A few weeks ago, I took a complete break from the internet. This might sound completely shallow and ridiculous - who is so troubled by the internet that they need to 'disconnect', really? Who DOESN'T peep at their emails in those spare moments, just because they're there? The thing is, staring at social media all day (it's my job AND my hobby), being fed image after image of processed reality had really started to wear me down. I was feeling completely stuck - fatigued by where I was in my life and, when I compared it to what I was seeing and reading about - unable to make a change drastic enough to accommodate what I thought was the 'ideal'.

I decided to cut screen time completely - no phones, no laptops, no iPads. TV was allowed, but only in the evenings, and only with my family. This is what happened.

WHAT'S THE WIFI PASSWORD HERE?
A question I heard myself, my boyfriend and my uncle almost instantaneously ask upon getting to our 'home away from home' in the country. Sad but true - we really do rely on our internet connection for so much, even if it's just a recommendation for dinner. It was at this point I actually physically handed over my devices to my mum - I didn't know if I could be trusted!

LIGHTER, BRIGHTER, MORE AWAKE
I'll admit - the first night, my fingers were fidgeting for something to look at passively. Normally I'd scroll through Twitter or Instagram, see what was what, and for a while I missed that scrolling thumb action. Creepy, eh? However after I'd forgotten about what I might be 'missing', I noticed I suddenly had more energy - I was helping out around the house without thinking about it, playing with the dogs at the estate, and kicking butt in Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. I felt so light.

THE TAO OF THE IPHONE-LESS
With this generally happier and more energetic me, came a huge sense of relief and calm. I no longer felt this odd pressure to wipe all notifications by checking *every little thing*, or like a chain of Instagram pictures because where else was I going to see copper and marble today. I was so free of the usual FOMO or 'I want that'-driven thinking, and it was such a quieter place to be in my mind!

YOU KINDA SUCK WHEN YOU'RE ONLY SOCIAL ON MEDIA
With my tools downed, I did notice how annoying it was when others had their heads stuck in screens. It happened to my dad, my uncle and my boyfriend over that weekend. Life is happening! You're missing it!

READY FOR INSPIRATION
When I finally was reunited with my phone, I was genuinely excited to go on Instagram - I didn't feel any kind of obligation to like everything or scroll through every post, I had a quick look for some inspiration and came away refreshed and excited to create. It dawned on me - this is what it's for! This is how you SHOULD be feeling!

So, how about some ideas for detoxing your social media intake for the week (or weekend) ahead? I hear you loud and clear. Here are some of my best tips:
- If you can manage it, try one social-media-free day, or even better, weekend, per month.
- Limit email checking, outside of work hours, to once in the evening, once in the morning.
- Put your phone into Flight Mode as often as you can bear to. You'll thank me!
- Try and spend no more than a few minutes at a time, every other hour or every three hours, on Twitter or Instagram. You don't need to consume as much information as you are doing!
- The next time you feel envious of someone on any social media, put your phone, iPad, laptop down, step away from the screen and be actively involved in your life. You only get one of these. You're wasting your time wishing for someone else's.

I hope these tips are useful and you've enjoyed this post - do any of you do 'social media free' days? Would you consider it?

3 comments

  1. Amen!!! I did the same yesterday. It was just doing my head in. I think it's worth doing pne day a week, or so.

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    1. If I didn't work in social media I'd definitely try doing one a week - having my job doesn't help, hahaha! T xx

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  2. Yes my hubby and me do a whole week with no social media when we have our family holiday. We've tried to get the kids to join in but they sneak a look here and there, but there are no phones at the dinner table while we're all sat eating together (that rule stands all the time), but when on holiday we've found it's just so lovely to enjoy what you're actually doing as a family rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing while you're on holiday!! I've even noticed that once the holiday is over, I am delaying getting back to the social media whirl as I've enjoyed the break so very much! I have to say that I do take the odd photos and upload them so my friends can see where we're visiting that day but I don't open the app and read comments or anything, I'll do that when our holiday is over. It really does make a refreshing break & means that we are all focused fully on each other rather than the rest of the world. Hubby came up with the idea and while I was a little shell shocked at the idea, I'm glad he did and we do it whenever we go away now.

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