6 Things I Experienced During My Social Media Break
Being the CEO of a steadily growing beauty company in 2019 means that a large part of my marketing strategy is dependent upon social media. Whether I like it or not, it’s my job to at least be up to date on what’s happening on these apps. I have to watch what the company is doing on our social media platforms, think about what I’m going to talk about with my customers, and keep my eyes peeled for new trends. But instead of spending my time on social media being productive or connecting with customers, I often found myself mindlessly scrolling for entertainment purposes. Don’t we all find ourselves looking up from our phones and thinking, where have the last two hours gone. Social media is not all bad, but there’s definitely a part of me that yearns for the simpler days when our phones were only used to call or text.
My social media journey started with Facebook when I was a student at Harvard, and I’ve been plugged in ever since, never really thinking twice about the hold these apps had on me. Recently, I realized my connection with my phone was developing into an unhealthy addiction, and I knew I needed to get my life back on track and set clear boundaries about how I spent my time on it. Some things, like phone calls, instant messages, and emails, can’t be avoided, but mindlessly scrolling on Instagram for 30 minutes at a time definitely hinders me from doing what needs to be done in a timely manner.
Recently, I decided to give myself a mental health break by deleting the troublesome apps on Friday and not logging back on until Monday morning. These breaks from distracting social media apps have allowed me to spend my time doing more positive, productive things, like organizing, planning my week ahead, or tending to my self-care needs.
I know I’m not the only one who can benefit from a little less screen time so I’m sharing 6 positive things that I experienced during my social media break with hopes that you’ll join me next weekend!
- I was more productive.
By spending less time aimlessly scrolling through social media apps, I found I had more time to get important things done. I didn’t realize how much time I wasted scrolling my life away until I replaced it with something more productive. I was able to quickly knock out quite a few items on my to-do list that usually take more time than necessary. With no distractions, my workflow was well-paced and efficient. I also found time to catch up on a couple of books on my Kindle. (Which has become my new go to app instead of Instagram.)
- My relationships with family and friends improved.
My weekends are usually reserved for spending time with family and friends. However, as a business owner, work hours aren’t always limited to Monday through Friday. More often than not, some type of work needs to be addressed on the weekend as well. Because I eliminated the need to check my business and my personal social media accounts, I also eliminated any unnecessary screen time. In doing so, I was able to engage with family and friends, sans phones, and establish better, stronger, deeper connections. I truly believe that brunch, drinks and dinners felt that much richer, because I was fully engaged and didn’t fall victim to the need to check out and check back in during these moments.
- I had a new appreciation for the world around me.
Without having my eyes glued to my phone, I had more time to actually look at the world around me and find beauty in the smallest details. I became more aware of my surroundings and even spent more time in nature to get back to my center, quiet the outside world, and clear my mind. I was able to return from my social media break relaxed and level-headed.
- I was more deliberate with my self-care routine.
By deleting my apps, I found I spent significantly less time on my phone in general. Inadvertently, I had begun to set boundaries for myself by not being available at all times. It was like I had put my entire life on airplane mode; I was finally able to breathe and take time for myself without feeling like I had to be connected to others all day. With more time on my hands to do what I wanted, falling into my self-care routine happened naturally.
- I was relieved from social pressures.
With my social media apps gone from my phone, I was relieved from the pressures of constantly being connected and engaging with my followers. While I love interacting with my customers and posting inspiring messages, there’s quite a bit of pressure on the shoulders of content producers to be “on” 100% of the time. During my breaks, this pressure was gone, and I had ease of mind once again.
- I stopped comparing myself to others.
When we’re active on social media websites, it’s almost impossible to avoid comparing our lives to what we see on others’ profiles. Everyone on social media is showing the fabulous 10% of their life, and we’re often left comparing that to our not-so-glamorous 100%. Social media never shows reality, only a highlight reel. So when I finally loosened my grip on my apps, I was able to take a step back and realize just how much I was comparing my personal life, business life, and more to what was on my newsfeed.
The idea of taking social media breaks are becoming more and more appealing, as people are beginning to grasp how hours upon hours of scrolling can affect our minds and spirits. I’m not going to lie; when I first started separating myself from social media, it was challenging. I was so used to grabbing my phone whenever I had a second of downtime, and without it, I had to quickly find something to replace it. But over time, those breaks started to become easier, to the point where I hardly ever reach for those apps even during the workweek. It’s possible! Trust me; if I can do it, you can do it!
So, what do you think? Would you be up for a social media detox?