I have a confession to make. I used to have a social media addiction. Like, a really bad social media addiction. It completely took over my life. I’d scroll for hours to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I constantly compared my life to the perfectly curated ones on Instagram. Something needed to change, so I decided to take a break. I deactivated my Facebook, deleted my Twitter and Instagram apps, and took a 4 month break from social media.
I had more time
Now that I no longer checked Instagram as soon as I woke up, I had way more time in the morning. I could cook a full breakfast and enjoy it before leaving for the day, because I wasn’t too busy scrolling through everyone’s evening out from the night before. My evenings were full of reading awesome books, instead of reading about everyone’s day on Facebook. I no longer fell into the rabbit hole of Facebook stalking.
I felt better about myself
Like most people, I was a victim of the comparison filter. Because I changed schools and majors so many times, I spent a few extra years in college. I constantly compared myself to my high school classmates who were starting careers, while I was just trying to get through my last semester of school. When I stopped seeing their apparently perfect lives, I stopped feeling like such a failure. I focused on myself and my classes, and I graduated with honors.
I slept better
Before my break from social media, checking my various accounts was the last thing I did before I went to sleep. I often ended up getting sucked into the aforementioned social media rabbit hole, and before I knew it, it was 3 am. During my break, I was actually to fall asleep at a normal hour, and I woke up feeling refreshed.
I actually spoke to other humans
Social media is a great tool for connecting with others. However, I used it as a replacement for actual human interaction. Speaking to other humans can be difficult for introverts, so I used social media as my main form of social interaction. During my break, I started to crave conversations, so I spoke to actual people! It was really weird at first, but for the first time since I moved to North Carolina, I started to come out of my shell.
I spent less money
Social media wasn’t my only addiction. I’m also a horrible shopaholic. Following my favorite brands on social media was super dangerous. Every time I saw a sale or new release, I had to have it. Yes, I still got emails from my favorite brands, but without the constant deluge of product pictures from my Instagram feed, I didn’t feel the need to buy everything.
I stopped thinking about my exes
Be honest. You know you’ve fallen into the trap of Facebook stalking your ex. Maybe they commented on your friend’s status. Maybe you saw a post from their best friend. You don’t know exactly what happened, but you somehow ended up on your ex’s mom’s best friend’s cousin’s profile.
This happened to me more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes I’d feel better, because I’d kicked those losers out of my life. Sometimes I’d cry and eat my feelings while thinking about what could have been. It definitely wasn’t healthy. During my break from social media, I thought about my exes less and less, because I didn’t have anything to remind me of them.
My migraines became less frequent
I’ve suffered from migraines since high school, and staring at my phone or computer screen for hours on end definitely didn’t help. Without social media, I had no reason to stare at my phone, and my migraines magically decreased! I no longer had to spend hours in bed or wear sunglasses inside every other week.
I enjoyed the little things more
Instead of trying to get the perfect picture for Instagram, I lived in the moment and just enjoyed things. I didn’t have to spend 20 minutes trying to get the perfect picture of my food. I just ate it! Instead of seeing the world through my phone camera, I just saw the world! It was glorious.
Obviously, my break from social media ended, but I came back a brand new person. Social media is still a great tool to connect with people, both personally and professionally, but it no longer rules my life.
Have you ever taken a break from social media?
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