February 10, 2020
Have you ever done a social media detox?
If it’s your first time, the first couple days go like this: you pick up your phone as many times as you did before only to realize the apps have been removed. You continue with this pattern all day. By the second day, the repetition decreases and by the third it is even less.
During the first round of social media detox, the urge to check your phone doesn’t goes away. The action of picking up your phone might stop but it’s something you have to consciously think about. The habit is part of you because if like me, it was an addiction. You are trying to break the ritual you performed over hundreds of times a day.
Breaking Old Habits
When your detox is over and the apps are reloaded onto your phone, it doesn’t take long to get back into old habits. The problem is you’ve invited social media back into your life after that first detox without truly conquering the demon.
It’s easy to get back into the routine of checking and constantly being aware of notifications. The lessons I learned from my first detox brought me to the realization that it was time to delete some accounts.
The first social media detox was rough and in order to garner the results I really wanted, I would have to do another one down the road.
After the first 30 day detox, I deleted my Facebook account leaving Twitter and LinkedIn and Instagram. While I got rid of a huge presence in my life, there were still many opportunities to stay in the loop.
The second social media detox was easier but I cheated a bit by logging into my accounts via my computer when I would get the urge to check on things.
Since I didn’t have apps on my phone, the constant checking didn’t occur but I still felt the need to be in the know.
Shortly after that social media detox, I realized the time was now to rid myself of even more accounts. Before the new year of 2020 started, I deleted my main Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Leaving me with only a friends and family Instagram profile.
By the time my annual social media detox rolled around in February, I was left to only delete the Instagram app off my phone for 30 days. Easy. The part I missed was posting pictures of the kids and updating family about our basement renovation.
Last and final round
Let me tell you what happened, it has been 11 days since I started and amazingly I forgot about the account altogether. Not once since February 1 have I gotten on my phone to look for my Instagram app. It’s been a little over two years since my first social media detox and the need to be plugged into social media constantly has finally left me.
I no longer feel as if I have to know what’s going on all the time in my friends’ lives. The feeling of FOMO has left the feeling because I’m not sucked into the highlight reel.
Spending time with my family, reading books, writing, doing longer sessions of yoga and meditating have become the main focus of my day.
At the end of the month, I am “allowed” to put Instagram back on my phone. The more I think about it the less I want to do it at all. I love how we can use social media to share tidbits of our lives with loved ones, but we can do it without out getting sucked into to theirs.
If I don’t get back on March 1st, I’m more than okay with that. I might even do a mass posting to update the fam, then take the app off my phone until I there is a time I want to post again. This way the urge to scroll isn’t there.
After two long years, I finally feel as if I’m not chained to social media in order to live my life.
What addictions have you finally cracked?