Last Friday, I vowed to give up social media for one week and today is officially day seven. At 10 pm tonight, I can log back in to all my social media accounts and see what I’ve missed. Or if I’ve actually missed anything. I know, I know. You’re probably wondering how I’m still standing and not dying right now. Well, it hasn’t been easy. The first few days were rough, but after day three, it wasn’t that bad. I will say though that getting email updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram made me cringe. When I checked last night, I had 8 notifications and one missed poke from Facebook (okay seriously, who still uses that poke button?) According to Twitter, I’ve had roughly 20 new followers within the last week. Instagram was the worst, with 28 likes, 2 comments, and 13 new followers. All within one week!
When I told my cousin and one of my friends that I had decided to give up social media for a week, my cousin’s response was: “Girl! That would suck! I don’t know how you are doing it! That’s just torture!” And it was. For the first few days, my fingers were itching to log on and see what was happening in the world. I didn’t necessarily want to post any updates. I just wanted to do what we all wind up doing at some point, which is mindless scrolling.
My best friend’s response to my social media challenge was: “If I did that I would miss the funny videos and memes lol. But I need to do it. I really do.” Ahh, memes. How we’ve become dominated by them.
I think my mom thought I was crazy when I told her what I was going to do. She even asked me a few times how many days it’s been since I was on social media. Thanks Mom, for always holding me accountable and supporting me in the crazy things that I do. Love you. But it did help me stay accountable and resist the urge. I also kept a journal, tracking my progress. And to write down all the things I thought of that I wanted to post but couldn’t. It’s amazing what witty posts your brain can come up with.
In giving up social media for a week and taking the social media challenge, I discovered a number of things, such as:
- Watching the actual news is a lot better for your state of mind than reading about it on the Internet or on your social media news feed.
- Without all the political posts and propaganda, there was less stress in my life about the current political situation in our country.
- Instead of checking my social media before going to bed (or when I have those annoying bouts of insomnia), I went back to reading before bed or listening to music to help me unwind.
- I finished half a dozen books. Instead of reaching for my phone, I reached for a book instead.
- I stopped caring about what was going on in the world of social media. I realized I didn’t need (nor did I care) about what was going on in the world of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- No one cares if you disappear from social media. We are all so self-absorbed in our own lives that we don’t notice or care if someone disappears from our friends or followers’ lists.
- You don’t care if you disappear from social media. I figure if people really want to get in touch with me or have something to say to me, they’ll figure out a way to do it face to face, through text, or e-mail. The ball’s in your court now people!
- I realized that there are so many things to do that don’t involve or need to involve social media. Spending time with your family. Researching other blog topics. Working on other blog topics. Watching a movie. Cooking, etc.
- It is possible to give up social media and not die from lack of connection. In giving up social media, you have to actually participate in life.
I think everyone could benefit in taking a break from social media now and then. It’s almost as though you are resetting yourself and your life, in a way. There are a lot of people, twenty somethings and our younger counterparts especially, who are dependent upon social media. They literally cannot live without it and they don’t understand what to do or how to act without it. A world without social media? Like, OMG!
I grew up in the early 90s. We had dial up Internet. AIM was all the rage, and there was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Shocking, I know. But it is possible to live without social media. I did it. Can you?