Thoughts on giving up social media for one week.

goodbyefacebookteaser-100336171-origI am a bit of a Facebook addict.  I don’t spend hours on end scrolling, nor do I post a whole heck of a lot.  However I do randomly check Facebook several times a day.  If I’m feeling overwhelmed at work, sitting in a long line of traffic, brushing my teeth (see, I told you it’s embarrassing).  I was actually one of the last of my friends to even get a Facebook account, but now it has gotten to a point where I honestly can’t remember the last time I went a complete day without checking social media (for me that means Facebook and Instagram).  So, what better time than now to conduct an experiment!  Let’s forget about a day, I went all in and did a full week’s worth of unplugging.  Here’s what happened!

Day 1:  Full disclosure – I technically already failed.  I wrote a blog post and wanted to share it with my infertility group on Facebook.  I logged in to post the blog and logged off immediately.  I didn’t like anything, I didn’t comment on anything.  I may have sneaked a peak at my notifications and MAYBE done half a scroll or so on the old mouse.  I also deactivated my account for the week.  I didn’t want to make some big proclamation about leaving Facebook, but I also didn’t want people to think I’m just ignoring them if they are trying to get in touch.  I’m still counting this day as Day 1.

Mood & Musings:

  • I definitely felt the pangs separation anxiety.  It was a bit unsettling how often social media was on my mind.  I felt anxious about what I was missing.
  • I read a couple articles online about giving up social media.  Turns out there are actual studies that have been conducted that show people who are not on social media are happier, less lonely and more focused than those of us who are.  I didn’t feel much happier yet, but I definitely looked forward to it!
  • Told M about my little experiment and he decided he wanted to join in as well.
  • It seems Day 1 was spent filling the void of social media with other internet based goings on.  Hmm.

Day 2:

Mood & Musings:

  • Day 2 was a big day because M and I put an offer down on a new house, and we traveled to Connecticut to spend the weekend with M’s brother, sister in law, and their 9 month old baby boy.  I didn’t really think about social media much at all.
  • Instead of mindlessly scrolling, I talked to M during most of the car ride (I’m not sure he would consider this a positive!).
  • I started a new book to fill my time.
  • I think this experiment is harder for M than for me because I have all notification turned off for my apps, and he doesn’t.  He kept commenting throughout the day that he was getting notifications and really wanted to look at them.  He didn’t, at least not that I know of 😉

Day 3:

Mood & Musings:

  • Spent the day with my sister in law while M went to play golf with his brother.  We talked about fertility stuff – she had two miscarriages before having her son and they are getting ready to try again soon.  She’s over 40 so unfortunately the clock is ticking.  Talking about my DOR and our future transfer always brings tears at some point.  I rebounded though and overall the day was fun.  Didn’t think about social media at all until I remembered some of my girlfriends were getting together that night and wondered how that was going.  It’s weird not knowing what is going on at all times!
  • Side note:  is a blog considered social media??  This thought popped into my head on Day 3.  I guess it is.  For me social media refers to outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  This blog is sort of an online diary so I think it’s still in it’s own separate category in my mind.

Day 4:

Mood & Musings:

  • Full disclosure again – out of sheer habit, I clicked on the Instagram app on my phone.  I looked at one picture and clicked on one hashtag before I realized “This is social media!!” and dropped my phone like a hot potato.
  • I still wasn’t feeling any happier.  Started thinking that happiness study might be crap.
  • We put a counter offer in on a house we liked.  Fingers crossed!

Day 5:

Mood & Musings:

  • Woke up this morning and had an email from our realtor – our house offer was accepted!  We are homeowners!  Yippee!!
  • My work day was so productive without taking random breaks to check Facebook.
  • I almost felt like I was living this secret life that no one knows about. I was definitely starting to dig it.

Day 6:

Mood & Musings:

  • Not looking at Facebook means I didn’t have to concern myself with what everyone else was doing, nor with their opinions of what I was doing.  I don’t have to spend time deciding on what to post, what not to post, perfecting pictures before uploading, etc.  It’s refreshing.  I’m just doing my thing and living my life.  What a concept!

Day 7:

Mood & Musings:

  • It’s over already??  I was almost anxious about emerging from my social media free cocoon today.  How funny that just a few days ago I was anxious about living without Facebook and now I was anxious for the complete opposite reason.
  • Over the last two days I actually started really enjoying being disconnected from my Facebook “friends” and Instagram “followers”.  Friends and Followers.  It sounds so strange when said in that way.  None of those people are my followers, and some I wouldn’t even consider friends since I haven’t seen them since high school.
  • Should I cancel my account all together?  Leave it deactivated and just pop in every now and then?  Should I let people know I am doing this, or is that pretentious?
  • Once again I was struck with how good it feels that no one knows what I am doing and I don’t know what they are doing and somehow we are all surviving!

Overall Thoughts

I have realized I really like my little life and I’m actually feeling a bit protective of it today.  I’m not sure I want to give up my precious time and be sucked right back in to mindless scrolling.  I don’t know if I want to open myself up to being affected by people’s words (especially parents complaining about their children!!).  I have come to realize that other people’s thoughts and opinions shared on social media truly did affect and drain me, even if is was on a subconscious level.

Overall I wouldn’t say I feel happier, but I do feel calmer.  I feel like I can formulate my own thoughts without the chatter of everyone’s opinions.  I definitely feel more productive and have more downtime.  The word that keeps popping into my head is space.  Space to think.  Space to breathe.  Space to be present.

I’m not sure what my social media habits will look like after today.  I still haven’t logged into anything.  I still want to be able to connect with my fertility group and with others sparingly, but I will definitely be more mindful about it.  Who knows, this may become a permanent thing.  (I will still be writing my blog and checking in with other bloggers though.  Let’s not get crazy. 😉 )

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on giving up social media for one week.

  1. andthewindscreamsmary says:

    I took a break from Facebook from March – June this year and loved it! It was difficult at first, but once I got over the initial cold turkey breakup it felt good. And when I reactivated in June I felt much more in control of my social media habits and how it impacted my day to day feelings and thoughts. I think I also cleaned out my “friends” list and that helped. I’m glad you feel calmer and I hope it lasts!

    Liked by 1 person

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