Yes, I took a break from social media. Two main culprits for me? No Instagram. No Facebook. For someone who’s loves design and art I thought this is going to be hard. I’m trying to build not to disappear! Not to mention the things my friends are up to, I’d be missing out on everything! Or so I thought…
Even though these thoughts came to mind I found it necessary for the break. I was spending more time scrolling, what I called “researching” but it was far from focused searching. (My theme for this year). I was here there and everywhere. Looking at everyone living their best lives and running their amazing businesses. I was wasting my time away and it didn’t feel good.
As technology imbeds itself in our daily life more and more as Pantone cited in their reason choosing of the colour of the year. As well as how social media can affect your mental health. I thought I’d give myself a break to see if I can find a happy medium…
1. I Can Live Without Social Media
I didn’t go dramatic and delete all my apps. I turned off all my notifications. I just moved my social media folder from the first page to the very last page of my iPhone. Until I moved the folder I didn’t realise the habit I had set myself in. My thumb would automatically go straight to the spot it used to be in. The realisation of “Oh it’s not there anymore, I guess it’s not that important. What can I do instead?” Read. Draw. Write. Go for a walk? Actually talk to someone?!
My phone screen time has dramatically gone down since I’ve been off Facebook and Instagram. Which is a 2 in 1 bonus.
2. They Miss Me More Than I Miss Them
A few weeks went by, me being MIA. Instagram sent me their emails of concern of all the things I was missing out on. “See who’s started following you.” “Look who’s liked your post.” “Look at so and so’s new post.” I found it funny that they could miss one person so much. I was flattered.
With all the notifications Facebook send me I had moved those messages to my junk folder ages ago. Even though magically those messages are now finding their way to my inbox. Even though I’ve hit unsubscribe a 100 times. To the junk box they go!
3. It’s Ok To Go Off The Radar
It’s ok that you haven’t changed your status in a 3 days. (Does anyone do that anymore)? Or posted a picture to Instagram in the last couple of weeks. Friends and family will probably notice you’ve gone off the radar, it’s ok I’m sure they have your phone number or email if they really need it.
It’s kind of nice that only a select few people actually know where you are and what you’re doing. How many people would you really ever tell in life? VIPO. Very important people only.
4. Mental Awareness
Social media can be a source of inspiration, connections, business and a great search tool. It can also be the total opposite. Addictive. Draining. And a total time waster. It’s no coincidence that the same people that get you scrolling for hours on social media are the same people who know how to keep people on the slot machines in Las Vegas…
It’s your digital self against your real life. Or your digital self against the rest of Instagram. Friends and family included. Comparison is the thief of joy they say. And with the millions of users between the two platforms there’s always someone “to beat.” If not hundreds! That can get pretty depressing or a motivator depending on your perspective. More often than not it is the former which is an indicator that its’ time for a break.
5. You Don’t Have To Be On Social Media To Be On Social Media
I’m still very happy on my social media break. Not sure when I’ll be back but for now I’m enjoying the none overload. I think for the future I’ll just use an app like Planoly for Instagram for the business side of things. I can schedule my posts without having to go into the app and get distracted by the latest story. Maybe post the odd random photo with out it having to be a daily check in and look up on my notifications a couple of times a week.
I guess it’s all about setting boundaries! Healthy boundaries. They say even too much of a good thing is bad. So even if you see Instagram and Facebook as a good thing how much of a good thing is too much?
Let me know your thoughts on social media in the comments below!