A friend text me last week and said he was taking a week off social media and inspired me to do the same. I had been feeling the urge to do it and really be committed to see what I could learn. Below is what I found:
Biggest complaints prior to the break:
– [ ] Negative content
– [ ] Feeling like there is not enough time in my day
Day 1-A weird adjustment
No notifications. No scrolling? It feels really weird. I find myself checking my phone constantly-every 30 minutes or every time I see it, whichever comes first. There is nothing to check though so I move to the next thing To Do in my brain.
Day 2-Productive, but not exhausted.
I started listening to a podcast but didn’t have time to finish. I find myself listening to more music and being more productive at work because of my extra mental capacity. I’m watching music videos and interpreting their meaning. I have thought a lot of self forgiveness today and found several scriptures tied to that. I read blogs of content I selected. I listened to other podcasts.
I had a busy day with a doctors appointment and then volunteered at McKamey for the Day of Caring. I spent uninterrupted time with my son and was very intentional about it but did find myself thinking “where is my phone?” I organized an album of photos I took during the day, which I never do. I am finding ways to be productive and not having to check off a never ending to do of “check Facebook” is giving me so much time. I washed my dog and walked her! (The excitement here is necessary to emphasize how rarely I personally get to do this. Tori normally does.)
Tori and I planned games for Elijah’s birthday party this weekend, which I otherwise may not have done because I would have “just had too busy of a day.”
Day 3-Awareness rising..
I am beginning to feel proud of my extra time and excited about the possibilities in my day. I was actually a bit nervous this morning thinking about adding social media back on my phone because I don’t want to interrupt this progress.
I am texting/calling friends and family to share pictures with them and explaining the story behind each one. This is similar to adding captions but it feels more connecting to me because I’m engaging people I actually care about and seeing their response is more powerful than a like, though it is so nice to see people that don’t “have to” like your stuff like things you do. I think that is a big perk to social media.
I have enjoyed not having to absorb all the advertisement content.
I met a new friend today and we both have a similar past, present, and future. We overcame wrong direction and addictions, we are both currently serving in churches, and we both have kids. I did meet him through social media or else I may have never crossed his path. There are pros and cons to it but I’m learning my main issue with social media is simply that I’m not disciplined enough to manage my day and balance my usage of it.
Day 4-Not missing it..
Tori told me someone shared a post that kind of rubbed her wrong and hat she tastefully replied her opinion. Being away from Facebook for just a few days has allowed me to separate from it and hearing a story like that makes me realize how uninterested I am in it. I feel more in control of my day and my mood.
Day 5-Finding new relief..
The boys were sick today so we didn’t go anywhere for the second straight day. Cabin fever set in a bit and we faved what we consider a major decision. I didn’t think about social media much today because of that but normally to relieve some anxiety I would go “mindless” and scroll through there just to fill time. I have been left with intentionally thinking through things and exercising my attention span, which has been challenging but positive.
Day 6-A reminder of what I’m not missing..
The Las Vegas shooting sparked more controversy between left and right and I’m so thankful I wasn’t part of any of it. Had it not been for the family gathering I went to, I would have only felt sympathy for the victims and not been angry about the harsh opinions of others that were posted on social media.
Day 7-In summary…
I have been thinking about a summary of the last 7 days. What I have gathered are the following pros and cons:
Pros of no social media:
– [ ] Increased productivity in the right areas
– [ ] Intentional media selection (fewer squirrel moments)
– [ ] Extra mental capacity
– [ ] More personable interactions with true friends
Cons of no social media:
– [ ] Lower social awareness
– [ ] More challenging to meet new people
– [ ] Readily available support for ideas or opinions
I plan to unfollow the majority of people on my accounts. I currently follow at least 10 sports pages and personalities that constantly stir the political pot and add no spiritual benefit for me. Jerrad Lopes, the creator of the Dad Tired podcast and community, inspired me in this by literally unfriending every individual and just leaving his groups open to connect with people through that.
I enjoyed the extra time I had and did not feel that overwhelming burden of chasing time even one time in the last 7 days. If it wasn’t for wanting to connect with people through the blog and just expanding connections with people in general, I would leave social media all together.
What do you do to stay disciplined and in control of your social media usage? Please comment below.