Yep, you read that right, I intentionally went an entire week without checking any Social Media.
The motivation behind my decision was a challenge given by the leaders of my Church (I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) at the Women’s Session of General Conference. The challenge was given that we take time to minimize distractions and negative thoughts, as well as be more intentional with our time. Admittedly, I was not thrilled about the thought of fasting from Social Media. I enjoy seeing updates from family and friends, and its a large part of my success as a blogger. And what initially ended up being my true motivator was that my Husband didn’t think I would be able to do it. I knew I would have to delete the apps on my phone, or else I would be way to tempted to click and start browsing. The only app I kept was email, because I use that to communicate for work. Here are the things I learned, while on my break.
I need to manage my time better
Okay, so even though I knew I spent a lot of time browsing, I didn’t realize just how much. The first couple of days were hard and I would habitually check my phone every couple of minutes. I guess I just needed it to be gone, to realize how much I looked for it.
I was more present
This lesson was a hard one to acknowledge. Without the distraction of messages and notifications, I was way more “in it” with my kids and husband. I played with my kids more, I didn’t tell them to wait, I wasn’t hurrying along so I could check that notification that just dinged, I did more with and had more meaningful conversations my husband. I called to check on friends and family. I dare say I even tried a little harder, at my relationships
I slept better
I had totally fallen into a habit of looking at my phone before bed, and before I knew it, it would be midnight or 1 am, and I’d still be mindlessly scrolling. I’m sure my quality of sleep was better, not looking at a screen right before I feel asleep too
I had less negative thoughts
After all, that was the point, right? But really, when I wasn’t seeing constant crappy news, stopped comparing my house, vacations, body, clothes etc…to others, and didn’t have to read mean comments, I was able to focus more on the positives and was more aware of all the great things I do have.
Lastly, I missed my friends!
I live far away from where I grew up, so social media is the way I keep in touch with many of my old friends and family that’s not close by. I also have built a little community through this blog, and I missed connecting with all of you. But, the fast did force me to connect on more personal levels (phone calls, texts, meet-ups) and it was a good reminder how valuable that type of contact is.
I realize that none of these are all that unique of lessons or realizations. Its pretty obvious that the internet and social media are really amazing tools, and they can do a lot of good in our lives. But it was so good to take a break and get a renewed perspective. It helped me to be aware of how I spend my time on the Internet. And what I want to share on these platforms. My break gave me even more of a desire to be a positive light, in a place that can often be filled with negativity. I highly recommend taking a break from social media anytime you are feeling less than or burnt out. The world will not stop turning, but you will definitely feel better.
Do you take regular breaks from social media? I always love hearing your thoughts!