Sometimes social media runs our lives without us even realizing it. We autopilot on Instagram, we opinionated on Facebook, we feel like we know life stories about people based on their Twitter feed. Blame it on the generation of the nosey-ness of our society, but it’s actually kind of…scary if you really think about it.
Let me set this straight, I’m not full blown hating on social media. Without it, my business wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is, but I am hating on how it makes us feel sometimes, myself included.
The past few weeks I’ve felt this sense of anxiousness, this self-conscious feeling that I’m not used to having. This dependency on checking my Instagram feed like I had the worst case of FOMO ever, but I didn’t give a shit about anything I was looking at! I found myself analyzing, judging, filtering, posting pictures for likes, giving the people what they want, doing all of this stuff that I preach not to!
Was I having a mid-life crisis?!
Am I unhappy with my life?!
AM I TURNING INTO AN INSTAWHORE?!
No, no, and no, I was just mindlessly doing what a lot of us do, becoming weirdly and subconsciously dependent on a device and what lies within it.
So I made the decision to conduct in a little social experiment with myself and cut Social Media out of my life; cold turkey.
TOPIC OF RESEARCH:
For the past week, I went full blow #tbt and pretended that Instagram and Facebook didn’t exist. I deleted Instagram from my phone, blocked Facebook from my computer (because I don’t have it on my phone in the first place), and lived my whole life without posting pictures or scanning through statuses. And you know what I noticed? A whole lot of good.
Yours truly, and pretty much everyone else I talked about my absentee with.
During my week free of thumb scrolling, I didn’t really get that urge or feeling like I had to go on like I thought I would. Instead, I kind of felt relieved that I didn’t have to post at a certain time or be curious about what everyone else was doing. It actually made me feel..lighter.
I received two different reactions from people when I told them I was Social Media free. They either went like this…
“Oh my god, are you serious? Even your business account? You’re going back though right?
“Good for you. I need to do that shit too.”
I missed it most (I actually feel guilty saying this), when I was sitting in traffic, which is like 80% of my transit life, but I feel a lot of that urge was habit. Multiple times I found myself reaching for my phone and clicking on the phantom spot where Instagram usually is on the screen. I also missed it on Saturday night when I was home by myself after a few cocktails around 9:30pm. You can only have so many conversations with your dogs though, yano?
Right before I signed back on this morning, I actually felt nervous, like pit in my stomach nervous! And for what?! When I signed back on I was greeted with 6 new friends, 23 new likes, and a few shout at’s from people who didn’t know I was offline (except for the few from my best friend who knew but just refused to not tag me in memes, love you boo). After a short scroll, I felt like I'd never left.
My overall well-being just felt better. Running the majority of marketing for my business on Social Media made it somewhat of a hard decision to make, but after doing it, I feel creatively rejuvenated and ready to use it the correct way rather than just throw whatever out there into the public.
I was walking away from each day with a clearer mind, more time to do things like research new movements for clients and classes, read actual books, and most of all, I was able to pay closer attention to what was going on in the moment.
Social Media is just another aspect of my life that I have easy access to. It has become such a habit and part of my daily routine, but when I decided to take it away, I didn’t go through withdrawal., which tells me that I’m not as dependent on it as I thought I was. By doing this little experiment, I decided on a few things:
Every few months, I’m going to give myself a social media detox like I did last week.
I’m allowing myself an allotted amount of time on it everyday - and that’s it.
Rather than have Instagram on the main dashboard on my phone, its new home will be on the second screen.
I'm going to start unfollowing accounts that I have no reason to follow or don’t bring any positive content.
A lot of people probably didn't even realize I went MIA, which is totally okay. Doing this little social experiment was strictly for me anyway, but what I hope others take away from it is that social media doesn't have to run us. We don't have to be attached to scrolling every 10 minutes and have FOMO if you're not logged on. Instead, we should concentrate on how it can help us in a positive way, like making a change in something we feel passionate about. Rather than comparison, it should be used for companionship. Rather than letting it make us feel self conscious, it should help make us more self aware. And rather than wonder what we're missing out on when we're not on it, we should concentrate on what we're doing while we're not.
Did I miss anything? Yes, I missed memes that make me giggle my mothafuckin ass off.
Did I miss out on anything? No, nothing at all.