The social media break

Two weeks.

How many times would I log on to social media in a span of two weeks? How many hours did I lose from my life in two weeks on average by logging on every day? I was logging on 3–5 times a day, 5–30 minutes each time I logged on. If I had to guess, I would say that I was spending around 1–2 hours a day on it, which would be roughly 10.5 hours out of my life per week.

Almost one day gone from my life out of every two weeks. On what?

I decided to take two weeks off of one main social media site I was on. The first couple of days I only logged on when I had a message to respond to, and within the next 12 days I logged on once and then deactivated my account again. It was hard not logging on at first, but then it felt natural. I seriously began to debate whether I should ever reactivate my account again, and this is still an option I will be considering in the future.

I was devoting not only too much of my time to social media, but too much energy. Almost every time I was bored or not doing anything, rather than pick up my guitar, write, exercise, sing, dance, walk, read, think – whatever – I would log on.

Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling down the page, hoping to find some type of answer to some type of question. Sometimes I’d catch myself scrolling and I wasn’t even really reading or taking in what I was scrolling by. It had become a habit, like biting my nails.

Other times, I was taking in what I was seeing but not really realizing that most of it wasn’t necessarily real.

Wow, look at that person’s vacation. They must be having the time of their life. I wish I could go there and look that happy.

Wow, look at their relationship. They look so happy together. I’m #foreveralone.

Wow, look at his/her new car/house/yacht/island. I wish I had one of those.

Wait. Check yourself. What did you just think? You are assuming that just because they look happy in a picture, or just because the picture looks beautiful, or just because they seem to be happy with what they have – you’re assuming that that is truly how that person must feel. But how do you know? How do you know that anything you read or see on social media is what it seems to be? And why are you comparing your life to what theirs seems to be?

Social media makes it so easy for us to compare and to feel down about ourselves. Instead of practising gratefulness, I was often jealous of what might not even be real, or might not be the whole story. I mean, how many people post about the times they got sick on their vacation, or the arguments they have in their relationships, or the less “happy” occurrences in their lives? Social media, for some reason, fuels within us a desire to show off or highlight the good, and sweep the bad into the dustpan hidden in our minds.

While I took my two week break, I not only did more of the things I enjoy doing, but I did them with a new perspective. I was doing them just for the sake of doing them rather than for the sake of showing people what I was doing. It was like this haze had been lifted and I was able to observe more, feel more, connect more.

I’m going to do myself a favour and take a two week break more often.

Log off.

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