Hello hello! I’ve completed my first social media detox! This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a looooong time but …there was always something in the way. Mostly it was my own mind blocking this idea out for another day, another week, another month. I’m so connected to my Facebook and Instagram accounts, especially as a business owner/entrepreneur. Does your business even exist if it’s not on Instagram?
With my recent Lyme and EBV diagnosis and with the addition of my rigorous treatment plan I’ve had a lot more time to be on my phone as I bummed around on my couch trying to get better. My lack of going out and keeping busy led me to spend hours on my phone, mostly on Instagram. And then I hit a breaking point - oh my gosh the incessant scrolling has got to stop! I thought and thought about taking a break for about a month while my addiction persisted. And then one day I put my foot down and decided to take a social media break for a week. I shared it on my social media page and a lot of you joined in WHICH IS AWESOME. That’s what I call accountability (aka my jam). We had a solid crew running this experiment on their own and I can’t wait to hear how it goes for everybody.
Here’s why I did it:
Break the social comparison cycle
You’ll stop feeling so competitive
Improve your overall mood
Conquer your fear of missing out (aka FOMO)
Reconnect with the real world
Begin living in the moment
Gain lots of free time
I think it’s fun keeping a journal during experiments so in light of this here is what my social media-free week looked like.
Day 1: It’s Monday. I got this. Wow my brain feels so much clearer. It actually feels like there is more breathing room in my own mind and home. I had a few things to do today but there were definitely times when I was sitting around when I would normally be on Instagram but instead what I found myself doing was grabbing my phone and refreshing my emails. Over and over. Baby steps right? I realized I had this need to be doing something, anything, on my phone so then came a few Amazon purchases and Thrive Market scrolling looking for products “I probably need.” I was FaceTiming with my brother (connecting with friends and family is one of my November intentions) and he asked me, “Is Reddit social media?”, to which we decided “maybe not.” Then began my Reddit scrolling, and after sending a few dog and cat videos to my mom and Arthur, Arthur made me realize Reddit was still social media. He was right. Bye Reddit.
Day 2: Ok, this is getting easier. I’m actually getting things done! I’m starting to feel better and it’s been a weird hurdle to get back into the flow of work/life after being very sick. I’m now using my free time wisely and feeling excited to produce content again. Like this blog for example. I haven’t written much in the past few months and here I am excited to write a post for you guys and not completely dreading it. There have been a few instances where I looked for my Instagram app - muscle memory is so real. Do you guys ever check your phone while you’re at a red light? That used to be me and I noticed that today, I am so much better, just listening to music and looking around at the beautiful foliage outside my window. I can’t wait to see how I feel after completing a week of this!
Day 3: I find myself thinking “ooh this would make a good Insta-story!”… stop it brain… stop it…
Day 4-7: Life happened and I disconnected… like REALLY disconnected. From keeping track of my progress too. These last 4 days were all pretty similar. It took me 3 days to get the compulsion out of my mind and the days following were pretty simple and seriously enjoyable. I found that I was soo much more present. Instead of reaching for my phone while I was in line, at a red light, in traffic (I know, ugh) and during commercials I practiced being present by looking out the window (and noticing things I have never noticed before), smiling at strangers, and playing with my puggle. The only struggle I faced was when I was with someone who was not detoxing with me aka my husband. He does most of his work from his phone so the moments where I wasn’t on my phone, he was. There were times where I got frustrated and said “hang out with me!” which worked sometimes, other times it didn’t. This was a good practice in non attachment and doing my own thing.
I slowly reintroduced Instagram and Facebook on Day 8… but gave it some time before diving in. I was loving not being addicted to my phone. It was so gratifying that I was nervous about returning. I wanted to make sure I kept what I learned in mind. I’m writing this about a week after coming back and I feel like I’m 75% better with my social media. I post only 2x a week and don’t update my stories as much. The hardest thing about this for me is that social media is all part of my business and I LOVE connecting with my followers aka you! This, I realize will be a constant balancing act.
In conclusion, I will be doing this again, and maybe even for longer. I find it to be integral to healing and growing. And for those of you that follow me on social you know that I’ve been actively fighting Lyme disease for the past 4 months. I love to share my journey but it takes away from my experience a little bit. I needed that week to focus on myself and my needs, without diving into others experiences. Social media isn’t all bad. Without it I wouldn’t have known I have Lyme. I use a variety of platforms to look up Lyme hashtags and accounts as well as read through the Lyme support groups on Facebook. It’s been so great to find a community to share this journey with. But it can get me into a hole and comparison cycle.
Did you participate in the detox? I want to hear about how it went! I think the next social media detox I take will be 2 weeks long. Would you want to join me? Even for just a day? Comment below and let me know!