Like, does taking a break from social media actually feel like a withdraw…like with legit withdrawal symptoms? Or, does quitting cold turkey connect you more with people in everyday life, and maybe make your expectations more realistic without all the glitz & glam??
The first person whose story I followed was Jason Zook, article writer for Wandering Aimfully, who said he's been using social media for 10 years now…Although, I guess most of us can say the same. 😉
And on the one hand, he says since he's built so many businesses on Facebook, Insta, and other platforms, his work life made it necessary to have a social media life. I definitely identify with that!
But, because of this he classified his situation as "heavy social media use," and said that he was starting to become jealous of the awesome lives of friends and family he was seeing in his feed. He hated this toxically jealous part of himself and thought he would try a social media detox, 30 complete days. He wrote a journal on the experience.
First, Jason actually talks a lot in his journal about day 1. You wouldn't think it would be too difficult on day 1, but even in that short amount of time you learn just how crazy DEPENDENT you are!!
Because, what's the first thing you personally do in the morning? Make yourself some coffee? Go check out how bedheaded you look in the bathroom? But probably, one of the first things you do every single morning is pull out your phone and check Instagram or whatever. If you really think about it, that sort of dependence is just crazy, and probably disconnects us from reality, or at least is mentally unhealthy in some way, right??Sounds like it's time for a SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX! Now, let's switch gears to another person's story…Lauren Levinson from online mag The Thirty!
She doesn't talk about the morning, but she talks about 9 p.m. on a Friday night that she just plans to stay home and chill:
She's going to watch some much-needed TV after a long workweek… only to look at the clock again, and it's 10 o'clock…and she hasn't even started the show yet because she's too busy on social media!!
First looking at her co-worker's Rome vacation, then looking at the profile of a random friend of his that she doesn't even know (looking at photos of that woman's dream wedding)…Then clicking on other friends' and strangers' profiles. She was AMAZED that she spent an hour just looking at random people instead of relaxing the way she originally intended to.
She doesn't talk much about what she learned from her detox, except that she definitely recommends tracking your social media habits to see whether you are using it way more than you think you are. And then try to slowly wean yourself off of it: an hour less each week or so until maybe it's only a couple hours a week. Back to Jason, then, who does talk about what he learned from the experience. He said that he realized he was like a drug addict or a gambler… But by day 5, he was enjoying his days without being tethered to social media. He says he just felt brighter and freer and more alert, and that when his wife was talking about social media because she was still using it, he didn't feel jealous. He actually felt like he was the lucky one.
He wasn't out of the woods yet, though, because in the following days he developed a big headache that he didn't get rid of until day 9. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not?? 😉 At the very end of his social media detox journal, he said something that really stuck with ME…He had a conversation where a friend said, "I don't think I could give up Facebook for even a week."
He wanted to tell them: