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I Left Social Media for 15 Days and Life Still Happened

"As soon as it hit midnight, I went straight to Instagram and Twitter. Current time is 2:16am and I realized that being on social media for 2 hours straight is trash lol I don't wanna generalize social media as a whole, but I really don't need this in my life because my timeline is so toxic no matter how many positive/like-minded people I follow..."

This is an excerpt from my journal entry when I took a social media break for two weeks. A break off social media sounds simple, right? For some that's a hard struggle and I thought I'd had a difficult time completing but my experience was eye opening.

Knowing what's going on in the world and having social media is almost a necessity in today's society. It's hard to find people who don't have at least one social media account and if they're not technologically savvy they at least know the significance and power of it. But staying on top with the latest trending topics, celebrity news, and viral video discoveries can become overwhelming and actually affect your mental health. I'm not an expert or have the stats, but the things you constantly put into your mind that don't have substance can often create your own world and make you feel that validation from others is what you need. I'm here to tell you it's not.

I felt my mind getting too clouded with everyone else's lives and oh-so-perfect facades that I randomly decided to take a break on social media. I also wanted to document my feelings throughout the process by making notes on my iPhone. Twitter and Instagram are my go-to accounts that I refresh multiple times a day, and I thought I'd have a struggle letting them go but to my surprise this was the most fulfilling challenge I could ever give myself. I didn't read someone else's experience and felt the need to follow their lead or anything like that. It became a thought one day and I decided to act on it.

Everyday was a special nuance added to my experience and read below at a few of my journal entries + helpful tips if you choose to take a break yourself. Just remember that you're in control of whatever outcome happens and you can set your own guidelines. I chose to do 10 days of absolutely no social media and the next 5 days with minimal access to social media without personal engagement, totaling 15 days.

Excerpt of Journal Entries

  • Day 1 (July 18) - 10:42pm 
It wasn't as hard as I thought it'd be, even though it's natural for me to try to pull up Twitter & Instagram...what helped me from not ruining this challenge is moving the apps on my phone away from my home screen to the last screen...temptation is strong but my willpower is better
  • Day 7 (July 24)
Tomorrow literally makes 1 month until OTR II when Beyonce & Jay-Z come to Atlanta & just that alone makes me hype...
  • Day 10 (July 27)
I'm really proud of myself, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen the next five days knowing that I can look at social media, but not interact with it...I always wanna stay in the loop so at least I'll have access but the challenge is not liking, commenting or posting anything; I wanna know my strength in holding myself back and observing but not reacting
  • Day 15 (August 1st)
last day of evaluation before blogging and I feel great! checked social media at 10:30am and won't for the rest of the day---no specific reason for it, just wanted to do so (bonus nugget: had a productive day cleaning and washing my hair so the day flew by fast)

How to Pass Time

  • Reading books (current read: Colored People: A Memoir by Henry Louis Gates Jr.)
  • Listening to podcasts (Jesus & Jollof, The Nod, and The Read are my favs)
  • Be productive with work/school/hobbies (I attended bible study, went to church...hung out with friends/family)
  • Make music playlists (I love creating "setlists" for the party of 1 concerts I have while doing chores or just chilling)
  • Watching movies/documentaries (invest in Netflix and Hulu)
  • Exercising (when I didn't feel like going outside I'll watch something on Netflix as I walked & tracked my steps throughout the house)
  • Napping (my favorite thing ever)

My Challenge to You!

  • Choose the number of days you want to go without social media and document your feelings. Make your own rules and even if you crack and fail, process it and write it out. Maybe there's certain ties you have to cut like muting notifications or switching the apps on your phone before you can pull something as drastic as this. Biggest takeaway: take baby steps and don't be too hard on yourself. If you have the will to follow through, you will be successful.