My friend Ashley from Ashes Books & Bobs and myself decided to quit social media for the month of July. For me, that included Facebook and Instagram. I went so far as to deactivate both accounts and delete the apps from my phone. 30 days, no social media, no Facebook, no Instagram, nothin. Just plain ole, simple livin.
My reasons for wanting a break were simple:
- My mental health. I struggle with anxiety, and I’ve been learning how to cope with it for the past year or so. I realized that viewing images of other people’s lives and seeing their beautiful vacations, the way they parent, what they wear, how gorgeous their skin is, how successful they are, how nice they are, how happy they are, etc. gave me a near-constant drum roll of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Despite my best efforts, I was never able to shy away from the nasty green monster that reared its head at times. I needed a break.
- Time. Remember a couple of months ago when Apple came out with the new screen time feature where it tells you how much time you spend on each app? Yeah, that was a little frightening. I’m embarrassed to admit how much time I was spending on my phone, but let’s just say it was a lot. I have a 4 year old daughter, am taking summer classes, and my husband has been working full time and attending clinicals since August. My time was stretched thin, yet I was spending so much of what little time I had on my phone. I needed a break.
- Curiosity. I genuinely wanted to see what life would be like without social media. I’ve been on social media since I was a junior in high school, so it’s been a part of my life for almost 10 years. Without it, what would happen? Would I become a recluse? Would I miss out on something? Would people even notice I was gone?
So, what happened during my little hiatus? Absolutely nothing. And it was glorious. So glorious, in fact, that I don’t plan on going back anytime soon. I have read 5 books this past month, not including what I’ve read for my required reading in school. My anxiety has been less persistent, and I have felt content for most of my days. My need to be perfect has dwindled, and I’ve been feeling okay with who I am.
I have realized that social media may have been a good idea at first, and it may still be good for some, but in my season of life right now, it’s not good for me. This is all being said by someone who used to argue against those who belittled social media, mind you, because I used to love it so much. I have made a lot of online friends and I do truly enjoy conversing with other book lovers in the multiple book groups I’m in on Facebook. While I do miss that aspect, the negative affect the rest of social media has on me isn’t worth it.
So, if you’ve ever wondered what time away from social media would look like, you now have my experience. I would encourage you to try it, because you may have a positive experience like me.
Have you ever felt like you needed a break from social media? Do you have any of the same issues as me, or do you have different ones? I would love to converse about this, because sometimes it can be hard to find people that are willing to share their thoughts on this subject. Be sure to head over to Ashley’s page where she shares some of her thoughts on the hiatus as well.