I’m addicted to social media.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, and trust me, I’m well aware.
I’m not sure if it’s the lack of excitement in my life right now or my desire to be laying out on a white sand beach, but this past month my social media usage has been at an all-time high.
I normally check my Instagram three to five times a day, my Twitter from two to five times a day and my Facebook anywhere from seven to fifteen times a day depending on how many events I have coming up. More often than not, I find myself in in a social media sinkhole, cycling through app after app on an endless quest to find new content.
I think it’s time for a social media cleanse.
One-week social media cleanses are something I’ve been implementing in my life for years now, and I always feel so refreshed after I’m done. One week without scrolling, posting or interacting on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. One week without comparing what you’re doing to what someone else is doing. One week of freedom to go out and do what you want to do without the albatross of social media around your neck.
You know as well as I do that we live in a world that loves to show off on social media. And that makes sense -- it’s the easiest way to put your best face forward.
We don’t post ugly pictures on Instagram. We don’t race to share our worst moments on Facebook. Pinterest taught us that our clothes, our food and our lifestyles should be on point, and social media enables us to ceaselessly strive for that perfection. Social Media is a narcissist’s playground but the enemy of true happiness, which can only be found beyond the screen.
My goal in every social media cleanse is to find that peace and happiness beyond my screen, to get out and do more of what others post on social media. When you give up scrolling through other peoples’ experiences, you have more time to create your own.
Here’s how I do my ritual cleanse.
First, delete all unnecessary social media apps off your phone. This is undoubtedly the hardest step. If you are a blogger or creative, you may be relying on social media for income, and that’s okay. If you can’t afford to delete the apps from your phone, just drag them into a separate folder so you have to think before opening them. Set the intention of spending a limited amount of time on the app, and close it out when you feel yourself wanting to aimlessly scroll.
Because you’ll have more time to think and less time to zone out, consider filling up that time with another activity. Whenever I start to crave my mindless scrolling, I go online and watch a twenty minute Ted talk instead, but this time would also be great for journaling, doodling or making plans with friends. Maybe you have wanted to implement something like yoga or meditation into your lifestyle, and finally have the time to do so.
Most importantly, have your own experiences. Social media or not, we crave human interaction. When you don’t have social media to interact with others, you will crave the opportunity to go out and be around people. Since there won’t be any pressure to take and share a picture on social media, you can truly be in the moment and savor every second of their friendship.
Now it’s time to put the phone away, because you deserve a break from comparison. You deserve new interests, improved relationships and a healthier self-image. It’s a wonder what you stumble upon when you stumble past the screen.
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