Over the summer, I traveled to London to study for six weeks. While I was there, I had a data plan with my American plan that allowed international service in the UK, but here's the catch: it allowed less than 1 GB per month. As you may know, that is barely anything. I could only use data when I absolutely needed in emergencies (mostly when I was lost). This meant that I had to sacrifice a lot of cell phone time.
I could only really go on my phone when I was at my apartment and connected to wifi or able to use the free wifi at some restaurants. Looking back, I probably only used my phone for a total of about two or three hours per day. This was a huge difference from at home when I am on my phone virtually 24/7, but I had no other choice. And let me tell you, it was the best thing that could have happened to me on that trip. I was completely unplugged and immersed in my experience.
Since I had such limited time on my phone, Snapchat was the first social media for me to cut back on. It takes too much time (and data) to keep up with stories so I didn't watch a single snap story in my six weeks in London. I did try to keep up with Instagram when I could, but other than that I only used my phone really for iMessage with friends and family back home. When I returned to the US, I would catch up with girlfriends and they would say "OMG, did you see Sally's snap story a few weeks ago with Jim?!?!?" and my reply would just be "Nope. I was in London, I was not worried about social media and I didn't see a thing."
I didn't feel FOMO. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. I didn't feel behind on any events. I simply felt relieved. It was almost like a weight lifted off my shoulders knowing I didn't have to worry about going on my phone constantly and keeping up with all the social media. I could just be 100% present with the people I was with on my adventure and I could soak everything in with no distractions. I am so happy I was not worried about posting things for people at home to see how much fun I was having. Yes, of course, I was having a blast and I posted things here and there so everyone knew I was alive, but I was not documenting every aspect of my life. It felt good.
Now, I am back to my old addicting ways of going on my phone regularly. Not as much as before though. I only check Snapchat a two or three times a day and I don't really care much about posting about my life 24-7. I mostly use social media out of boredom, but I don't feel the same pressure to be up to speed with everyone's personal life at all hours of the day. If I had to go without my phone or social media, I easily could and I would enjoy it just as much the next time around. However, circumstances have not led to that so I guess I will just continue to be a mild user for now. Maybe one day I will switch over to being completely unplugged, but for now, I enjoy a casual splurge here and there.