So as you guys know a few weeks ago I was feeling a little overwhelmed & anxious & decided to take a break from social media or what people like to call them a digital detox or social media fast. My life felt like it was going a million miles an hour to the point that blogging/social media became totally stressful for me (to the point that I nearly deleted everything, you can read about it here) & I literally just wanted to throw my phone away.
Anyway I realized that was a little extreme, besides it wasn’t the phones fault I was feeling stressed out, it was mine so disowning it would be totally unfair, not to mention probably a little impractical too.
I spent some time reading amazing books & watching Ted Talks to try & figure out what was causing me to feel this way & I gathered a break from Social Media wouldn’t be a bad idea. Instagram is my main Social Media channel for the blog (I am not a big user of Facebook & I hate twitter) & therefore it was goodbye to Instagram, for a few weeks anyway. I will admit the thought of it was a little stressful, but those feeling were overruled by the fact my mind was consuming way to much information & there simply was no room for IG.
The other day I asked you guys some questions on IG (about IG, ironic right?) & it was surprising to me that over 80% of you admitted that IG had made them feel jealous or sh*t about themselves.
But, 75% of you thought we wouldn’t be any happier without social media, 97% of you check IG with out even realising you are doing it & only 45% of you could go with out it for a week….
So we all hate it at times yet the majority of us can’t give it up? Weird right?
So anyway deleted the app (not my accounts) & although I swear I heard a small cry from inside & I also felt an immediate sigh of relief. Mixed emojis indeed.
The app was banished from my phone for 2 weeks & although the first few days were pretty tough, a 2 week social media fast was probably of the best things I have done in a long time. I would totally encourage everyone to take a digital detox every now & then (it doesn’t have to be 2 weeks, you can try screen free Saturdays) here is what it taught me;
- It is a TOTAL time waster
I downloaded this awesome app called Freedom which tracks your daily phone usage & your time spend on specific apps. Before me & IG decided to have some space, there were some days where I was spending up to 2 hours on IG. Trust me that is an embarrassing thing to admit. Think of all the things I could have done in 2 hours? I could have read, worked out, socialized, the list goes on. Taking a break from social media made me realize how much time I actually spent on it & I now spend way less time on the app.
2. You miss out on real life.
Sounds cheesy but it’s the little things in life that matter. The feeling you get when you hug a loved one, or when your pets greet you after a long day at work. New experiences whether they are trying out a new bath bomb or going on a desert safari. In a world where everyone whips out their phone to document something special, this distracts us from the feeling, the moment that you will never be in again no matter how hard to try to recreate it. I enjoyed my 2 weeks of not being snap happy & photographing every single thing in my life. Trust me, you feel everything 10x more when your phone doesn’t hi-jack the moment. Now IG has returned to my life, I have a much more mindful approach with social media.
3. Comparison is the thief of all joy.
Spending your days scrolling through your Instagram feed comparing your life to the lives of others can make you feel a little sh*t. Your stuck at home or in the office & you see someone sunning themselves in a luxurious 5* resort & the jealous pangs kick in. Constantly comparing yourself to other people &/or their social media accounts is messed up but it is in our nature to do that. Taking some time out from IG made me feeling in general more focused on my life & what I was doing opposed to comparing where I was in life to the lives of other people.
4. Instagram isn’t real life
(90% of us anyway) – even celebs have their down days. Remember, people post the crème de la crème of their life on social media but not everyone’s life smells of roses 24/7. This can be pretty stressful & following on from the above, this misrepresentation leads you to question your own life. I can tell you this first hand. I have posted some cool pictures or throwbacks of some of my travels online, but the reality is at the time I have been mega stressed out trying to get uni work done or wandering around my apartment with my PJ’s on & a face mask slathered all over me. Everyone has ups & downs, but very little of us post the downs on social media. Remember that.
5. Social Media is full of idiots (sorry not sorry)
They say you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, pretty interesting right? How does that make you feel? Excited? Or do you hang around with idiots & now you panicking a little bit? If this statement is true for people you spend time with in the real life, the chances are the people in media that you expose yourself to are having an impact on your character too. If you follow the narcissists & desperados of this world, whether you notice it or not you will be influenced by them. When I got back on IG, I thought about this a lot & unfollowed a heap of people who I do not want to be anything like. I survived 2 weeks without an insight to their lives, I am sure I can survive the rest of my life.
Ok so I appreciate not everyone will be down for a social media detox, I get that (even though I totally recommend people try one day a week, you will live to tell the tale) so here are some tips for staying mindful on social media;
- Choose who you follow wisely. Do not follow or get caught up in online drama unless you want to be like these people (in that case I can’t help you).
- Do not compare your social media accounts to other people’s. Don’t compare your photos, or your likes or your followers. They do not define your self-worth.
- Don’t feel compelled to share everything! Keep some moments away from the camera, embrace them & use your memory to capture them not your camera.
- Limit your time. I limit myself to ½ an hour per day to check up on all my social media accounts, but recently ive spent less than that & it is liberating.
- Scroll with intent. Want to find a recipe or stalk your man while he is on holiday? Sure go ahead. But don’t go on for no reason unless you are able to limit the time you spend on the apps.
Did you guys try a digital detox before? Let me know what you think! STAY PRESENT! Jess xox