Social media means a lot to me. I use it to promote my business and my blog. I also use it to interact with my friends and family.
I love social media — I love that I can reach out more people and I love that it makes me more creative.
However, after 6 years of using social media (at least on my count), I suddenly realized that heavy use of it has affected me badly. My mobile phone has a function where it monitors my app consumption and social media tops the list. I’ve spent almost 5 hours on it a day. I actually scan social media the moment I wake up , after lunch and before I go to sleep. Pretty much all the time.
It makes me sad when the engagement is low and when the follows decrease. It also makes me guilty to be unproductive because of my social media habits. I felt like I can do more if I didn’t spend time checking on it from time to time.
So, I decided to start a 7 day self-imposed social media detox. I deleted my social media apps and blocked social media sites on my laptop. I want to do this for me to have more time to myself — to see what I can do on my free-time instead of checking other people’s lives on social media, and how much more creative I can get.
7 Day Social Media Detox Journal
Day 1 *August 17* – I quit social media today and my mind is going crazy. I noticed myself constantly looking at my phone to check whether I have notifications or not. I watched a Ted Talk about social media and it says there that going in social media is like going to a casino. He associated it with slot machines like we pull it multiple times anticipating to get a reward… And us looking on our social media glancing on it the moment we wake up, up to the moment we go to bed anticipating likes and comments. I’m guilty of that!
The first day is not easy! I admit I still check social media because I have my online course group there where I submit my assignment and I have kpop concert ticket selling to get updated to! But the difference now is that I don’t scroll my timeline now… I’m only focused on specific pages where I need to get updates; and the time I spent on social media is a lot lower than it was before… I’ve spent 1 hour for the whole day! And the rest of the day I started reading two books ; fixing my newsletter which I have put on hold for a long time ; running an errand ; and working on my bravergoals project. It was a productive day for me and I’m happy with that!
Day 2 *August 18* – Day 2 is a lot easier compare to Day 1. My focus is fixed on my quiz for my evening Korean class so I didn’t have time to check on my social media accounts. Instead, I reviewed on my quiz, went to the mall to look for books and go to class. It really helps that I have something to divert my attention to. Yes to slow improvement!!! Yey!
Day 3 *August 19* – I had a hard time not opening Twitter page today since it’s ticket selling for #SVTIdealCutinMNL . I need to update myself whether there are a lot of people lining up at the malls or if I have chances to buy tickets. I think I’m online on twitter for 2 hours because I look for updates from time to time and messaged people on ticket website issues. After I bought the ticket, I immediately logged out. I felt guilty that I went online while I’m on social media detox. Although, while I go online on Twitter for the day, my use of social media has now reasons. Not unlike before that because I was bored I scan / browse for long hours… It’s now more intentional, which I find good.
Day 4 *August 20* – I didn’t go online today, Hurray! 🙂 I am so focused on my Passion Project and my freelance work that I prevented myself from checking it as I’m working. Of course, when I’m on break I still get tempted to browse on my social media sites but when I do, the Self Control extension will remind me to focus. So what it does is whenever I access Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sites — It redirects me to the screen below. It will not show me the site because I blocked it on the extension. It takes discipline and honesty not to unblock it! 🙂
Day 5 *August 21* – I’m already starting to get used to not having social media. I no longer think of checking notifications from time to time but instead I think of my task for the day. I started living my day like how a private person lives — meditate, write my daily journal, do my work for the day, take pictures of things that inspire me, read books, eat, and watch tv. I can now watch those local dramas on TV with my parents which was great. Before, I’m only focused on my cellphone scanning through my friends post. I like how my mind and my habits have shifted.
Day 6 *August 22* – I’ve met my classmate in Glorietta today. We’ve spent the day eating and talking about kpop and work. Those real-life conversation is something that cannot be replaced by social media. I didn’t even took pictures of the restaurant where we ate because it’s not mandatory. I think my phone is placed on my side table the entire time and I only look at it when there’s a text message or when I have to check the time. I notice myself become more happier too!
Day 7 *August 23* – I’m starting to get used to having a day without social media. I felt like it’s out on my system already which is good. Whenever I sit down on my working space, I am not distracted anymore. I am able to focus on my task. I don’t have the urge to pause in the middle of work and do other things. Although, I’m still thinking whether I can keep this up after the detox is over. I don’t want to regress back into my old social media habits.
Grab your free mini social media detox guide right here:
Things I Learned from 7-Day Social Media Detox
- I become more productive. I’m able to do the things I’ve set on my Google calendar. Before my social media detox, I only put a few task because I’m eager to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to look for updates. I keep scrolling on it for X amount of hours. Now, I am able to use my time better. I am able to put the time I used for scrolling social media to other things which is good! 🙂
- I conquer the fear of missing out. There are a lot of topics being talk about on Facebook and this is also what people talk about offline. One thing, I don’t want to happen is that I’ll feel left out because I don’t know what they are talking about. But, after my social media detox, I realized that the news are being broadcasted on TV or even radio so I can still know what’s happening to the world. Also, I’ve conquered the fear of missing out because I don’t know what I’m missing out for. (Does that make sense?)
- I break away from the social comparison cycle. I no longer compare myself to other people. I stopped saying I wish I could be like them, I wish I have that too! It makes me sad and lonely. Now, I’ve learned to live life the way I want to, not the way people wants to! I became more contented on what I have and became grateful.
- I become happier and less stress. It makes me feel happy not to see all those rants and fights on social media posts / comments. Oh! Even those chains! Ugh! Such a relief! It was so peaceful to only see things online that makes me inspired and motivated.
- I have protected my privacy. Most of my social media friends unfollow me because I only share articles or kpop related things on my timeline other than my life. I do that because I want to only share things I want the world to know. I want to post something that I won’t regret posting — because one post cannot be totally deleted even if its already deleted. It was there forever so I want to be responsible to what I share online. Like they said #thinkbeforeyouclick. I also don’t want these apps to get more information about me to target me on advertisements. The less post I do, the less information I release.
I will still use social media and take advantage of its marketing power. However, this time, I will be more intentional for using it. I will just post and leave the site. I will only allot time for using it and not spend more time scanning through everything.