Let’s be honest. I’m addicted to social media.
It was so bad that it would be the first thing I would check in the morning and I would be stuck on it for hours, scrolling through meaningless posts and growing cynical with the world. I would go down this rabbit hole that I couldn’t get out of. Even though social media and the internet is the place of infinite knowledge (and God knows I’ve learned a lot) I still found myself losing focus for things that I used to love.
We’ll use reading as an example. When I was twelve, I was living in Germany at the time and I was a bit of a loner. I never had that many friends and I have no siblings since I’m an only child. The only way that I could entertain myself was through reading and let me tell you, I read so much that my parents would have to take me to the library every few days to restock. The librarian would even let me go past the limit of books I could check out because I was there all the time.
I lived and breathed stories. I would sit there for hours without a break. But back then, I didn’t have a phone or social media. And as I’ve gotten older, I keep chasing after that same passion, but I fall short every time. I find it harder to focus on a book for longer than thirty minutes because my attention begins to waver. I’m being patient with myself and as time progresses I’ll build on it until I can get close to where I used to be, but it’s definitely a struggle.
So I decided to do a social media cleanse. Or a “half-ass” social media cleanse since I can’t exactly delete Instagram like I want to. Or Facebook.
The reason why I decided to do this kind of stems from two places: there’s something I’m running away from and I’m tired of focusing on all the wrong things. I’ve spent too much time behind a screen that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be one with myself. There’s so many “thorns” that I haven’t fully pushed out of me because I distract myself with relationships and the internet. But by doing this, I’ve only added more, and I’ve only grown more disturbed with the world and with myself. I don’t want to be disturbed anymore. And it’s my fault for allowing myself to be because I have the ability to change that and redirect myself on a better and more fulfilling journey. This concept is something that I heard from Wisdom Of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey. You should check out the audio book if you have the time. And maybe I’ll go more into depth on this concept and the other concepts that were presented in it, but for right now, let’s stay on topic. That’s a discussion for another day.
Now, I don’t know how this works on Android, but on IPhone you can put apps in an App Library. You don’t have to actually delete it off your phone, it just won’t show up on your homepage. They also have this option where you can set time limits on social media apps too.
I ended up hiding Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. As for the time limits, I only did it on Instagram and Tik Tok. I think I put it on for two hours. And on top of that I disabled my personal Instagram account. I still kept my writing account and my business account, but the personal had to die. I think I was just tired of the obligation that came with it and the fact that it was full of a lot of memories. I’m not repressing them or trying to ignore them, but the past is the past for a reason. Life is about living in the now.
So, have I noticed a difference? A little, yeah.
I’ve only been doing it for two days now, but I’ve noticed that I’ve stayed off my phone more. The only time I really go on there is if I’m answering a message or if I really just need a thirty minute dose of Tik Tok content.
Instead of checking my phone right when I wake up, I enjoy the process of being. I’ll stretch, maybe do some yoga or meditation if I feel like it, make my bed, and listen to a audiobook instead of music. I’ll even put aside some time to read, even if it’s for thirty minutes because at least I’m doing something to enrich my mind and soul. And as the days progress, I’m adding new things to my routine too, like morning pages and maybe an hour or so of blogging or figuring out content to write about.
Like I said in the beginning, this about growth for me. And growth takes time. It’s not one of those things that happens overnight, but if you make it a habit and you force yourself to put in the work, you can really change your life.
I’m not saying everyone needs to do this. Do whatever enriches your spirit, but I know what I’m searching for and what I need right now.
Have you ever done a social media cleanse? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.
And to all the people who have liked and followed my blog so far, thank you. It made my day to wake up to notifications.