I WOKE UP ONE DAY AND I KNEW I NEED TO TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA.
If you’re reading this because you’ve been following me for a while, thank you for not unfollowing me despite the blog’s silence. If you bump into this blog after searching social media breaks, I hope this gives you a glimpse of a life without social media. I will be sharing my highs and lows in this blog so I sincerely wish that this helps you decide whether you need it or not. Please keep in mind that this is my personal experience and doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll go through the same exact journey.
MY ONLY GOAL WAS TO MINIMIZE THE TIME I SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA and use it for something else. I didn’t expect myself to go offline 100% because I know myself, I’d fail that test. I wasn’t ready to commit – not at that time and not even while drafting this blog.
It was mid April when I decided to take a little break from social media – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat and Vero. This was totally unplanned but I felt like I badly needed the detox.
I caught myself browsing through Instagram and being sad about my diminishing numbers ( like that’s the most important thing in the world). I sensed myself getting frustrated because of someone else’s post and I also started becoming envious of other people. I hated it! I didn’t like myself for feeling those.
THIS ISN’T ME! THIS IS NOT WHY I CREATED THIS ACCOUNT. This crazy digital world was slowly turning me into a monster! I was losing control. I took a deep breath and reminded myself why I started this. I made this (social media and blog) to be my outlet to share what I love and what I know that may help or inspire other people. All I planned to do was share photos of my experiences, share to the world who I truly am and connect with other people.
THE 1ST WEEK WAS THE TOUGHEST! I felt like going through a withdrawal stage. It was way worse than how I felt the 1st week I quit smoking. It was like I could hear or feel my apps calling me and hypnotizing me to tap the apps open to see what’s new on the shelves, what’s on sale, what’s my favorite lifestyle blogger’s OOTD and many other things! It was ridiculous! I felt ashamed that all I thought about was what I’m missing out. #fomo indeed! I wanted to stop the detox. But I’m no quitter! I did glance at Instagram for a few seconds to stay sane.
I hid all of my social media apps in the WORK folder on my phone which I don’t access a lot lately because I’m unemployed. I just hid all of them in that folder and prayed that I’m strong enough to fight the urge to tap them open. I didn’t think I’d survive a day without loving a photo on Instagram or stalking my 15-year old niece on Facebook (God! I hope she’s not reading this) but I survived that day.
IT DIDN’T GET MUCH EASIER ON WEEK 2! This may sound crazy but I found myself tapping the part of my screen where those apps used to be. They say, it takes 21 days to build a habit. I’ve been tapping these icons for God knows how many times a day for forever so it was like my fingers are programmed to tap that area regularly.
I started to think of excuses to check my Instagram. What if a friend DMed me and it’s urgent? Or what if a brand messaged me there for partnership and they’d think I just ignored it? What if my IG friends forget about me and unfollow me? Those and many other excuses. I was so annoyed because I did cut my social media time but I’m now spending more time thinking about it.
I knew uninstalling them will help make the process easier but I made a commitment to take care of a friend’s FB Page and Instagram for the month of May. I keep my promises so uninstalling FB and IG was not an option. I did uninstall the others but that wasn’t a big help because FB and IG is where I hang out all the time.
Post a photo a day and get out of FB and Instagram! That was the plan but it was so difficult – like being on a diet and seeing a slice of moist cake with a dark chocolate ganache right in front of you.
Journal Entry :
It’s been 3 weeks since my last post on Instagram. I’m realizing now how much time I spend on them – from content planning to just hanging out on Facebook and Instagram. It’s ridiculous! But now that I’m not doing any of those, I’m struggling with filling up my day. There were so many things I wanted to do but didn’t have the time ; Now that I have the time, I don’t know which ones to do.
WEEK 4 – I wasn’t craving social media. I spent my week chilling on the couch while watching a few shows like Charmed (major throwback) and The Handmaid’s Tale which is one of the craziest shows I’ve ever watched but let’s talk about that some other time.
Journal Entry :
I’m so proud of myself! I was so productive today. I decluttered my makeup organizers, I cleaned out the fridge, I took 3 SkillShare classes and I even had the time to collect clothes that no longer fit us (don’t ask!) for donation. For the 1st time in a long time, I did not miss my apps today. Now, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d ever say.
I originally planned to do this break for just a month but it felt so amazing, so liberating that I decided to extend it for 15 days more.
Journal Entry :
We went somewhere nice today and I took a whole bunch of selfies. After taking pictures, I immediately locked my phone and slipped it in my bag. A friend of mine asked, “Did you post it on Facebook? Make sure you tag me. “ I did not eagerly pull up Instagram or Facebook to post it right away. I was surprised! I guess, that’s progress right? I told my friends I’m on a social media break and most of them said, “Oh wow!”. Some of them said, “so that’s why I haven’t seen a post from you for weeks. “ One of them made me feel like this is crazy and I need to stop it now while the other was very supportive and I think she kinda felt I needed it. LOL
Week 5 and 6 went by so fast. I didn’t even realize that it was the 45th day until Sandra told me that it’s the last day of my detox.
The past few weeks was a crazy ride! I became more productive and I think I manage my time better now. I feel like I broke bad habits during the detox. I now start and end my day counting the blessings I’ve received.
If you wanna know about the numbers, I did lose around 30-ish followers on Instagram but you can lose that same # in just a week so it’s really okay to take a quick break.
It seems like social media is staying for good and I am honestly glad that it is. It’s one of the fastest and most effective ways to stay connected to people we love regardless of their locations but social media is addicting! It’s so easy to lose control.
We all want to be loved, or at least liked but you have to know when what you’re doing or thinking or feeling is no longer healthy for you. Don’t measure love by the # of followers you have or how much hearts you got on the photo you just posted. Don’t let this digital world consume you. You have to know when to take a break!
I AM NOT COMPLETELY QUITTING SOCIAL MEDIA. I think it has more pros than cons right now. But I have already planned my next quick breaks. I really feel that it’s gonna help me a lot.
If you just came back from a social media break, feel free to share your highs and lows in the comments section. If you are planning to do the detox after reading this, just don’t be so hard on yourself. Try it for a week and see how it feels. Then maybe 30 days next time. I would truly appreciate it if you come back here after your detox and share your own experience.
Thank you for dropping by my blog today and I will chat with you again soon.
Enjoy the rest of your day!
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