Almost 2 billion of us wake up every morning to check our phones for “likes.” We are addicted to wondering if what we posted yesterday was accepted and popular with our “friends.” I started to notice that I was posting content on Instagram based on whether what I shared would please others. I bet I’m not alone…
Why I decided to do the Two Week Social Media Ban:
I REALLY LIKE Instagram and started to notice that I was spending countless hours creating content for it every week. It was starting to take some of the fun out of my lettering and it started to feel like a job instead of a fun hobby. I also started to feel tired of comparing myself to others and had heard a podcast from The Minimalists about quitting social media for a month and thought that this was a great time to do it. I was thinking about social media WAY more than I should and was actually creating different situations with my kids just to share online…and I know you do it too! 🙂 It was time for a break.
Everyday I wrote down a few things I noticed during the two week break from social media.
What I did with my time during the Two Week Social Media Ban:
- I read a book.
- We played dominoes at night with Cole.
- I pinned some new meatless recipes.
- I actually enjoyed watching my baby giggle while she was taking a bath.
- I created some DIY projects and lettering art without sharing it just yet.
- I had a clean house (most of the time.) 🙂
- I read my bible more.
- I wrote a blog post that I had been dreading to write.
- I did yoga almost every day.
- I went to bed early almost every night.
- I took some naps (which never happens.)
- I minimized some of my childhood memorabilia that I had been putting off for a long time.
- I talked to my kids and husband more without my phone constantly in my hand.
- I went on a movie date with Dane.
- I wrote a thank you note to a blog friend for some recipes she sent me for my new diet.
- I completely redesigned my blog (and it’s SO pretty now!)
- I finished watching Downton Abbey. 🙂
How I was feeling during the Two Week Social Media Ban:
At first I felt a sense of relief which I thought was strange. I really don’t like Facebook but I thought I would miss Instagram right away. A few days later, I did have a small sense of missing out. I was wondering what was going on there without me. What if someone said something to me that was time sensitive? What if I missed an opportunity?
As the days went on, I started to realize just how addicted I was. I had all of this free time that used to be taken captive by planning my next lettering post or thinking of a clever picture for my Stories. I had more time to focus on practicing my lettering and writing blog posts instead of just creating some random quote that I thought other people would like. It gave me time to improve and plan instead of just “keep up.”
I also didn’t think about other people so much. I know that sounds selfish but I have a problem of making other people’s problems my own. I had that time to deal with my own issues instead of trying to solve the problems of others.
I didn’t compare my life to other people’s lives that they portray online. I didn’t compare my amateur photography to the professionals. I didn’t compare my blog to the professional blogs with a staff of 20 people.
We are addicted to social media in the same way someone would be addicted to drugs and that should scare you a little bit. The creators of Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets create their websites to be addicting, from the color choices of the buttons to the algorithms they use to decide what you see first. We need to be aware of this going forward and set boundaries for ourselves.
I totally agree with this quote about how checking our social media affects our brains from Forbes:
Part of the problem with “using” is that we think social media will give us a boost, but it doesn’t—it makes us feel worse. This is a “forecast error” that keeps us coming back, even though it often has a negative effect on our mental health. And this cycle sounds eerily like a classic addiction.
I recently heard about an artist who removed phones from images to show just how addicted we truly are. The artist is Eric Pickersgill and the project is called Removed.
Here is an example of one of the photos and I really encourage you to go look at the others. It makes a very powerful statement about how disconnected we are from the people who are actually in the room with us.
The two week social media break also hushed that inner voice in my brain that was always trying to create a caption for a post, a new Stories video, or a cute phrase that I should write. My mind was free to think about more important things like my kids story about school or Dane’s story from work. I wasn’t distracted anymore.
Now I won’t lie to you…by the end of the two weeks I was missing some of the friend connections I have on Instagram. I was missing the constant inspiration from the other lettering artists I follow. I did without it, but I was ready to come back.
