Take a social media detox! You might learn a thing or two about yourself.

Recently, my partner and I took a three day trip to Key West. Before embarking on our first trip together we set up the golden rule: No social media for three days. That meant a social media detox: no checking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. This might sound like an easy challenge but for a media addict like myself, this detox was going to be difficult.

social media detox challenge
iStock/nathaphat

Over the four hours we drove down to the island, I felt a sense of anxiety but relief. I was anxious of missing out on something, a sense of FOMO, but relief of not having to be on my phone every second. I found myself reaching for my phone for no reason, a bad habit. I would reach for my pocket when all of the sudden I heard a calming voice from the driver seat say, “Remember our rule, social media detox.”

An “alarming” discovery

It was weird, I did not have a reason to reach for my phone. It did not ring or vibrate and I did not have to contact anyone. I was just so used to always checking it. That discovery was kind of alarming. It was almost second nature having my phone one me, but why? Well, my phone is the hub for both my personal and professional life, but this was not the time to be working.

On the first day of the social media detox challenge I became aware of how much I would use my phone, especially right before going to sleep. Usually, I would spend hours watching videos before bed but not this time. Realizing that I had a problem, made me commit to the detox even more. No one wants to be controlled by their phone.

outdoors social media detox
iStock/LUNAMARINA

By the second day I kept my phone in my purse, away from my immediate reach. I completely forgot about my phone at times. I used it very scarcely when I would text family members or take pictures. Although I could not post them, I still wanted to capture these memories.

Social media detox =  freedom

After having a bit of withdrawals, I felt a sense of freedom. I was able to enjoy each moment and really savor it. By the afternoon, I lost track of time because I usually use my phone as a watch. I didn’t know what time it was but did not have the need to know. This social media detox was liberating.

Third day: I fully emerged into the social media detox. I would strictly use my phone only to text my mom. I was not driving anywhere so I did not use my GPS and my social media addiction was declining. I realized that life is a lot more enjoyable when you’re living in it not passively going through the motions.

During that weekend I realized that social media can distract you from living your life fully. Of course, social media is an amazing tool, but you must limit the use of it. Remember to appreciate the little things and fully submerge yourself in each day. The social media detox reminded me that it’s best to create memories than to capture them and I encourage you to do the same.

 

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