or worse? Leave a comment below.