On Monday of this week, I decided to take a break from social media. I’ve been questioning how much energy I give to social media platforms, especially since it’s such a passive way of spending time when I’m mindlessly scrolling.
I decided to take a week off and see how I felt.
Even after just a day away from social media platforms, I felt more energized, focused, and positive. It was an immediate boost that I wasn’t expecting.
I realized that I was often turning to social media in the margins of my day when I just had a few minutes to kill between meetings. It meant that I wasn’t really getting a break from screens and my brain was also feeling overwhelmed by constant new inputs of information.
Also, as a dedicated introvert, I hadn’t realized how social social media really is. I figured that it wasn’t as draining for me as other social interactions, but it turns out I was wrong. By cutting back on social media, I realized how much energy it was taking to engage with other people through that medium.
Now, almost a week later, I’ve gained back a lot of time and focus.
I’ve read more of Anna Karenina (approaching page 600 as I write this!), meditated more (using that time in between meetings for a quick meditation session works great!), and I’ve gotten some time back in the morning since I’m no longer scrolling before I get out of bed.
If you want to try a social media detox of your own, here are a few steps to get started:
Choose a time frame. How long do you want to be away? Even one day might make a difference, but a week or month is also a pretty reasonable time frame to consider.
Share your plan, if you want to. I posted that I would be away for a week on Instagram, which is the platform where I’m the most active on a daily basis. For Twitter and LinkedIn, I was able to step away without saying anything.
Remove the apps. For the most part, I’m on social media platforms on my phone, so I took the apps and moved them to a different screen on my phone so they weren’t immediately available. I’m not tempted to check them, but if you felt like you would be, you could always delete the apps for a short period and then reinstall as needed.
Enjoy all your free time! I really didn’t realize how much time I was spending on these platforms, so getting all that time back for other activities that I enjoy was a great benefit.
I’m considering extending my social media break past this week, so I’ll keep you posted if learn more through this process.
In the meantime, I’d love to know if you’ve ever taken a break from social media. What was your experience like? If not, would you consider taking a break?