I’m not sure how many of you realized, but I recently took a short (one week) break from social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) and I felt like I got so much done. The decision to take this break was really for my mental health; I spend a lot of time scrolling through apps like Instagram aimlessly and it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the fluff. I say fluff because you never really know what’s happening on the other side of a person’s Instagram profile. It’s also very easy to get caught up and start comparing yourself to others. I also felt like I was spending a lot of unnecessary time watching what others were doing with their life instead of living mine.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like and enjoy using social media but breaks are needed at times. At first it was really hard because waking up and checking my social media pages was something I did everyday and to suddenly change your routine, well…. Today, I’ve decided to share with you guys a few things I got done while on this break, and hopefully inspire you as well.
Surviving a social media break:
Reclaim your time
1/ Enroll in a course
Did you guys know there are various websites that offer FREE courses in a variety of topics? I was made aware of this first through LinkedIn then at my workplace, and finally decided to take advantage of it. I enrolled in this course previously but never had the time (made the time) to actually complete the modules. Well, given all my free time away from social media I actually sat down and got some things done. I like that it’s self-paced so you can leave it for a few days and still come back to it; there are other courses which require you to do assignments and have strict deadlines. You also earn a certificate after each course you complete. I’m currently doing an introductory course on climate change as it relates to my field of work.
Tip: If you’re not interested in courses, try learning something new on YouTube. Free courses can be found on Coursera.
2/ Read a book
Currently reading: The Alchemist
Just Read: Girlboss
Next up: You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
Whatever you wanted to write on twitter write it in a journal instead; write about how not using social media makes you feel. During my break I realized I mainly used twitter to complain about stuff throughout the day. Since I didn’t have that outlet anymore I processed my feelings and really thought about what I was complaining about.
I also found myself coming up with new ideas for posts as well as updating older posts with present information and Pinterest images.
4/ Learn a New Language
Remember how I started duolingo but fell off? Well, I’m back on track and totally loving their new update. I’ve been putting more effort into my french as opposed to Spanish since I learnt that in school. Still, practice makes perfect and helps you to remember stuff.
Cutting out social media shows you how much free time you really have.
Reconnect with the world
5/ Actually socialize
Being away from social media meant I didn’t have my phone in my hand all the time. Because in reality nobody is really messaging someone else 24/7. I was now actually sitting and chit chatting with coworkers over lunch. I also noticed how much they were on their phones, and how much the conversation revolved around what was happening on social media.
Tip: Spend sometime making physical connections.
6/ Live in the moment
Ditch the FOMO (fear of missing out). Surviving a break from social media is really all about discipline. When you realize the amount of free time you have on your hands you’ll definitely see the need for a change. Even if you don’t want to stay away for an entire week or month, just monitor how often you’re actually using it when you can be doing something constructive.
Moderation is key.
The app I felt the least desire to return to is twitter (my personal account). However I’d limit my time spent on my blog account, which is mostly for promoting and a little engagement with folks. I’d also monitor time spent on Instagram. I’m not worried much about Pinterest or snapchat because I’ve already minimized my time a lot on these apps.
Time is a valuable thing. Hope you’re not wasting too much of it.
Have you ever taken a social media break?
What were the outcomes?
Let me know in the comments!