I recently took two weeks away from social media and I greatly benefitted from it. Before I expound on the benefits I enjoyed from my break, let me provide you with some background as to why I decided to take a break from social media:
- I was feeling overwhelmed with life in general. I was living in a state of consistent anxiety that stemmed from daily stressors (i.e. work, finances, relationships, etc.);
- I was unhappy with certain areas of my life;
- I felt like I did not have enough time in a day to accomplish all that I wanted. Additionally, I felt like I was unable to find time to do the things I enjoyed; and
- I was feeling lonely.
As I prepare to share about my experience with taking a break from social media, I want to make it clear that I am not telling you that taking a break from social media solved all my problems or that a break from social media is necessary for everyone.I am merely sharing my experience because I felt compelled to take a break. Social media was consuming my energy and I needed refuge. Taking a break from social media provided me with some much needed clarity and I want to share my experience in the event that someone may find this helpful. Here’s what I learned:
- Prayer gives me strength and guidance: Prior to my hiatus, I would check my social media account(s) first thing in the morning. I would also check them right before bed. However, not having a site to check, I spent an increasing amount of time talking to God. I would just lay in bed and talk to God about the day’s worries and I would immediately find comfort and encouragement. My hiatus reminded me that I was forming bad habits by waking up and checking on other people’s lives before addressing my own day. Now that I am back on social media, I limit my usage and I am mindful of the frequency I log on or check my account(s).
- Time management is a choice: Everyone gets the same twenty-four (24) hours each day. The difference between Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg, Beyonce, Joe Blow, and Me is how we each choose to spend our day. So how is it that we all get the same amount of hours in a day but some of us are more productive. Well, its because there are differences on how we choose to spend our days. I didn’t think about it, but I was wasting too much time on social media. Spending even 15 mins on Instagram eight times a day was too much because the time adds up. That is two hours that I could have finished reading a short novel or completed a work out session that I say I am too busy for. The bottomline: I realized that I wasn’t managing my time well. When I stopped frequenting my social media accounts, I found time to read a book that was collecting dust on my bookshelf, catch up with friends and family, clean my apartment, and do simple chores like budget. I was able to do some serious housekeeping.
- I have a lot to be thankful for: Many people will say that social media is bad because if creates this need for comparison. However, that was never a concern for me. I used social media as inspiration. Social media for me is more of a creative outlet that I use to escape my day to day life. It is a space that I can create and tell my story as I desire. My feed or timeline is crafted by me. I get to prioritize what is important to me and display it like I want. It’s an avenue for creativity. Loggin off social media forced me to live in my life–not the glamoured version to it, but the real deal. Honestly, I realized that my life was good. My life was good not because I used filters, good lighting, and the right angles, but because I had so much to be grateful for, such as family, friends, and work. I initially thought that getting off of social media would make me lonely, but the opposite happened. I was able to appreciate what I had because I was forced to live with it.
Have you ever taken a break from social media? What was the biggest lesson you learned?