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!
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!