4 days of no social media doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was a challenge for me.
I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a social media junkie, my Butterfly.
I mainly love Facebook.
I don’t really “get” Twitter. I Try to like Instagram, but I’m never really sure what to post on Insta.
So over this past weekend (it was a long weekend here in Australia due to Easter) I decided to take an enforced break from social media and enjoy time with my family.
I’ll be the first to admit that day 1 was tough.
It’s a weird mode that Facebook puts you into – you might be watching TV, at the park with the kids or having coffee with a friend and any break in that activity (any moment that your attention can be diverted elsewhere) – it’s like boom! There’s your phone, and it’s scroll, scroll, scroll – trying to find the next diversion.
There’s actually a name for it!
Yep – marketers actually have a name for what we are looking for when we scroll mindlessly through our Facebook feed.
We are looking for a ‘digital snack”.
A bite-sized morsel of meaning that will temporarily fulfil the nagging hunger in the pit of our souls for a more meaningful life.
But if you don’t get more meaning, you will settle for a giggle, a pang of envy or an outrage bandwagon to jump on.
Don’t worry – this is completely normal and I am exactly the same as you!
So anyway – our brains look for bite-sized meaning, inserted into the break of an extremely busy life.
Have you ever wondered how your life can be so crazy-busy, and you can feel so tired all the time, yet you also manage to waste so many hours on facebook?
You’re snacking. All day.
And as a spiritual, searching, awakened and aware woman with social anxiety, you ADDICTED to finding meaning amid the chaos that a busy life brings.
Facebook is not perfect.
But it is an ordered little world where you can distract yourself by looking into other peoples’ windows for a while (and see the perfect little fake world they have stage-managed for their social media life, but that’s a different story altogether).
And by looking and scrolling, you are actually in the mindset of “searching”.
It’s like a switch in your brain is flipped into this search mode.
You are searching for meaning.
And for a split second, you get it.
Om nom, yummy digital snack.
And so it continues.
But the thing is that while you are stuck in this loop of searching and scrolling, your mind gets no break.
You are constantly consuming, so there is no room to think your own thoughts and process ideas to their own conclusion.
And that’s what a 4-day break of no social media did for me.
Day 1, I felt like I would go mad.
I would pick up my phone for a scroll, see that I was logged out and I’d changed my profile picture to an announcement that I was on a social media break so I was publicly accountable. I had to find other things to do.
Day 2, I felt like I was missing out.
My brain played out all these scenarios where something big happened to one of my friends or family, and I would miss out on knowing about it because of my social media break. I reminded myself that everyone has my phone number, and that I would be informed of any news that I absolutely had to know.
Day 3, husby & I decided to take our kids for a drive in the mountains.
It took way longer than we expected, and we spontaneously booked a 2-star hotel to stay the night. I put my phone in flight mode as I didn’t bring a charger. After the kids were in bed, we drank cheap wine under the fluorescent light. I didn’t even think about Facebook at all.
Day 4, I was hungover as a 35-year-old who needs a good occasional reminder why she hardly drinks anymore.
3 glasses of wine and I was so sick. Ack!
Anyway. I got through the day and as I set my alarm when I got into bed, I felt a little pang of sadness that my social media break was coming to an end.
And I resolved to write about it, so that you can try a break to unplug and reconnect with the real world around you as well.
Have you ever taken a break from social media? What were your results? Would you recommend it?
Love + light
PS – Free energy healing exercise for social anxiety. Get it here.
PPS – My last blog post was about 2 tips to teach you how to not be nervous.