Social media has played a prominent role in my life in the past 10 years. Its allowed me to have a platform to share my photos, my thoughts and connect with people I had lost touch with.
The benefits are endless but amongst them are gaps which undertake a deeper effect on an individual.
On 31st December 2018 I made the decision to log out of my Instagram and Facebook accounts on all my devices and delete the two apps from my phone.
Today, its been 11 days, since I made that decision and the results have even profound.
Before I get into that, I know some of you may not see it as social media detox if I’m still using Twitter and Snapchat on a daily basis. The reason for this is simple. I would spend hours, each day, per week scrolling down feeds on both Facebook and Instagram, comparing and wishing I could live the life many on my feed would supposedly live.
Deep down I was aware we shouldn’t believe everything we see online, but it does start to have an effect on what you consider reality and what you see as manipulated when you are looking through endless photos of a desired lifestyle.
With Snapchat, I’m able to talk to friends and loved ones and keep in touch with them, no matter what the distance may be. With Twitter I can stay informed of the latest news and trends, and be able to share my work with my followers. I consider these platforms to not have a negative effect on my mental health. I’m able to take breaks when I want to and do not get a constant urge to see what is happening.
I have found the detox to be nourishing in terms of allowing me to accept myself again. The time I had spent scrolling through feeds has decreased and I do find myself socialising with family instead of zoning out on my phone.
To be completely honestly, It has been difficult at times. The first few days of the detox I would find myself turning on my phone and going to the location my Instagram app had been only to realise I no longer have it. This was a common occurrence, but it slowly began to dissipate as the days went by. Other times I would let curiosity take lead and effect me in away which would make me feel guilty for not being part of the social circle my friends were currently in.
However, the more you keep reminding yourself of why you are doing something, the more you are motivated to continue with the challenge especially if it concerns your mental health and well-being.
I don’t know when I will log back into my Instagram and Facebook accounts again. It could be in several weeks or it may be in several months from now. I honestly can’t say. Time will surely tell but for now I can confirm I’m doing pretty well.