A few weeks ago I decided at some point in the near future I was going to take a week break from social media. Mostly for the fact that I was becoming aware of how attached I was to my cell phone, especially being on shift the last three months. When you’re spending 12 hours in one place and the work load is slow, your cell phone automatically becomes your entertainment. And so on Monday, 18 September, I shut down and checked out.
I decided I wasn’t going to use Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for the next 5 days (I still went on YouTube though). I did the same thing back in March when I went on a cruise, I didn’t have cell service or internet for the entire week. And it was so so nice to just disconnect from the world and everybody except the people I was surrounded by. I wanted to do the same thing, except this time it was a choice. I had cell service and internet at my finger tips, but I wasn’t going to use it.
As today, the 5th and final day, comes to close I just want to reflect on what I have gained from doing this small experiment.
First thing that comes to mind is “nice”. It has been so nice and refreshing to step back and disconnect from the online world. Don’t get me wrong, I was still on my phone. I still used text messaging, I still went on YouTube, and I still played candy crush. But I wasn’t constantly scrolling and refreshing each feed of every social media site I use. And it was nice to have no clue what my friends and followers were up to.
I’d have to say this challenge has been a lot easier than I expected it to be. Granted, I got lucky at work because during both of my 12 hour shifts I was working on the floor, which keeps me much more busy than when I’m sitting in the urgent care only shooting portable x-rays. Instead of having to charge my phone at 1030am, I hit hour 10 of my shift still holding 70% battery! But, I still figured this week would be more challenging than it was. I think out of all five days, today was the most difficult.
Monday and Tuesday I wasn’t really feeling too well so I slept for 2.5 hours one day and then almost 4 hours the next (not a good idea). Wednesday and Thursday I woke up at 530am, worked from 7am-7pm, and then went to the gym, got home around 8 something, showered, ate, went to bed. So I didn’t have a whole lot of time to worry about what the internet was buzzing about. But today, Friday, has been a bit different. I got up and went to the gym this morning and then I set out to concur my to-do list. Once I finished my to-do list I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. So I just kept adding things to my list to stay busy. Which in turn, made me much more productive than I probably would’ve been normally (another plus).
All in all, I’m really glad I decided to take this mini social media break and I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it when boredom began to set in. I’m thinking of possibly challenge myself in the future to take a 30 day social media break but I’m not sure when I will actually do that. Until then, I’m still going to challenge myself to spend a lot less time engaged in social media apps than I have been in the past. I think for a while I’m only gong to allow myself to browse the web in the morning and again in the evening, and keep it close to nothing in between.
Do you ever find yourself glued to your phone, even if there’s nothing every interesting going on? Do you find yourself constantly refreshing over and over again? Do you find yourself more focused on whats on your cell phone screen opposed to who is sitting in the same room as you? If you answered yes to any of these questions then I challenge YOU to check out from social media. Wether it be one day, a week, a month, whatever you feel necessary… do so! Give it a try and see if and how it positively impacts your life!