Society loves cleansing. We drink smoothies and fast from junk food in order to release toxins from our bodies. If we can do that for our body, why not our mind? Social media is an addiction to a great amount of people. It is enjoyable, like certain foods, but without caution it can be poisonous.

My social network routine was monotonous and a mindless routine. I was addicted to being in everyone’s business. Log onto Instagram, scroll until nothing new comes up. Open up Snap Chat, watch every snap story until they all disappear. Check Facebook. Like and comment on a status, read a few articles, then go back to Instagram. I partook in this cycle perfectly. I knew it better than the back of my hand. Then one evening a few months ago, a Saturday night nonetheless, I was relaxing in bed, checking every network. I felt depressed because I saw people doing things together that I hadn’t been invited to. That is poisonous for me. Feeling left out is the worst pain I know and my networking routine heightened this pain. This pain sparked curiosity. What would I feel like without social media? I wanted to know what my quality of life would be without the countless minutes I spend staring at different media outlets. Starting on a Monday, I deleted every social application from my phone for an entire week. My results…astounding.

I observed various changes in my everyday habits. Watching TV was more enjoyable as I got through entire episodes without missing a scene due to reading a post on Facebook. I didn’t have the temptation to check my phone at work. The experiment resulted in me gaining sleep since I wasn’t glued to my phone screen before bed. I didn’t feel pain from exclusion simply because I couldn’t see what my friends were doing without me. It created a state of oblivion, but a good oblivion.

Life felt good while I was cleansing, although it wasn’t always a breeze. The challenging part of this cleanse was the weekend. I had exciting plans and typically when I have exciting plans I like to post about them on every site. It was a unique experience going out and not posting a million pictures. I felt relief. I wanted to look good going out to impress the people I was with, not for the photo I was potentially posting online. I didn’t feel obligated to spend my night taking a million pictures and videos. For the first time in ages, I was having fun without sharing it with the whole world.

After a week with not checking my social media accounts, I decided to re-download them all. One might question after a week of a completely content mind, why go back to old habits? Here’s the thing; I am not reverting to my old habits. Cleansing my mind was great but I ultimately did miss connecting with people. I enjoy seeing pictures, statuses and articles. Social networking is an amazing tactic to stay in touch with people, which is why I can’t go without it forever. However, I recommend that everyone try this cleanse at some point to learn how to enjoy media without addiction. When we cleanse our bodies from junk food, we learn that deprivation from everything considered unhealthy isn’t good. Just like food, social media should be used in moderation and that’s exactly what a cleanse will teach you.