Today I want to talk about the time I went on a social media cleanse for 7 days. It was a very eye opening and interesting experience and I think I learned some new things about myself. It wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking research, but it was interesting to try something like this. We live in a time where we are constantly fed information via social media and we spend hours each day staring at the blue light on our phones and computers. Let me first tell you how this idea came to me…
One morning I woke up at 6:30am to get ready to go to the gym before work, but I thought, “Why don’t I just lay here for a few minutes and catch up on my social media from the night before?” I checked Snapchat first, then Groupme, and finally Instagram just like I do every morning. I only keep these three social media apps on my phone because I decided I don’t like Twitter or Facebook very much. I then proceeded to scroll through Instagram for FORTY-FIVE MINUTES and realized at 7:15am that it was too late to go to the gym so I went back to sleep instead. I slept until 7:45am and guess what happened next! I scrolled through Instagram for another THIRTY MINUTES. It was in that moment that I thought, “I have a problem.”
I’m sure it happens to the best of us but I knew it was a good time to take a break from scrolling for a few days. I decided 7 days would be sufficient, just to break up my routine. Here are a few things that happened during that week:
- I realized that I always feel like I have no time for anything because I spend entirely too much time scrolling through my phone. My favorite thing to complain about is that I’m “too busy” and “never have time for anything”. This week I realized that I actually have a lot of time for things, I just use it to scroll through Instagram instead.
- I get a lot of my inspiration from my social media. During that week, I wouldn’t say I was feeling down, but I definitely lacked inspiration and didn’t have those creative juices flowing. I had nothing to help stimulate those creative ideas and it was noticeable.
- I realized I didn’t have any other hobbies. Sure, I have some friends and sure I go to the gym sometimes, but during that week I was bored. I had nothing to do during my free time and if you’re catching my drift, you probably know why. Before that week, my free time was me sitting in bed scrolling through my various social media apps until it was time to go to bed.
- By the end of the week, I almost didn’t want it back. If it hadn’t been for a slow day at work on day 8 of my cleanse, I probably would have kept going. By days 6 and 7, I was realizing that I didn’t need my social media apps. I could absolutely live without them and that was totally okay.
I have to say it was a painfully slow week, but I am happy I did it. It made me realize how much social media affected me and how much time I wasted mindlessly scrolling. I can’t say that I rid my whole house from technology and never looked back, but I think it helped me be more aware of my behavior. It was a bad habit that I can now actively work on. Social media is an awesome tool that we have today, but we definitely need to use it wisely!