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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