In the last few years, social media has become a very routine part of every day life. So routine in fact, that many of us find ourselves reaching for our phones before we’ve even fully opened our eyes! I realized recently, while scrolling through Instagram, I do this way too fucking much. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media! Clearly. But I was beginning to feel like I loved it at an alarming rate.
Starting a blog has been so much fun for me, and has massively helped to fill a creative outlet I so desperately needed. On the other side of things, it has heightened my anxiety when it comes to social media, and the chronic need to be constantly validated. Over the last year, I’ve struggled with mindfulness and fully living in the moment. Everywhere I go, I’m scouting out photo locations, thinking of captions, and just generally concerned about Instagram content rather than the life that’s right in front of my face.
After a light push from one of my best friends, I decided to take a social media break. A fast. A detox. Basically I deleted that shit and it felt great. Wait wait wait. I didn’t delete my Instagram account. Are you crazy? I still love it way too much. But I did delete the app, not only freeing up some iPhone space, but a whole lot of mental space, too.
What I learned from my 72-hour social media detox:
I was more present
Well, duh. That was kind of the point of this whole thing. But more specifically, I realized that when watching my shows with Levi, I was no longer glancing up confused because I hadn’t been paying attention. Conversations, with anyone, were better, richer. I was paying closer attention, not feeling the need to check my phone. Because I didn’t have any notifications to check, I was hungrier for random conversations than I had been.
I worried about my body less
This one was huge for me. I’ve talked before about the amount of anxiety I have around my body and body image, and I would be lying my pants off if I said that was not effected by social media. All day every day we see perfect, curated images of what society has deemed perfect and ideal. This left me constantly comparing myself. Saying things in my head like, “You don’t look like her.” Her being the Instagram model I had just been stalking. With this absent from my every day, I found myself forgetting about the reasons to compare myself, and it felt so good.
I rely on Social Media for entertainment
This was another “duh” moment, but I just didn’t realize how much I relied on social media for entertainment. On my commute, once I get home, during dinner, I am constantly checking my phone! Snoozing Instagram for a few days gave me the opportunity to get back into reading, organize things around my house, and just do something else!
I was more productive
I found that I got through my work a lot quicker, and I probably did a better job! I paid closer attention to emails, requests, and just my work in general. This one also ties in with the above in that I was just more motivated to focus my energy elsewhere than on my phone.
By the end of my 72-hour stint, I felt refreshed and proud of myself. I think I’ll make this a regular thing, aiming to do at least one monthly 72 hour social media detox, but hopefully making it longer. Have you ever done a social media fast? I’d love to know how it went for you, and what kind of takeaways you had. Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful, mindful weekend!