When was the last time you checked your Twitter or spent all day on Facebook? I used to spend more hours than I can count on social media. I was on it all day. When I woke up, I checked my Facebook. Then, I checked my Instagram over breakfast, and I was answering Facebook messages before I got to the office. With group messages–and a constantly changing news feed–all of my time and attention was getting taken up by social media. When I started getting random messages, that was the final straw. Every day I was thinking whose number is this? So, I finally decided to take a break.
Facebook and I Broke Up for a Week
I let all my friends on social media know I was going to take a break so that they didn’t worry about me, because oddly enough, that actually happens. They definitely would have noticed if I just stopped logging in since I pretty much was online 24/7.
I wasn’t the only one who had been thinking about giving up social media. My plan was to give up social media for one week. Just one week. I figured I could handle just one week of not being on social media. But it was much harder than I thought. I pulled all social media apps off my phone and tablet so I wouldn’t be tempted to look at them, and I started my social media free week on a Monday morning. I was reaching for my phone after about 15 minutes.
But I didn’t give in. At first I didn’t know what to do with myself. It felt like I had so much extra time. I wandered through the house not sure what to do. Once or twice, I tried reading a book but couldn’t concentrate. I really missed being constantly connected to my friends. Desperate, I actually picked up the household phone, a landline, and called a friend. I’m sure it was his turn to say who’s number is this? We talked….ON the phone. We talked for about 30 minutes, the first offline conversation we’d had in almost 6 months. It was amazing!
Over the course of the week, my loss-of-connection anxiety went away, and I started using all that extra time to do things for myself. I started going for walks outside through the neighborhood, cooked full meals for myself, took naps; and I picked up old hobbies that I hadn’t done in a long time. At the end of the week, I found that I didn’t miss social media at all.
My Final Social Media-Free Thoughts
Now my social media apps are back on my phone. When do get a message from someone that I don’t know, my first question isn’t whose number is this? It’s just something I delete and ignore. I check my social media pages maybe once a day. But only once a day, and some days I don’t check them at all. More and more my friends are calling me on the phone to talk or make plans to see each other for coffee. Life without social media is better than I thought it would be, and I won’t go back to using social media constantly like I used to.
Give it a try, email me and let me know how it went! I’m really interested to know if you have the same experience. Also, for you parents out there wondering about Facebook messenger and your kids, take a read here.