Here’s the week two update on my social media detox so far.
You can find week 1 here.
The detox is going very well. I have had some major breakthrough in understanding just how much time this stuff steals from my life. On around day 8 I started feeling so “light” and the burden of “being online” had lifted so much that I started to really give some thought to how long I should stay off. Two weeks was never going to be enough as I was more addicted than I thought.
I have decided to extend the detox to 21 days, neurologically, this is the time it takes for your brain to “re-wire” into a new habit. Every day I see just how much time I’ve been wasting consumed by the need for not missing out, FOMO, it’s a real thing in my world and it’s nasty cousin anxiety walk hand in hand. Being offline for most of the day has helped me see the value in real relationships, people who I live near, can have actual conversations with and see face to face, not view their highlights from a million miles away on the other side of the world. It has made my world a little smaller, a little easier to manage, and my anxiety levels have dropped to almost nothing.
I have planted a garden, am sprouting seeds and growing herbs to harvest and use in my own kitchen. I spend time outdoors, without my phone, and am making plans to meet up with friends and have play dates for the kids much more than I used to (which means I never did). I have more time to read books (which I have loved all my life) and more time to contemplate life and get my house in order. The tidy up bug has bitten and I am sorting and chucking out things in my home almost every day!
Here’s a visual on what I removed from my phone so you can get an idea on how many things I was “engaging with” on a daily basis, due to the accessibility on my smart phone. The only app now on my phone is Facebook. All the rest, except Instagram, are on my PC and that is where I engage with those platforms as my time on my PC is limited, so I can’t get stuck there for hours and hours.
I came to the decision to delete ALL my Instagram accounts about a week ago as I have a serious addiction to the beautiful, streamlined, image saturated app that surpasses anything healthy. The internal pressure to “keep up” and post “likewise” has been detrimental to my recovery and so I decided to rid myself of the app that reminds me of a stale, smelly bar the night after. I cannot tell you how free I feel! I do miss it from time to time, but I remind myself that this loss is to aid my recovery. One “no” is leading to a multitude of “yesses” and that’s how it should be when making choices based on the success of your recovery from anything, never mind depression and anxiety.
As I said before, it’s not for everyone to be as drastic as I’ve been, it all depends on your level of dependence on these things.
- How much time are you spending on them and for what purpose?
- Killing time?
- Is there something else you could be doing?
- Are you focused when in other peoples company?
- Do you constantly have your phone on you?
- Are you jittery and anxious when you don’t have your phone at arms length to check things?
Perhaps it’s time to do a little detox and straighten out your priorities a little. My hubby and I have freedom to tell each other to stop using our phones and when we go out now, we only take one phone. I am not constantly looking for a “photo opportunity” to post online or checking to see if I have notifications and messages. My life is very relaxed now, and I’m enjoying it this way.
My Psychologist recommended a book called: 12 Ways your phone is changing you, by Tony Reinke, and I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I urge you to check it too.