How I will use Social Media going forward:
Instagram: I will still be sharing my lettering but I won’t just be writing something just for the sake of sharing it. I will still share what I write but I am going to start lettering printables that you can have for free or share products I’ve created. I will occasionally participate in the “lettering for no reason” posts, but I will be much more intentional with what I write and why because it does take time to write, edit the photo, and post. I am still going to share pictures of my kids in the Stories because I’m a proud mommy and I can’t help it! 🙂
Twitter: I am keeping my Twitter account and I am still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with it. If you have any ideas, let me know!
Facebook: I have taken breaks from Facebook in the past for years at a time and I am currently going to stay away. I don’t really enjoy it and I’m not going to waste my time on something that I don’t enjoy anymore. I might return someday, but for now, I’m not coming back.
Do you feel like this is something you have a problem with? Do you need a break too? Let me know in the comments! If you want to cut back and need help, I recommend downloading the Moment App which will help you set boundaries for your time on your phone.
I did miss the connection to you I feel through Instagram during your break. I checked in with Gordon just to make sure you were ok, but I really understand and am glad you could refocus with family and your needs. In my prayers daily Love you all
Hey Claudia! Yeah I felt a little bit isolated from everyone at first and it was a weird feeling. I am happy to be back and it really put a lot in perspective and made me realize how much time I was just wasting on social media. Thank you for your prayers! Love ya’ll too! 🙂
You couldn’t have had better timing with this. I’m just over 2 weeks into a Facebook break and I haven’t missed it. This break has helped me to realize who my “friends” really are as well as give me time to get my priorities back in line. Now, if I could just cut Pinterest next…ha!! Thank you so much for sharing this!
Hey Crystal! I’m so glad you have tried the break too! Facebook can really suck the life out of you huh? I really don’t consider Pinterest as social media anymore…to me it’s more of a tool we use…but it can create discontent in our homes, wardrobes, etc. so we have to check it with caution 🙂
I enjoyed this piece on hanging up on social media for two weeks. I am older than you and fondly remember time without it. We wrote letters to those far away, actually held conversation instead of texting all the time and shared special moments during interactions with others. I am glad you had an opportunity to smile at your child’s antics in the bath. Each one missed will be lost forever.I enjoy pinterest and looking at others blogs to enhance my life. I cook and share meals with others. Volunteer for various organizations to help others. I find these much better ways to spend my time.
Recently I was waiting for my car to be washed and spoke with a young man on his cell and asked ‘what do you find to do on your phone all the time?’ I was so pleased when he turned it off and spoke with me. He said ‘You are right, my generation is forgetting how to speak with others .’ We had a terrific conversation for 15 minutes Another opportunity that would have been lost forever due to social media.
Just some things to think about
Hey Aly! That’s my daughter’s name too! Yeah I remember when Facebook came out I was a freshman in college and so most of my life has been consumed by it. I told me nephew the other day that there were no cell phones when I was a kid (or the internet really) and he really didn’t get how I had fun or survived! 🙂 We need to actually look at other human being in the stores and interact…it’s sad where things are headed right now but I’m trying to encourage others to put the phones down for sure. 🙂
I loved reading this! Your words and the information you shared really stuck with me. I linked it today on my blog as a favorite. 🙂 I also want to try out the moment app. I’m happy to learn that there are tools out there to help with boundaries and media usage. Thanks girl for your authenticity. xoxo
Awww thank you Morgan! Yeah we don’t want social media to own our minds
I’ve never been big into social media, except for Facebook! But after the birth of my 3rd child, I noticed I was getting a lot of anxiety that I’d never had before. I realized it was worse after being on Facebook. I decided to make the cut and deleted Facebook off my phone. It’s been six months and I haven’t had any issues with anxiety since! I went back on the other day and instantly started to feel the anxiety coming back. I feel much more at peace not being on Facebook, even when I have those times that I miss it and just want to log back on.
Hey Stephani! Yes! That is why I got off FB a long time ago. I thought I missed it but I really didn’t at all. I don’t think our human brains were created to handle that much information about other people. It’s just too much and it’s mostly negative these days. Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