A few weeks ago, I was challenged to not go on social media for 10 days. I was also asked to remove anything else that might have a distracting influence in my life. So I turned off Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Spotify, and my most beloved Youtube. Many of you may ask, "Are you out of your mind?" or "How did you live?". And yet, it was the best thing I did.
At first, I had what I like to call withdrawals. It was amazing to see how unaware I was of my unconscious need to constantly check social media and listen to music. Then, I realized how ridiculous it was to dwell on missing the top 40 hit songs of the week. But of course, soon, I got really bored. However, being the busy-body that I am that didn't last long. This is when my life changed and I saw the endless opportunities that had come into my reach.
1. More timeGiphy
For starters, I had so much free time on my hands. I could get done everything I needed to get done and I had time to spare. All of a sudden, I felt like time was no longer against me.
2. Reaching out to peopleGiphy
Then, with social media no longer as a means of communication, I found that I need to reach out to people through some other way. So I went back to (dare I say 'old-fashion') texting and calling. If I wanted to see someone I needed to reach out to them personally, rather than through a big post on social media. Where my relationships stood with people became very clear and gave me the chance to strengthen those relationships that lacked some love.
In addition to having more time on my hands, I could now use that time to do more. I found more time to apply to jobs and graduate school. I found more time to dedicate to my studies. I found more time to go and serve those around me. I now felt like a contributing member of society.
By not having the chance to see what other people were doing in their lives, I was now able to see what areas of my life needed improvement. I did some spring cleaning. I picked up old hobbies. I even had a spa day.
In addition, to not see other people's lives, I no longer had the chance to compare myself to others. I felt more positivity enter my life. I was able to more easily identify the good things about myself and how to keep up with them.
Without having ads constantly bombarding me, I no longer had time to desire things I did not have. Instead, my gratitude increased tremendously. I learned to appreciate what I did have and make use of the things I had neglected. I learned to love those around me and to be someone people could rely on when weary.
7. Peace of mindGiphy
Finally, my overall peace of mind increased after being away from social media for 10 days. I found myself not anxious about what I was missing out on, but rather I was fully immersed in the present.
Taking a break from social media was life-changing. I did start using social media once I ended the 10-day challenge. However, the way I use social media now is very different. I make sure I go online with a clear purpose. I seek out to maintain personal relationships, not just online but in person. I make sure to plan time to do the things I enjoy, like community gatherings and service.
Now it is your turn! Doing this challenge was the best thing I did. I invite you to do the same and have a 10-day social media break. Also, include things that you feel may be clouding your mind. I promise you will find so many benefits from this experience. You will not regret doing it. It will change your life!
For the direct challenge, check out this talk by Russell M. Nelson.