Social Media Detox Diary
In my post last week ‘Social Media Detox’, I decided to experiment the depths of my Social Media Addiction (and all of you lot, before you feel like your exempt from this, we all have it – how else did you find this blog?), by doing a Social Media Detox.
I kept a diary of my observations along the way, I tried to make it as non-lengthy as possible, but I love to chat so it’s a bit long… but it’s got some interesting observations, promise!
I was so apprehensive going into this… which is basically code word for I really couldn’t be fucked to do it. I enjoy sitting on my phone checking Social Media too much.
I was surprised at how well I coped on my first day. I think it helped that I kept as busy as I could, so I didn’t actually miss Social Media that much. I kinda liked not feeling the need to check my phone all the time. I thought I would have FOMO (fear of missing out), but I actually felt a sense of relief. It was really sunny, so instead of looking at what a great day everyone else was having in the sun on social media… I actually went out (during what would have been my lunch break at work), and had fun. For myself! And I was perfectly content and happy. The rest of the world kept spinning, people probably were having fun in their own way, but I didn’t care, it wasn’t being thrown in my face.
Upon reflection, I know that if I’d have been on Social Media, then I wouldn’t have had such a nice day. This is because I wasn’t sat at home viewing the fun other people were having, thus making my own fun seem inadequate. It was refreshing – I didn’t have to prove to anyone I was having a good time, I was too busy actually having it – even if it was just getting out of the house for an hour or so as I’ve been bed ridden all week with vertigo.
Of the 30 minutes I allowed myself to check Social Media, I only used 10 minutes, to check some messages… and I didn’t feel any better for it.
High Point: Making my own fun and not having to compare it to anyone else’s.
Low Point: Waking up in the night (I’m a really light sleeper) and wanting to check Social Media which what I would normally do.
Today was a good day (s/o Ice Cube). I didn’t even have the urge to check my social media. I was feeling slightly better from the Vertigo and just enjoyed my own company. I took my iPhone to get fixed and was without it for an hour or so – but I didn’t even care. I knew that when I got it back I wouldn’t have to worry about checking up on social media to see what I had missed. And if I did have any missed calls/ texts, then they would only be from my close friends/ family, and they know I’m bad at replying anyway – so they would survive without me.
I felt more productive. Instead of picking up my phone every 5 minutes, I was more focused on what I needed to get done/ what I needed to do in the near future. And, rather than sitting and procrastinating on my social media timelines… I actually went out and got my tasks done.
High Point: Enjoying my own company
Low Point: I kept picking up my phone and automatically opening random apps! Force of habit.
The day started out oh so well. Finally my vertigo had gone, so I hopped in the car back to London and picked up Shea. We went to get our nails done, she went for a sun bed (not me, no, I would come out looking like a red lobster – I stick to fake tan only), we got some food, I put make up on for the first time in a week! I felt like myself again. I was feeling myself. Then, I got the urge to take some selfies, because obviously I wanted to show off – which was a struggle as naturally I wanted to go onto social media.
During my time away, whilst I was ill, I’d received a few Instagram deliveries (s/o @deadlegacy and @tamilore_uk) which meant I needed to take some photos for Instagram promo. Posting a photo meant that I used up all of my 30 minutes on social media for the day – and because I posted a photo, I kept getting the urge to check my social media. It was a downward spiral.
I will admit, I did check once or twice for a few minutes. What a failure. However, in my first two days I only used 10mins of my 30min allowance, so it balances out, right? (I know, I’m as frustrated with myself as you are).
I ended the day feeling guilty and frustrated with myself (Although I still managed to fall asleep watching the Dirty Sanchez Movie, I must have been tired as I remember drifting off as someone was having a nail hammered into their forehead – impressive).
High Point: Getting over vertigo, being back in London, feeling like myself again.
Low Point: Checking my social media. Bad.
It was really sunny today. Sunny Sunday. Shea and I went to the Olympic park and sunbathed, got an ice cream, did some more photos for insta promo, then went to a friends in the evening. Checking social media didn’t really cross my mind, I was perfectly content just catching up with people.
On Sundays I tend to put a new blog post up in the evening, meaning I had to use my 30minutes social media allowance up again, to promote the post. I didn’t cheat today, however I find that the more of my 30 minutes I use, the greater the urge is to continue checking it after is.
