30 Day Social Media Break
Read about why I'm taking a 30 day social media break here!
It’s 10AM on May 24, 2021. I just deleted Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter off of my phone. I’m feeling anxious about it. Almost like I’m already missing something though deep down I know there’s nothing for me to see on there.
My first urge to look at my phone came 30 minutes after deleting the apps. 30 MINUTES. Wow. I just finished posting my blog, and I usually get on social media right after posting. I stopped myself before I unlocked my phone.. though I did consider looking at my emails. I decided that was foolish. 29 days and 23.5 hours left.
Throughout the day, I continued to reach for my phone. Sometimes I would stop myself from unlocking it. Sometimes I would allow it to happen and discover there’s nothing to look at. I checked the weather app and moved on with my day. After finishing up blog tasks, I went to the grocery store, cooked dinner, watched some TV, and took a bath.
Around 7pm, I was really starting to wonder what was going on in the social media world. What if I’m missing something? I occupied my mind with the documentary, The Keepers, and went to bed.
Blog Data: Monday, May 17, 2021 (with social media): 51 Users; 53 Sessions; 72 Pageviews Monday, May 24, 2021 (without social media): 65 Users; 69 Sessions; 94 Pageviews
On the second day of no social media, I still found myself reaching for my phone, unlocking it, and realizing there's nothing there. I've received an email from Twitter saying they miss me, an email from TikTok telling about the videos I missed, an email from Facebook asking for me to see who liked my page and another letting me know about all the pictures I didn't see yet. Very tempting..
Today on my walk I took a picture of the overflowing river knowing I wouldn't be able to share it with the world. I guess I'll just keep it in my photos for future self to look at.
Blog Data: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 (with social media): 62 Users; 68 Sessions; 94 Pageviews Tuesday, May 25, 2021 (without social media): 56 Users; 61 Sessions; 72 Pageviews
I am so surprised how much my urge to pick up my phone and look at social media has decreased in just 4 days. The thought of getting on social media still runs through my head, but I am not unlocking my phone as much anymore.
During this week, my husband and I have watched documentaries and gone on walks without our phones distracting us. My husband taught me how to play chess at 6pm on a Thursday night while dinner cooked on the stove.
I made the comment last night at how these past couple of days, I didn't even know where my phone for long periods of time. I feel free, and it's so nice not jumping up to look at my phone when I get notification only to realize it wasn't something I cared about in the first place.
P.S. Facebook is still sending me a couple of emails every single day..
Blog Data: Thursday, May 20, 2021 (with social media): 54 Users; 57 Sessions; 66 Pageviews Thursday, May 27, 2021 (without social media): 57 Users; 59 Sessions; 70 Pageviews
You know what's great? Not having to go get and unplug your phone charger and move it to where you're working. My phone always is charged, and it's such a wonderful feeling. Last night when I went to bed my battery was at 39%!
Two weeks prior to my social media break, I averaged 3 hours and 36 minutes per day on my phone. One week prior to the break, my average was 2 hours and 53 minutes. Last week, 1 hour and 48 minutes! The majority of that time was spent reading articles, checking emails, and and making sure my blog looks good on mobile.
While I still sometimes think about what everybody else is up to on Instagram or Facebook, I've stopped feeling like I'm missing something. It's really nice not to just automatically pick up my phone and waste time away.
Blog Data: Sunday, May 23, 2021 (with social media): 83 Users; 85 Sessions; 125 Pageviews Sunday, May 30, 2021 (without social media): 75 Users; 87 Sessions; 129 Pageviews
Overall, I feel as if my quality of life is improving. No longer do I feel like I am in social media prison, but I'm not 100% sure I wouldn't fall right back into the routine if I put all the apps back on my phone today. I had to sign in to my Facebook two days ago in order to update my Instagram feed on my blog. I WAS SO TEMPTED. 20+ notifications?! What could they be?? I quickly clicked on the red notification just because I need to get rid of the alert. I don't understand those people that can leave their email notifications at 1000+. I quickly X'ed out of the window before I found myself on my feed.
