Why do we spend so much time on social media? I think for me personally, it may be a mix of boredom, voyeurism and my best pals; the insecurities. Either way, I finally decided that enough was enough – I deleted my social media apps with gusto (and some fear).
Before we discuss what fantastic epiphanies I’ve had; there are a big issue I need to mention. My job completely revolves around social media. I quite literally spend 8 hours a day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for work. Naturally, I was unable to go on a temporary strike because a little experiment I’d decided to do. So yes, I have been using social media sites in a professional manner. I personally don’t think this is a faux pas as I have no ties to my personal life or interests on these accounts AND I’m not sitting around doing nothing but scrolling.
Also, just to add – I think this also adds to the many reasons I wanted to do this, I realised that I spend at least 8 hours a day on social media, which is obviously not the healthiest to live your best life.
So, onto the important life lessons –
Waking up became infinitely harder…
The sad truth is that my phone is the first and last thing I see every day, so I tend to scroll through social media whilst half asleep – accidentally liking things with my face – until I finally feel awake enough to think… and then I proceed to sit on my phone for 50 mins before finally getting out of bed.
This is one of the fantastic changes I thought I’d experience when embarking on this incredibly easy challenge. Instead I found that I just couldn’t wake up in the morning – and I slept in every single day. Although, on an optimistic note – I also found that as soon as I did wake up, I jumped straight out of bed, so I was still on time for work (a miracle.)
With that being said, evenings were much more productive;
I’ve been making overnight OATS, I’ve been doing little house chores and attempting to stay on top of a skincare routine. It’s been fabulous.
I’ve been focusing way more on conversations;
And breaking the habit of checking my phone every three minutes, even if I’m talking to someone. I never realise how much I’m missing by being on my phone – and how naff it is to sit scrolling through Facebook when you’re in somebody else’s company.
I’ve also noticed that the second I stop speaking to somebody or am no longer doing something, I immediately check my social media channels. Before this, I couldn’t remember the last time I sat in silence without screens and it’s spooky.
AND I’ve been super productive at work and haven’t been losing focus every five minutes because something pops up on my phone.
I’ve discovered new ways that I use social media…
I thought that used social media purely for gratification and voyeurism, but it turns out I turn to three apps for a variety of reasons throughout the day. I realised that if I’m looking for a restaurant, recipe or any kind of food inspo I immediately turn to my food Instagram – which if you hadn’t noticed I love to shamelessly promote whenever I can.
I have no idea what my plans are;
I’ve had to text my friends so many times because I just kept forgetting details of plans that I would usually just look up in my messages. Similarly, I rely on Facebook so much for event information – so I’ve missed out so many groovy funky fresh events happening in Brighton in just a week away.
I’ve also now started writing things down in my calendar – we love when a social experiment causes a positive life change.
I’ve taken a break from the evil Instagram gods…
I’ve always thought that I was unphased by other people on Instagram and didn’t compare myself to other people – BOY was I wrong. I’ve had some time for self-reflection and have been able to rationally think about ways that I could change for the better, with zero influence from the internet. I’ve also –more importantly – had some time to think about things I luuurve about myself which has made me feel much sunnier and more positive.
If there’s one good thing to take from this week, it’s the knowledge that I need to take time away from social media channels every now and then and ask myself if some of the first world problems that get me down really matter.
It’s impossible to escape!
My final and spookiest lesson is about how omnipresent social media can be. There were countless times that I was googling something and would follow a link onto Facebook or Instagram. I had situations in which I couldn’t find out information without going through a social media site and it made me realise how much you miss out on if you’re not on these networks. But then – we’re missing so much more by being glued to them all day.
I guess more than anything this has taught me not to take it so seriously, and that social media can just be a way of connecting with friends as opposed to a way of gaining that sweet, sweet gratification. Obviously, it’s a big part of my job and I do think that these channels are astonishing and hold so much potential – but I’m also happy to say I’ll be trying to take a step back from them in my personal life and practice #selfcare instead.