High Point: I was in good spirits the whole day, relaxed. I was now used to not checking social media.
Low Point: Strong urge to check social media after I’d used up my 30 minutes.
Monday. FFS. Generally Mondays are always my worst day of the week (like most of us). I was in an alright mood for the duration of the day, I was back at work, back in the gym, feeling more productive as I didn’t have the distraction of checking social media whilst trying to get my work done (it was also sunny which equals happiness – happy for a witch anyway, which tends to mean I’m happy on the inside but don’t want people to know out of principle).
The evening was a bad time. I’m not very good in my own company, especially in London, I get very restless. And, as I had the evening to relax by myself, it meant that I had an urge to check my social media.
Again, I used all of my 30 minutes. After they were up I was left with this lingering negative feeling. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but I hadn’t had it since I started my ‘Social Media Detox’ until now. Before this detox I used to get the feeling quite often, it makes me feel down. I realise now that it’s always when I spend too much time checking my social media.
When I did my research on Social Media Addiction, a lot was mentioned about the presence of the feel-good hormone Oxytocin when using social-media. For example, when we get a lot of likes/ a post is well received on social media, Oxytocin is released – making us feel happy. However, when we spend a prolonged period of time online, scrolling, not finding anything significant, the opposite happens – we feel depressed. This is because, we use social media to harbour the feeling that the Oxytocin provides, and when we don’t get it, we feel as though we are lacking something. In real life we haven’t lost anything, it is just our fake online lives that haven’t gained anything, making our reality seem less significant.
Today, although it was my hardest day on this detox, I definitely feel as though I discovered a direct correlation between my use of social media and my mood. The more I check social media, the more my mood is depleted. It’s not that I am actually depressed, I just get a depressed feeling when I am checking social media out of boredom.
It’s like an addict not being able to get their fix.
High Point: Appreciating that this experience has taught me something worthwhile.
Low Point: Feeling down in the evening.
Today was my first day back in the office since starting this detox. I am far more focused when I am in the office, and this detox has 100% helped my productivity rate. The main thing I have noticed is that I am so focused. You know like in Limitless, when he takes the pill, that’s kinda what I’m experiencing… except my brain is about 1/5 of the size, I have resting bitch face so probs look like I’m hating life, and it’s not a sunny day in Manhattan, it’s raining and I’m in Canary Wharf.
With my business hat on I have realised one thing. As much as the results of this detox have been leaning towards its advantages, it has had a slightly negative effect on my engagement levels on social media. I guess that’s the down side of not being as active online. I’ve started to look at social media as more of a business, the more time you put in, the greater the reward.
But what happened to the fun of it? Isn’t that what social media is supposed to be about?
High Point: I’m essentially Bradley Cooper in Limitless now.
Low Point: Feeling confused about whether social media is for fun/ business these days.
My final day! As I’m writing this, I’m still on my detox. I still feel like I’m on a limitless pill, and haven’t had the urge to check my social media at all.
Reflecting on this experience I’ve learnt a few things:
- I am happier when I don’t check social media
- I am more productive when I don’t check social media
- Checking social media out of boredom makes me feel down
- Being less active on social media has a negative effect on engagement levels, and business
My conclusion therefore is something like this:
Coming out of this detox I won’t be checking my social media as regularly. I don’t intend to watch what other people do on social media as much, I will just use it to post about me (happy days). One thing I have missed is being able to do Snapchats and my Instagram Story, so I’m going to start doing again as I find it most fun. I won’t check my social media during the day, especially when I am working, and first thing when I wake up.
I feel like in a way, taking a step back has made me focus on my real life more, and also on myself as a person – I feel so much more content in knowing that I am happiest when I’m not looking outwards for justification, but instead focusing on being happy in real time.
I would recommend anyone to try this, just to get some perspective on how unimportant social media is in the grand scheme of things, particularly when related to our self-worth. However, I can completely see the benefits from a business perspective.
This experiment started out as something I did just for fun but turned into something more meaningful, especially for a stone cold Witch like me. You got to see some of my more sentimental side. Lucky you.
My next post will be double as Witchy because of this!
Any feedback/ questions/ advice please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Ciao for now – Elz, The Witch.