11 days ago I decided to take a break from social media, I’ve covered the reasons why I made that decision in my previous post, I originally planned that 30 days would be necessary because I believed that social media had such a hold over me that it would take a while for me to regain control and get used to my new routine. The reality, however, has been quite the opposite, from just day 1 I instantly felt relief instead of the withdrawal symptoms I had been expecting, I actually found it easy to just leave my phone and forget about it. In these 11 days away I have benefited in the ways I had been hoping to, I feel like I have taken back control and for that reason, I have decided I am ready to end my hiatus.
Previously I thought that if I wasn’t checking my social media feeds and emails frequently that I would be missing out on something, it was like having separation anxiety from my own phone. Sound familiar? Well, spending time away from it allows you to see that this is not the case, and you can mould a healthier, happier, more well-balanced relationship with technology and the real world, which is right for you.
I’ve also adjusted the e-mail settings on my devices so that it only checks for new mail when I open the app, instead of it pinging every time new mail lands in my inbox, something I never imagined I would be able to let go of, but I am very pleased I have done and personally I love the feeling of being back in the good old days when we had to sign in. You should try it too. It now means that I only check my e-mail once or maybe twice a day (or sometimes not at all) and only when I want to. I don’t know about you, but each time I received new mail I couldn’t resist the temptation to check what it was, this would just be another excuse for me to go on my phone and could lead to more hours wasted looking online, because let’s face it there is always something to look at online, the content is endless, it’s a procrastinator’s heaven. But I can happily say that’s all in the past now.
Obviously, everyone has different perceptions of social media, I don’t think social media is to blame here because the way the online world is evolving is a great thing. In hindsight, this was probably more about me than it is about social media, I said above that social media had such a hold over me whereas I should have said I had allowed social media to have such a hold over me. It was a weakness of mine and I had overdosed on it, but it is important to say that it is not everyone’s weakness, many people are probably able to switch off without a second thought and not feel lured back in. That being said, social media addiction is becoming a more widely discussed topic, so I don’t think I am in the minority either.
So, if you are thinking about a digital detox (which probably means you need one) I would definitely recommend it, it is a great way to see for yourself that the world still turns and you’re not getting left behind by not being online constantly. It really helps you to get the balance right again, as with most things in life, if you step back from it and re-evaluate, you can often see everything much clearer.
Prior to my break I never imagined I would be able to go through the day not knowing where my phone was at all times, now this is a reality and it is so revitalising. There is no better feeling than living wholly in the now with your loved ones, rather than from behind your phone letting those notifications divert your attention from what really matters. Instead of attempting to capture the best shot of all the precious moments with my family, now my phone is nowhere to be seen and I am in the frame making real memories with them, which feels a whole lot more satisfying.
Give it a go and remember how it feels to immerse yourself in life without your phone getting in the way. Xo