Taking a break from social media is like trying to abstain from a drug addiction…there’s a lot of withdrawal and you keep telling yourself “just a peak won’t hurt” especially when the world is in shambles but the joke memes keep flying. It can be very hard to disconnect.
Instagram, Twitter, and even Facebook (to an extent), are platforms that can provide hours of entertainment by simply scrolling through timelines. It gets so bad that sometimes you find yourself closing an app only to open it up again five seconds later in hopes of some new content.
Other times you’ll cycle endlessly between apps just in case you missed something. Some of the apps have small time wasters built in like Instragram’s trash ass boomerang feature. No, I don’t want to see you twirl your hair back and forth for 10 seconds…be creative.
That’s not to say that social media doesn’t offer positive benefits. It’s a means to keep in touch with people you can’t frequent with daily. It’s also one of the most freeing forms of expression.
And it allows you to find someone in the world who shares that same interest that you keep secret from your real life friends because we all have that one weird thing. Sometimes, it sparks change in the real world. Social media can be great.
But to be honest, social media offers a lot less pros than it does cons. Taking a break may feel like you’re losing your life and the FOMO is major, but I deleted the apps and three weeks into my break sparked a ton of benefits.
Remember being a kid and getting lost in activities for hours with no reference to time? Well, that’s still possible.
With the lack of distractions from notifications, posts, and updates, I found myself able to focus on tasks at hand for longer periods of time. You won’t find yourself breaking your flow by opening up apps, and that gives you a great sense of control.
The urge to check a phone is nonexistent and it not only benefits work, but life becomes enjoyable again. There’s a level of presence that’s brought back and keeps you in the moment when hanging out with friends or meeting people in social settings which leads to having more fun.
2) Thinking for yourself
With everything going on in the world, social media constantly bombards us with ads, thoughts, ideas, and information. Politics was one of the biggest factors that helped me abstain from social media.
The constant depressive news about Trump and his administration, along with debates on the Left and Right about how protests should take place became exhausting. Group think is a big issue in today’s world and we often don’t realize how our thoughts are not always ours and can be manipulated by the information that we read.
We take in so much on social media that a lot of it isn’t processed consciously and embeds itself in our subconscious. Seeing as that we’re dichotomous by nature (we pick one side and disregard the other), we often seek information that feeds our beliefs and agendas which creates an unwillingness to be open to different opinions.
A wise man once tweeted “focus on yourself.” Ironic right? Since that day I’ve been trying to accomplish goals that I’ve set for myself and it wasn’t until this break that i discovered achieving my goals to be easier.
You know all those small things that you put off until the very last minute just because you can? With all the free time that’s freed up with no social media you find it harder to occupy yourself, so those small tasks like updating your resume stare you right in the face.
As a result you’ll find yourself saying “fuck it” and proceed to get things done. We have a lot of time in the day, it’s just a matter of allocating the right time to the right tasks.
Lastly, I want to touch on how social media is a collection of people’s highlights which can make you feel inferior for not being in a similar position. Take for example vacation posts.
You may wonder how someone your age can constantly go on vacation and explore the world endlessly while you punch in your hours at work trying to survive.
Or the relationship posts. Isn’t it funny how a couple is always happy on social media? But that same couple argues a lot in real life?
People post the best of themselves or sometimes all of themselves on social media. That’s not to say they’re not doing those things but it neglects all the work put into it and subconsciously has an effect on you. Take in how you sometimes hate seeing some of those posts.
The best form of revenge is to focus on yourself and do better, and a good place to start is to cut ties with social media or limit it in some way. You may feel like you’re missing out on so many things, but the truth is you’re not.
I no longer feel like a slave to my phone that has to check for updates on people’s lives. It’s worth it, give it a shot.