Recently I deleted my social media accounts. It’s been about a week. The reason I did it is because I felt it was a crutch and taking too much of my time. I’ve been on social media for about fifteen years including Myspace, twenty years if you include forums. It was time for a change. During my trip to Oaxaca, I forgot to buy a chip for my phone which would allow me to use my phone in Mexico. Since I didn’t have that, I wasn’t able to use my phone how I normally do but it was a good. I’m grateful for that.
Not having access to my phone didn’t hinder my experiences in Oaxaca and I actually think it enhanced my social exchanges. One conversation I had was about the use of phone’s with friends and family after I was given access to WiFi. Someone pointed out how we were all on our phone and a discussion- without phones- took place. It made me think, what would my life be like without social media? I have literally spent hours on it daily mindlessly scrolling hoping to stumble upon something, anything, that would be exciting. During this time that we scroll, we can be learning new skills, spending time with loved ones, or just being bored. A luxury that has been lost in the social media revolution.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love social media. I love being able to communicate with friends who I don’t see daily and I love finding out about local events and going to them, taking pictures, and writing about them. The truth is, though, I can do that without social media. Whenever I’m on there and around people, we stop talking except for the occasional, “hey, look at this meme.” that we found on Instagram or Facebook. The truth is, during this first week, I was forced to find something else to talk about. I didn’t have the security of my phone where I could stick my head in like an ostrich when things got awkward.
This is why I’ve decided to take a year off social media.
Every year, I take about two breaks from social media: one of about a week or two and another of about thirty days or so. So this is nothing new. The only difference this time is that I want to go longer. During this time, I don’t just want something else to take the place of social media-i.e., use other apps in place of social platforms, etc.- but I want to grow. I want to learn new things and live life to it’s fullest potential.
This past week alone, was fulfilling. I helped a friend paint their house and I got so much done. I can only imagine what a year without it will be like.
What about you? Have you taken a break from social media? What was it like?