Nowadays, social media is EVERYWHERE. It is almost inescapable. I made the personal decision to shut personal social media down for the work week. It was my decision and I could not be happier with the outcome. The following are some things I learned while taking my break.
People freak out
I made the choice to announce that I would not be available through social media. The announcement was to make sure that if someone needed to reach me, they knew to contact my cell or email. My thought process was that with the announcement, there would not need to be a freakout.
However, I was wrong. I received some major backlash. Luckily, by the time this was all sent to me I had already logged out and walked away. It was very surprising to me that my absence would anger people.
Not only was there anger, a lot of people thought something was wrong with me. I appreciate the concern, but the fact that the only reason people reached out to me because I was not going to be online was somewhat of a wake-up call to who is really there for me.
It is somewhat difficult.
Originally, the plan was to keep my notifications on for emergency purposes because there a lot of people who contact me via Instagram and Twitter. I wanted to keep it readily available just in case something went terribly wrong. This was scrapped in a matter of 24 hours.
It became too difficult to see each meaningless notification pop up on my screen and just ignore it. All notifications were turned off. The only way to get my attention was to text, call, or email.
My friends would ask me if I saw something that popped up their feed and I would have to remind them that I was currently cut off from that aspect of the world. I was fine with it the majority of the time, but I definitely suffered from some pretty bad FOMO.
My stress level did not drop right away.
It was an experience! I thought that without the world having a constant access to me, I would immediately feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.
False. My stress stayed because I was concerned that something was happening and I was unable to participate in it. However, this did fade and I ended up enjoying not having to scroll through multiple feeds and stay in continuous contact with people.
There are so many more things to do without your phone.
Trust me, I know that the world is much more entertaining than what I am shown in media. Actually experiencing that proved to be nothing short of amazing. I was able to get more work done and enjoy life without having to seem perfect for the camera. I am one of those people who posts what I want, BUT it goes through many speculations of my own to be able to be viewed by the public.
I also tend to post something on at least one social site daily. I had so much free time when I didn't have to worry about posting. I read a book. A real one. For fun. The one downside was not documenting all the fun moments on I had off camera, but just living in the moment proved worth it.
Sleep is a gift worth fighting for.
Sleep comes so easily when you're not on your phone right before bed. AND IT IS SO WORTH IT. In college, where sleep can be a thing of legends, getting those extras minutes or hours can mean the world to your health.
All week, I was better rested and felt so much healthier. It was truly amazing. With that knowledge, I turn my phone off 20 minutes before going to bed every night now. Gotta get those Zs.
Social media cannot dictate my mood.
In all honesty, we are very much influenced by what we see in the media. It's natural and that's how the world works nowadays. However, with a week off I realized that even if I take a negative aspect out of my life I still have to make conscious decisions towards my own happiness.
I wanted to get away from the drama and the trash that is online for a while because I thought to distance myself would help me be happier. Don't get me wrong, it did have benefits. Those benefits are not the only factor in happiness. I learned that no matter what is going on, I have to be able to put in my perspective and make the best decisions on my terms for my happiness.
Overall, I highly recommend taking a social media break for a few days, weeks, months...whatever works best for you. It gives you a chance to remember what it's like to not be tied to your phone and really embrace the world for what it is.