Things I Learned on a Social Media Break:
- It was easier than expected. Once I posted that I was taking a break, I knew there was no turning back. I didn't set a time frame, but I aimed for at least a few days. I didn't dramatically delete my apps or accounts; I trusted I could use my own self control, along with the fear of Internet shaming if I came back too soon. To help, I did move my Facebook and Instagram apps to a less accessible folder on my phone to get them out of my face. Once this was done, I went on with my life. After accepting this was my new reality, I truly didn't miss social media. If I felt like sharing something or wanted to know how anyone was doing, I messaged them directly. I checked news directly from a news source (when I felt like it). When I came back a week later, I knew I could have stayed off longer, but everyone needed to know I was at the Cher concert.
|What's out there?
- I checked my e-mail A LOT more without social media. I'd become so used to just clicking a social app anytime I held my phone, my wired brain still needed to to tap something other than Facebook or Instagram. My e-mail app still stared at me, so I'd open it. Thankfully, it reminded me each time that e-mail is usually boring or junk, so I could just get my fix deleting a few e-mails and move on with my life.
- It's easy to check social media at EVERY down moment. I would feel the twitch to grab my phone anytime I was sitting down. Without the option of a Facebook or Insta glance, I realized what a habit it'd become. What the hell did we do with ourselves a mere 5 to 10 years ago? I guess we just sat there, taking in whatever real world experience was around us, even if it was mundane. I started to enjoy being someone not on my phone at every moment, taking in the sights and sounds around me. I felt more open to the world and the people around me, although I still avoided small talk with strangers at all costs.
- I started to feel better. My mild, undiagnosed mild depression and anxiety slowly faded a bit with more time away from the social feeds. It wasn't a cure-all; I'm still a basket case. But I started to feel better and more confident again about being a basket case.
- Facebook annoys me. When I decided to return to social media, I was mildly irritated and stressed to return to Facebook. Yes, I could delete it, but I don't want to. I don't want to lose it as a great connection to people and information. It still annoys me, like that drunk, racist, distant relative you have to tolerate over holidays. But like that relative, Facebook sometimes has a word of wisdom or a funny meme in between the slurs.
Now that I'm back on social media, I'll have these life lessons on my mind for at least the next few days. I've vowed to limit by social media usage now, unless I get desperate for attention or affection.
|Look how much fun I'm having!
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