I realize many do a 30-day social media detox, I needed a year of social media detox. When the pandemic first struck, I like many assumed we’d be ‘back to normal within a couple of months at most. Walking out and seeing people in masks made my eyes tear as my thoughts would fill up with the uncertainty of what to expect next.
I didn’t wake up in the morning checking Instagram or the sorts. Heck, I rarely even posted! But I would find myself mindlessly scrolling IG and one day I had to stop and just ask myself why? Social media is a hot topic and is addicting for a plethora of reasons. It gives instant gratification by increasing our dopamine and a “like” on a post makes us feel validated.
I was using social media to run away from my feelings/thoughts even though I knew it would increase my current state of unhappiness. I found myself no longer caring what my friends were up to and I didn’t want to see every other post about the pandemic.
My anxiety was rising as I attempted to find comfort in my new normal. I stopped listening to Podcasts as they all seemed (reasonably so) to talk about the pandemic and mental health. I wanted to quit it all. And so I did.
One year of social media detox here’s what I learned!
JOMO over FOMO
Pre-Pandemic life was filled with many outings, get-togethers, and celebrations with friends and loved ones. I’m extremely introverted but even I would go through FOMO (fear of missing out). While the pandemic seemed to snatch it all away from us seemingly overnight I drifted away from the socials and decided to get myself in the best mental headspace possible! If a friend felt like sharing something they shared on Social Media fine, if not it was fine too. Without opening my app I found myself in a more JOMO (joy of missing out) state of mind.
I’ve picked up an old habit of reading books (something I’ve missed!), I write more and journal, and I love being out in nature observing the beautiful scenery around me. Something that was previously taken for granted.
Probably the most important one for me! Accepting myself – flaws and all! Oftentimes I’d compare myself and feel behind in life, or thinking I’m not exactly where society says I should be so I’m probably adulting wrong.
I had nothing and no one to compare myself to and because of that, the thought of needing to look or be a certain way wasn’t coming into my mind. I am accepting my journey and I’m feeling good about it. This is something I continue to work on (it’s always a journey) however I’ve noticed I worry less about others’ opinions and judgments. I’m enjoying the process and I’m enjoying the timing of how everything is coming together!
Present in the moment
No social media = no distractions. I’m present and in the moment. A simple task such as walking my dog became a walking meditation for me, sipping a cup of coffee and enjoying the aroma while reading a book, and visiting new places to eat or sightsee without the thought of ‘let me take a photo for the ‘gram!’. It was a different way of experiencing the good things. It was a more memorable experience without digitally capturing the experience.
My thoughts were my own!
This may sound a bit aberrant at first but to some capacity, we are influenced in our everyday thoughts and decisions. Quitting Instagram helped me regain focus and thoughts that are true to my beliefs, I find myself being more mindful and intentional even when watching a YT video or a television show. Instead of quickly making a judgment on a situation, I look at all options and find understanding in the matter first before forming an opinion I can truly call my own.
Creativity is my love! Whether it be writing for the blog, taking a class on Skillshare, making a spread for my monthly theme in my bullet journal, water coloring, etc. I’ve found a deeper happiness and connection with myself when I am creating and learning.
I’m continuing to learn to use my devices as tools to work for me productively and not against me. I am actively present in my day-to-day activities. My anxiety has become manageable which is something I’ve noticed during high-stressing times. And still, a year later I have no urge or desire to open my apps.
If you find yourself feeling depressed more than usual, losing sleep, or an increase in anxiety then I highly recommend you try doing a social media detox! Try a 30-day social media detox and share how you feel afterward! I bet you’ll feel lighter, happier, and overall more present in your day-to-day!
If you’ve tried a social media detox I’d love to hear your experience!
xx Zee xx