I Took a Week Off of Social Media

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may already know that for the last full week of June, I took a break from social media. After watching Ariel Bissett’s video, my friend Olivia and I decided to take some time away from the online world for our mental health.

First, I think social media is a really powerful tool and it has so many benefits. I love social media, and I would never be able to give it up, BUT I think taking occasional breaks is important, too!

How did it go?

  • Truthfully, it was hard.
  • I chose the week I did because it happened to be the week I was going on a mini vacation to the Pocono Mountains- my parents rented a house on the lake so that we would get a break from the monotony of sitting home for months. I wanted to be present during this time and really enjoy my surroundings instead of being glued to my phone. Plus, I figured I would be a bit busier than normal, so it would be easier to get my mind off of my phone.
  • Day one, I woke up and felt super anxious because I almost always get DMs overnight, and I felt bad that I wouldn’t be able to answer the people who had replied to my story or asked me a question. I had a nagging feeling all morning. However, that was the same day we were leaving for the trip, so I was pretty busy with packing, grocery shopping, etc. After those initial few hours, it actually got a lot easier!
  • The second day was pretty good, and I figured the challenge would only get easier from there.
  • Boy was I wrong.
  • On the third day, I caved. accidentally. I was checking to make sure my blog post went up as scheduled, and I clicked on the link to my Instagram unintentionally. I checked my notifications, read my DMs, and left the app.
  • The next two days were alright after that… until I caved again on the sixth day. I checked my Twitter notifications and scrolled through my feed for a couple of minutes. Nobody’s perfect, okay?
  • I spent the last day off of social media until about 8:30 pm. I decided that was when I was going to make my return because there were some things I wanted to check online.

What did I learn?

  • I can get a lot done when I don’t spend 9+ hours on my phone a day.
  • Twitter can really bring my mood down.
  • I am much happier when I spend more time outside.
  • Social media is a much better tool when I use it consciously instead of spending hours mindlessly scrolling.
  • Leaving the house without bringing your phone? Freeing.

What did I accomplish?

  • I read 3 books and got over halfway through another!
  • I went kayaking and bike riding and paintballing and running. So. Much. Fun. And I didn’t feel the need to document it at all. I really lived in the moment.
  • I did…some…writing. It wasn’t as much writing as I had hoped, but I was still able to write a couple of chapters.
  • I worked on some blog/freelance related stuff and it felt SO. GOOD. It was stuff I had been putting off for quite a while.
  • I caught up with some of my best friends, and I reached out to others who I haven’t talked to in a while.
  • My screen time went from an average of nine hours a day to FOUR- i used my phone for reading e-books and audiobooks & taking pictures!

Final Thoughts:

I think this was a super important experience and I’m glad that I attempted it. I wasn’t perfect at following the rules, but I accomplished most of what I wanted to.

Going forward, I am definitely going to be much more intentional about my time online. I also want to take social media breaks more often (maybe once a week or so?).

Have you ever taken a social media break? What did you think of it and would you do it again?

If not, have you ever considered it? Let’s chat about it in the comments because I’m so interested in it now!

19 thoughts on “I Took a Week Off of Social Media

  1. We definitely have to do this more often! It made me feel so productive and calmer when I wasn’t constantly checking my phone. I feel like I’m slowly falling back into the habit of scrolling again rip

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  2. I am glad that this little experience was positive for you! I think I’ll try to take a break from Twitter at least a week in August (I don’t know why there is so much negativity on that app). I really think it will be better for my mental health.

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  3. I took a month off twitter a while ago and it was honestly so freeing :) but then I felt like I was missing out on so much… honestly social media is such a drain on me mentally, with all the depressing things happening (2020 especially), the toxicity on book twitter, and the fomo I get when I see my friends hanging out without me (well, normally I have fomo, in 2020 I just have rage that they’re not taking the pandemic seriously), and I would like to just… not use social media but I feel like it’s become so essential… I’m glad this experience was good for you :)

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    1. That’s how I was feeling- the FOMO was hitting me in the beginning. I don’t know if I would be able to go a whole month off the grid, but I bet it was amazing! I agree that social media has become essential, especially considering my major in school (PR)- I can’t really escape it 😅 I think it’s just important to use it intentionally and limit your time online :)

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  4. i’ve seen so many people try out social media breaks for a week, and they’ve all talked about how beneficial it was for them. i definitely want to try it out some time this year — it’s going to be so hard for me (which is sad to think about), but seeing you and others do it is definitely motivating! and YES to what you said about using social media consciously vs scrolling. i think before i do a break i want to attempt to just exit the app once i find myself doomscrolling and see how much my time on social media improves!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really at first (and throughout, as I talked about), but overall I think it was definitely good at improving my mood. Even if you just start small (one day a week, a weekend, etc.), it could help a lot! I think that’s a good idea, too- what I’ve done now that this detox is over is set limits on Instagram and Twitter, so I can only use them for an hour a day!

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  5. I had a week off social media a couple of weeks ago and it was so refreshing! I also really don’t use it as much now (apart from Instagram, I do get sucked into that) which is good because I can be so much more productive.
    It was quite hard the first few days because a couple times I actually ended up opening the app and then quickly closing it again, but once I got back into a routine of not using it, it was so nice! Twitter like you said can be so bad for my mental health cause I just find it so overwhelming, and now I hardly use it.
    Loved reading this post! I definitely need to do a few days without social media again soon, I just find it so hard because with my business instagram page I don’t want to see engagement suffer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree with the part that is was difficult. I need to do this more often, though, so that it will become more of a habit to just check my phone a lot less often. I think there are so many positives to social media, which is why I could never quit it completely, but time away and being conscious of how you utilize it is super helpful!

      The Instagram engagement issue was something that was also causing that itchy feeling in me- I was worried about how many followers I would lose and how much less engagement my posts would get upon my return! BUT- i used the app ‘later’ to schedule my Instagram posts for the week, so I had that at least to keep up some presence :)

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  6. This is a post I needed!! I have been spending way too much time on social media since quarantine started but I never had the motivation to change that. Seeing your post makes me really happy and hopeful that I can take a break, too. 😁💛

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am constantly putting my phone down and walking away. I took a mini-break over the holiday weekend and didn’t even post on my blog and tried not to be on my phone at all. I love when I can ditch it completely and just be out in the world. I struggle with the same impulse of checking it but after a couple hours, I forget that it isn’t right next to me. I do think that it is important for everybody to learn how to do… it really does improve my mental state every time, even if I just put it down to watch a movie! Glad you had such a fun week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahh I’ve actually been really looking forward to this post ❤️ Social media is SUCH an integral part of our lives, but I find myself constantly checking my accounts AND IT’S A REAL PROBLEM T___T Twitter itself is really fun, but it moves so quickly and there’s sometimes a lot of negativity on the platform…it can really be a lot. Kayaking and paintballing sound SO FUN!! I really want to do those later on, and as much as I wish you had pictures to share, I’m so glad you had a great time and lived in the moment 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES I AGREE- I love social media, but there’s a certain point where it just leads to negativity, declining mental health, and less productivity! I think using it purposefully is what is most important! & thank you <33 I'm so glad you liked it !! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

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