I did it. My two week Facebook/ Twitter / Instagram abstinence is over. And yes, I fully appreciate the irony of using social media to share the findings of my social media detox.
The grand hopes of turning into a gym bunny and gourmet chef with all that extra time on my hands hasn’t materialised but my mood has significantly shifted. I feel calmer, more optimistic, more productive and more present.
The first few days were spent recalibrating my habits but by midweek, I was doing just fine. It was a lot easier than I thought.
I’ve been unusually sociable over this period, attending work reunions, having nights out with the girls and riding rollercoasters with my 3 year old, all of which I would have ordinarily posted on social media. At first I was frustrated for not being able to ‘share’ these moments but I soon questioned why I’d felt the need broadcast my life at every juncture, a habit that I’d developed over the past decade.
With trepidation I logged onto Facebook last night but felt uneasy, as if I was imposing on something. I ended up ‘liking’ a few funny posts and offering belated Happy Birthdays but logged out after 10mins for fear that I would get sucked right back into the abyss.
Aside from my work, I’m certainly in no hurry to dive back in as I’m reaping the benefits of this new found rhythm. I was addicted and am still in recovery.
Here are 10 things I have learnt:
1.Removing all social media apps from your phone works as does logging out of all email accounts and consciously signing in to read anything online
2. You realise how ridiculous it is to envy the lives of complete strangers you follow on Instagram and deep down know that you’d probably find them quite annoying if you met them in the real world.
3. Likewise, some of your actual friends that you find really annoying on social media are much more agreeable in the real world.
4. You stop carrying your phone around the house like a baby
5. Posting and then being concerned about the number of ‘likes’ you receive is a self-perpetuating road to insecurity. Judging people’s worth, including your own, based on followers and likes should only be attributed to folk who choose to make a living online
6. Facebook is a brilliant platform to raise awareness of causes and issues but is mostly a place to have a little boast and there’s nothing wrong with that
7. Social media showcases some brilliant smart arse humour that you don’t find anywhere else
8. You risk being de-friended / upsetting people for missing birthdays, promotions, party invites, new pets, babies etc…
9. A detox buddy really helps. Thanks Laura x
10. Your new sense of perspective makes you worry about the future and feel a bit old