Starting July 1, I decided to take a hiatus from social media.
I found myself most days prior to July 1, just mindlessly scrolling on my phone taking in the content of other people, mostly on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, and not taking the time to do things for myself. I would lay in bed or on the couch just in “veg mode,” which I called my time to just disconnect from the life around me and scroll on my phone. I would get so sucked into everyone else’s life, I would forgot and ignore my own life.
Now that it is August 1, I would like to share a few things I learned (about myself and about the world), what I wish I told people before my hiatus, and my future plans:
Being Social vs. Social Media
Most importantly, I have learned the difference (and my desire) to be disconnected from social media, but not wanting to be disconnected from being social. I did not take a break from social media to not be up to date with my friends and family. That is actually the furthest from what I wanted.
I want(ed) to be there for my friends and family to celebrate with them on their happy (and sad moments) as they were there for me.
When getting off social media, it became clear who truly cared. Interestingly enough, I have stopped communicating with people I thought would be my biggest supporters and greatest friends in my next journey (post stillbirth).
I did not want to be alone or lonely during my time off social media, but it felt that way.
I knew I loved things such as reading, writing, traveling, etc., but until I had this new allotted amount of time to do these things, I loved it. I went to classes at my local library, I visited new places, I read different books that have been on my list for months, and, most importantly, I started this blog and website.
Social Media Use & Screen Time
If I had to guess, my screen time usage (on my phone) dropped by at least 50%, if not more (I wish I could analyze this data more).
You may be wondering why it wasn’t more.
During this time, I still had my career that required me to log onto Facebook and LinkedIn to make posts. Just because I was personally taking this hiatus, didn’t mean I could pause my career for a month.
With all the new things I have learned through this experience, I am thinking about how to re-enter the world of social media. I have not determined what this looks like, but I want to continue to use the next few months to continue to focus on myself and do the things I love (without wasting time scrolling online).
What does this mean? This means you might not see me online as often as you did before. This means that I might not see all your exciting life updates, but this doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about it. I want to celebrate with my friends and family and be included on all the social aspects of life, but without social media influencing my life.
I encourage everyone to try this challenge- spend less of your time on your phones (and social media scrolling) and more in your life (doing the things you love and finding new things to love). You never know what you may learn about the folks around you or even about yourself by taking the time to focus on it.