Last Wednesday, I decided that I was going to take a break from social media. Because I run a small business making and selling my jewelry, I rely on social media to connect with my customers and I've never felt like I could really step away. For more than a year, I have logged into Facebook or Instagram every single day, except for one or two days.
Honestly, that wasn't my problem. My problem was that I used social media as a distraction from my work and every day life. I found that whenever I felt tired, bored or just needed a break, I would pick up my phone and pop onto FB and IG. Multiple times a day. It became too much. I knew I was wasting my time, yet I still did it.
Just telling myself to stop getting on as much did not work. I decided I needed an official social media fast. So I created a post on my business page letting people know I would be taking a break for a few days. Then I uninstalled the apps from my phone.
How did it feel? At first, weird. I caught myself picking up my phone, and then putting it back down when I remembered there was nothing on it to distract me. And then the real effects came.
I felt so much less busy!!! I had so much more time! I not only didn't have the busy-ness of the actual world of social media, where there are 5,000 bits of random information coming to you per minute so that you always feel rushed and pressured, even if nothing is actually happening, but I also gained the actual time I had previously spent on social media.
I felt calmer. I acted on things I needed to act on (I finally did my taxes!). I read to my kids at bedtime much earlier because I wasn't busy posting on social media for my work at 7:30pm, which meant that I spent more time with them and read to them longer.
And I felt more focused. There wasn't an addictive distraction available to help me avoid what I actually needed to do.
All in all, I loved it.
Today, I'm going back on social media. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I appreciate it as a tool that allows me to connect to and learn from so many people and I know that my business relies on it. But I'm wondering how I can maintain a healthy relationship with it. Perhaps I'll start by giving myself a strict scheduled time to be on it, so that it doesn't feel like it's available to me all day.
If you've never done a social media fast, I highly encourage it. And if you have any tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with social media, please share!