I love it when hubby and I throw challenges at each other. Like that time I challenged him not to drink any alcohol during the week. Which is literally every Monday. But we’ll get back to that one day. Today, I’d like to tell you about the social media detox challenge that hubby has recently thrown at me.
It all started three weeks ago as a bet, when hubby insinuated that I was addicted to Facebook and Instagram. How dare he? Just because I was literally picking up my phone every second to scroll down my social feeds and spy on my friends lives?
However, something that started just for fun, this social media detox challenge I decided to pick up basically just to prove my husband wrong, has now become a new life habit. And I am glad my life has taken this unexpected turn.
I was convinced I was not addicted
Digital addiction truly is like any other addiction. You do not want to see it, you do not want to accept it and it is hard to move away from it. I was addicted and my husband was once again right. Checking out on social was the last thing I used to do at night before falling asleep and the first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. I was not able to enjoy the moment anymore, because I was constantly worrying about what was “happening” on social.
I only changed my mind after week 2 of detox, when I decided to re-install Instagram to see what it would do to me. And it did me wrong. That’s when realized I was addicted and decided that I needed to do something about it.
Here are three instant benefits of social media detox as I could experience them on my skin.
Probably the most important one. Since I quit social media, the look on myself has improved. When I was spending a lot of time checking out other people’s lives, I was subconsciously hating mine. This only became clear to me once I stopped spending my time on Instagram and Facebook. After two weeks into the social detox challenge, I decided to re-download the apps to see what would happen. That’s when I realized that looking at other people’s “perfectly staged images” made me feel like the smallest piece of shit.
The moment I re-opened Instagram, I immediately felt overwhelmed. Those slick images of people doing stuff made me feel useless and boring. As if I was missing out on something important, as if everyone else had many important things to do. Except me. Even if I perfectly know that the majority of those posts are staged up stories, I still felt somehow depressed and sad. And no one needs this kind of negative energy!
To my biggest surprise, being constantly connected was giving me stress. I never thought I would admit this one day but it’s true: being on social does have an impact on your stress levels. Albeit stress is not always a bad thing, it is when your levels are too high and you are stressing about things you cannot have an immediate impact on. Like having a wonderful perfect life similar to what you see on Instagram. Which most of the times is not real. Even if we know that those things are not real, deep down they still affect us. And I guess this is where all the power of social media lays. You can influence people and make them want something, even before they consciously know that they want it. Super scary.
Given that my stress levels are lower, my attention has improved. I am much more focused on what is happening at present, instead of secretly worrying about what is happening on social. I can now enjoy the moment and concentrate on doing one thing at a time, instead of worrying about what will come next. Which is literally the way we navigate around social media. We just scroll down our feeds like maniacs, sometimes we do not even read what’s in there. And unfortunately, this way of handling information and people translates into the real life then.
Needless to say that I have removed the social media apps again and decided I’d better stay away from that negative energy. I do not want to exist through people’s likes. I want to exist in the real life as we know it.