Let’s admit it, social media becomes a part of our daily life, and we tend to enjoy browsing our favorite apps or visiting our favorite websites without noticing that we actually spend so much time in social media. Sometimes it takes over us. We might not notice, but social media actually cause irritation, stress and anxiety; it’s full of negative energy and it’s so overwhelming. Sometimes, we cannot appreciate the beauty of the surroundings because we are too attached to our devices. Why not put our screen down and breathe? I was thinking what if phones and the internet didn’t exist? Letters could still be a thing, reading could be everyone’s past time, the world may be different.
Just like other people, it became a part of my morning routine to check social media platforms as soon as I wake up. I scroll through my feed, read posts, view stories… scroll through my feed, read posts, view stories… every single day. I got tired of the routine because I realized that I spend more time online than offline, and I can’t finish the things that I need to do, or I can’t do them on time. It made me unproductive, especially now that we are experiencing this pandemic and we cannot go out. Originally, I planned to just limit the use of social media until I decided to take a very short break. I realized that I needed to totally disconnect because social media consumed me, and it’s unhealthy. Here are the reasons why I decided to go offline for a while:
- To get away from negativities.
- I want to refresh my mind.
- This is a much needed break.
- To reconnect to the real world.
- I want to focus on myself.
- I want to restore my energy.
- I want to be productive.
- I want to challenge myself.
I thought it’s hard at first, but it’s actually easier than what I expected. I didn’t know that I can get through the day without opening any social media application. I kind of gave myself a permission to use SocMed in the evening before I go to sleep for (only) an hour, but since I was busy living in the moment, I didn’t realize that I didn’t open any app at all. So I decided to have a little experiment and mute all my accounts. Cutting out my use of social media is really strange for me, but I can finally say that I did it. It may sound like a punishment, but it’s really worth it and the benefits can be rewarding. Now I want to share the random things I’ve learned from this detox, from the littlest to the biggest things.
- A 45-minute workout in the morning feels great. I am the last person I know who will exert an effort to workout/exercise, I actually hate physical activities. So the fact that I woke up early in the morning to workout for 5 consecutive days is already a miracle. I realized that working out somehow sets up my mood for the whole day, and boosts my energy. I hope I discovered it earlier, but hey, it’s better late than never!
- A super cold shower in the morning is refreshing for the body and the mind. I swear it’s the best thing ever. You should try it sometime.
- A little devotion in the morning cleanses the soul. I bought a new book called ‘The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations by Joyce Meyer,’ and it’s the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up. I listen to devotion/worship songs and read the verse of the day. It really helps spiritually, and helps reconnect with God.
- Reading is therapeutic. 80% of the time I was just reading and it helps me reflect on things. Plus learning is fun. I love learning new things. Instead of reading tweets, why not read a book, right?
- Filter / limit what I share online. It has become a norm for us to share our everyday lives on social media. During my time of reflection, I realized that sometimes we tend to over share things online. We need to keep in mind that there are things that are worth sharing, and things that aren’t even necessary to share or post. We are responsible for our own actions, so better be careful with sharing anything. We don’t need to post our daily activities for the world to see; it’s also for our own safety. A little privacy might be nice.
- “Happiness is in the doing, not in the result.” I actually read this in the book ‘Ikigai by Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia’, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s very satisfying when you are slowly achieving something that you worked hard for. Like this social media detox, I still can’t believe I did it even only for a short time.
- Patience is a key to success. Don’t be tempted. I’ll admit there are times that I’d like to open Instagram to check what’s going on, but I didn’t let temptation come my way. I sticked to my plan, and voila! Success!
- You are not missing out on anything. It’s very easy to feel left out just because you didn’t see that post, or that story. Sometimes we fear being left out because we are offline, and we want to catch up. But I realized that we are not missing out if we choose to focus more on the real world rather than the world on the web. We have to learn to turn our fear of missing out into the joy of missing out because social media is not reality.
- Being disconnected clears the mind. I swear it does! Being away from social media helped me adjust my focus, brought me calmness, and made me productive. It also gave me time to think, restart, and regain all my positive energy. I feel less distracted. To be honest, I didn’t think I can finish this blog post in one sitting. I actually scrolled back at this point and I was so surprised that I already wrote a lot. I think social media detox also helped me bring out my passion for blogging.
- No hashtags or captions can express the feeling of being free mentally. No social media = freedom. Have you ever spent so much time thinking of a what caption to write? Or what hashtags should you use? During socmed fasting, I was able to enjoy each moment and really savor it. No notifications and no mentions to check, no negative tweets, no comparisons. Real life has no filters. You have imperfections? Embrace it! You look messy? Who cares? Others may think differently? Don’t mind them. Social media fasting is a breath of fresh air.
Most of the greatest moments happen offline and even if I only spent 5 days off of social media, it was far more insightful than I thought it would be. I did more things than the usual. My day would start by reading a daily devotional, and then I will fill up my journal; it will be followed by a nice workout, a cold shower, and then I’ll study and take some quizzes; sometimes I will work for an hour then I will finish the day with a book in my hand. During my free times, I go out for a walk, buy some flowers or watch people outside.
In conclusion, it helps me feel good about myself again. I feel good without having the need to pass society’s “standards,” each day or dwell with my inner thought saying “you are not good enough.” No one would actually claim it, but social media ruined our minds and took away our self confidence. We see so much “beauty” online that sometimes we feel worthless or insecure about ourselves. It made us question why life is unfair, or why our life is so much different from the others. Social media detox is an experience that I will never forget. I should do this more often, at least once a month. And another thing I will avoid is checking my phone in the morning, so I can start my day right.
Now it’s your turn. Try to detox even if you’re hesitant. Try a day and slowly progress to a week, then a month. Track and monitor your social media usage first, then set your goals; think of it as a challenge and resist temptation, and reward yourself after you accomplish it. I promise you, it’s worth it! :)
Now time activate my socials! If ever you finished reading my blog, thank you, I appreciate it so much. It’s been a long time since the last time I actually poured my heart in writing.