There are certain things that I didn't take into account when deleting the apps off my phone. For instance, birthdays. I used to pride myself on not missing birthdays. I just had to go pull out an old calendar so I wouldn't miss anymore..
What's it like to be on social media?! Sounds silly, but honestly I'm not sure I remember. I don't miss it anymore. Well, except for one reason. I miss interacting with all the wonderful people on my Facebook and Instagram when I post a picture. I hope all of you are doing well.
My life isn't much different day-to-day. Instead of scrolling, I find articles to read, google interesting questions that I have, listen to podcasts, and actually watch the TV show that I put on. I'm not looking at my phone when somebody is talking to me, and I'm not constantly comparing myself to others. Not getting on social media has been a huge relief- so much so that I'm not sure I'm ready for my 30 days to be up...
Welp, it's been 30 days without social media. It's been a journey- a very pleasant journey. At the beginning, I was so anxious. Anxious about what I may miss. Anxious about people thinking I'm ignoring their messages. Anxious about whether I would cave and get back on. As the days went by, that anxiety faded. I went on many walks with my husband, listened to so many interesting podcasts, dived into documentaries, read articles (some that were shown to me by my phone and some that I looked up out of curiousity), cooked and ate so much delicious food that I didn't even feel obligated to take a picture of, and spent quality time with family and friends. Overall, my life and time felt so much richer than before. I didn't feel the need to have my phone on me at all times, and by the end of the month, I honestly didn't even care what people were posting.
When I first got back onto Facebook, I had SO MANY notifications. As I was scrolling through the list, I realized none of these notifications had anything to do with me. Not a single one. They were so-and-so started a live video or so-and-so made a post. All of them were simply just trying to get you back on the platform. Facebook kept emailing me multiple times a day while I was gone trying to convince me to look at all the "great" things I was missing. When I got back onto Facebook, the first 5 posts were engagements and big life events, but after those posts, it was back to the same ol' same ol'. You know, the boring shares from people you don't even really know why you're friends with on Facebook. Instagram, was better, but not by much. I was getting emails from Instagram the whole time as well. At this point, I'm pretty sure Instagram's algorithm is the worst thing ever. I still only see posts from about 10 people. I was gone for 30 days! I should have endless amounts of scrolling that I need to catch up on, but nooo I only see the same people over and over.
After a few days, I stopped posting my blog data because it honestly wasn't changing any.. Social media brings in VERY little of my traffic. Moral of the story- I'm going to stop stressing about my social media engagement. Just for fun, here's my blog numbers for every Monday starting with two Mondays prior to my social media break to the first Monday that I returned to social media (didn't post anything on social media that day).
Blog Data: May 10, 2021: 84 Users; 90 Sessions; 125 Pageviews May 17, 2021: 51 Users; 53 Sessions; 72 Pageviews May 24, 2021 : 65 Users; 69 Sessions; 94 Pageviews May 31, 2021: 70 Users; 78 Sessions; 113 Pageviews June 7, 2021 : 64 Users; 67 Sessions; 94 Pageviews June 14, 2021: 64 Users; 53 Sessions; 98 Pageviews June 21, 2021 : 77 Users; 87 Sessions; 140 Pageviews
I didn't want to download the apps back onto my phone, but I did want to get back onto social media. Not to scroll endlessly. Not to compare my life to others constantly. Not waste time. Nah, I've proven that there's so much else I'd rather be doing than that. However, I did miss the people. I missed the wonderful messages from my friends, the comments, seeing everybody's delicious food pictures, reading about big life events from friends, and being inspired by others' creativity. So, I had to come up with a plan. For Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, you can actually do all your posting on a computer. There's no need to download them on your phone. They'll just tempt you. For all my posting on those platforms, I'll just get on the computer. As for TikTok and Instagram, they make you get the app to post.. bummer. I did re-download those two, but I put them on the very last page so I have to scroll through a few pages of apps to get to them. I also have a new rule that I can only get on those apps for less than 5 minutes at a time. So far, I've obeyed. If I don't respond back to you on social media for awhile, you now know why. You can always catch me here on my blog, and talk to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.