Do you find yourself constantly refreshing your social media pages waiting for people to like, favorite, retweet your posts? Can’t sit for 30 minutes without checking your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.? Do you feel anxious if people don’t like, favorite, or tweet your posts? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you might be addicted to social media. I, for example, answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions and that’s why I am going on a Social Media Detox.
How do i do a social media detox?
What constitutes a Social Media Detox? Well, let me list what I’m doing for my detox:
- writing a post on all my social media pages, letting each one know that I will be taking a break and that if you need to contact me you can reach me by text or phone call
- deleting all social media apps from my smart phone (Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook messenger, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Yik Yak)
- deactivating my Facebook until further notice
- deactivating my Twitter (can be brought back if you login within 30 days)
- keeping my SelfControl computer application on 24/7 so that I don’t go on the social media websites that I can’t temporarily deactivate
Why I Chose To Take A Social Media Detox
Frankly, I created a toxic relationship with social media. It was an ego boost for me to see someone like/favorite/retweet my posts. I would obsessively look at the people who watched my Snapchat snapstory, refresh Facebook or Twitter to see if anyone new liked my posts, delete Instagram pictures if they didn’t get enough favorites. None of these behaviors were healthy for my mental health or self-esteem in general. All of these behaviors distracted me from my life. Sure, I needed to live my life to have things to post about, but it’s not the same as enjoying an activity just for the sake of enjoying it. I realized that maybe it’s funny every once and a while to say “do it for the Insta”, but if you’re only doing an activity just to post it on social media, then the activity loses its true integrity.
I found that I no longer studied, worked out, or did anything I enjoyed anymore. I was too busy scrolling through Facebook, looking at everyone’s Halloweekend pictures, or mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest. I thought these things were a relaxing way to take my mind off school and personal struggles in my life, but I found that I just neglected my schooling and mental health with these distractions instead. When my unhappiness peaked, I knew I needed to do something about it.
I came to the conclusion to take a break from social media when my mother made a comment about it during our weekly phone call (Yes, I do call my mother weekly, just like you should too. She pushed a watermelon-sized-you out of her vagina. Appreciate her, at least, for that). She pointed out how unhealthy it must be to always know what everyone else is doing and have everyone always knows what you’re doing, that it must be stressful. And, you know what? She was right. I lost my sense of privacy, I wasn’t taking time for myself, and I spent all my time vicariously living life through other people’s lives, pictures, and thoughts. So, taking a break from social media gives me the time to take care of myself, live life mindfully, focus on my own passions, and finally finish that essay that was due three days ago (oops).
STUGGLES OF A SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX
You don’t realize how hard going on a Social Media Detox is until you try, or at least how hard it was for me. Here are some things I’ve experienced just after 2 days:
- Unsure of where to put my thoughts because I can’t tweet them
- Getting irritated that I can’t post articles I find online on my Facebook page
- Not knowing what to do when I sit at the bus stop because I can’t scroll through Instagram
- Realizing that the only way I can vent my feelings is through journaling or talking to a friend because I can’t post them on Twitter or Tumblr
- When I’m with my friend who’s also addicted to social media and they’re on their phone, I’m forced to just stare at the wall while they scroll through social media
- It took more effort to actually call or text my friends instead of just instantly messaging them
- Having an excess amount of time to be in my head with my thoughts because I’m not scrolling through social media
- Overall anxiety about not being able to check my social media, basically FOMO
- Forced to actually deal with the things I’ve been pushing aside
Honestly, this hasn’t been easy for me and that’s how I know this is good for me. Detoxes are never easy. If you’ve ever done a nutritional detox, you’ll know how hard it is to give up that nightly glass of wine or the constant snacking. But in the end, you know that detox made you a healthier, happier person. Well, that’s what I need to keep in mind while on my Social Media Detox. In the end, I’m going to have a healthier, happier relationship with myself and social media.
I’m currently having a hard time with a few things in my life right now, but I’m working on them, so no need to worry. Taking a Social Media Detox was something that I needed to support me in my journey. But you don’t need to be struggling with anything in your life to take a Social Media Detox! Anyone can benefit from taking a little R&R from the digital world and technology. Maybe you want to focus on reading a book that’s been on your shelf for months or you want to spend more time with the people you love. Whatever your motive may be, just do it. Take that time you would spend scrolling through Facebook on yourself!
Have a lovely rest of your day!
Peace and love,