Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: My Social Media Detox

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

My Social Media Detox



Last week, I posted about the current struggles I was having with a number of things - one of the main things being my feeling that social media was somewhat taking over my life and bringing me down/stressing me out.

I suppose I should explain a little more of why I felt that way before I go any further...

Since I made the switch from my Blackberry phone and non-tablet owning self over to the Apple-Darkside, I have to admit - technology has got its claws in to me!

My iPhone was loaded with all of the usual social media suspects - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest apps - and the little red button would pop up and count how many notifications I had unread on each.

Not only that, but my lock screen would display what the notifications were - which friend had tagged me in a group post, who had commented on a thread or photo of mine, it would show me the first line or two of a private message....

I also had all the same apps on my Ipad.

So whenever my tablet or phone were near me, I found that social media was sucking me in - even when I didn't want to be on there, when I didn't really have time, when I should be doing other things - it would peak my interest and before I knew what was happening I'd be checking it.

I hated to see the notification counter highlighted - it had almost become a compulsion to check and clear the notifications every time they popped up.

I found myself out in the car, playing with Tyne, out for dinner with Jon, visiting with my family....all occasions when I should be engaged in the activity and present in the moment...but instead I was always looking down at my phone, always scrolling through Facebook or Twitter.

Most of the time there wouldn't even be anything new to look at....but I'd be scrolling through my news feed anyway.

I started to feel quite overwhelmed with social media for a number of reasons - as a blogger it's difficult as social media is a necessary tool for promoting posts and engaging with followers - but I found myself taking it too far...allowing meals to get cold while I snapped them from various angles for Instagram shots, not letting Tyne play with certain toys until I'd photographed them in their boxes and Tweeted the companies who manufacture them beforehand.

I started to realise that it had really become too much.

So, after a particularly stressful few days, I decided a detox was needed - and I deleted all of the apps from my phone and my tablet with the intention of just giving myself a week long break from them.

The feeling of relief was incredible and immediate.

I found myself spending so much more time playing with my son and enjoying it without any distractions.

I found myself chatting more to my partner, and having more interesting conversations because I didn't have one eye on my phone.

I found myself fitting in so much more to my day - checking so many tasks off my to-do list because suddenly the days seemed that much longer without dwindling so much time away on social media!

I felt so much less stressed.

And so I''ve decided those apps are not finding their way back on to any of my devices any time soon!

If I REALLY need to get on to social media, there's no issue with doing it from the browser but the plan is to use social media only on the PC when I have actual free time to use it - not time when I should be doing anything else!

I'm so glad that I tried out this little detox experiment and I highly recommend it if you're a bit concerned about your own social media exposure!

Did I miss anything vital by not being on social media all day long? No!

Did I still manage to communicate with my friends? Yes!

Infact it was quite nice to go back to good old fashioned text messaging and phonecalls!

I came to realise that social media can be pretty deceptive - you can feel like the most popular person in the world with your thousands of Twitter followers and Hundreds of Facebook friends, but how many of them still exist in your life when you take yourself offline?

Not many, in my experience.

So am I glad I've stepped back? Absolutely!

There's so much more to life!

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13 comments:

  1. AH I have the apps but not all the alerts switched on, it would drive me insane too x

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  2. Sounds like a good idea to have a break from social media as I know what you mean about it taking up too much time and being stressful. Not sure I could do it long term though but I supposed you have to try it to know for sure!

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  3. Good idea, I really should do the same! I find myself constantly checking too. Don't think I'm quite ready to delete apps just yet though, I'd have to warm up to the thought! :-)

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  4. Good for you! It sounds like you are feeling much better for the step away from social media....

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  5. I really should go by your good example and detox. I find myself opening facebook up as soon as I wake up, and then constantly checking it when I'm home. I can see how as a blogger you would feel that much more of a pull, so well done on kicking it in the bum.

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  6. Great post, very thought provoking. I an also cutting back although I haven't gone as far as to take them off my phone.x

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  7. Hi Hayley, I stumbled upon your blog whilst looking for a pushchair review, I'm glad I did. This post has really given me food for thought, I'm going to reduce my ipad use, bet I'll feel better (and spend less) for it. :)

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  8. Haley, I have to agree with you. I am always checking and now they have sounds to alert you if someone send you a request ...this is constant. Great article.

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  9. You sound much happier and quirkier in this post from last weeks so it has definitely helped! Well done for taking the plunge and deleting the apps.

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  10. I was feeling the same as you, getting bogged down with feeling like I have to be connected all the time, but not missing anything because nothing actually happens! I switched off notifications but haven't deleted yet! eek! I reckon I may have to when new baby comes!
    Good for you tho!
    Lauren | Belle du Brighton x

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  11. Glad you were rewarded with quality time with loved ones:)

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  12. I am constantly getting sucked it at every spare second. I sometimes thing step away but I have that fear it will just pile up and if I just reply here, answer here and tag this and tweet that that I will keep up and won't have that added pressure of the pile up. Which is better I am not sure? I do know I probably need to step away a little more each day. My eyes are going to go bad if not! lol Great post I hope you too can step away better than me. Thanks for the motivation to do so though. Helps. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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  13. I found when I got my tablet last year that checking social media was the first and last thing I'd do in the day. Now I've stopped doing that, I've managed to get back to reading, and I don't miss out. Admittedly my bedtime is really late (must stop that), but I'm pleased I'm doing something else and getting an interest back. Now just to sort out my crochet time allowance too #shareiwthme

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