This is a long due post. Yeah. I’m too lazy to update my blog with certain reasons like busy at work, travelling or sleeping during weekends.
I know it will be super hard for me because I’m always online based on my work. (Remotely) but I told my two office colleagues if I failed this challenge I would treat them out for free in a buffet restaurant. (The expensive buffet restaurant in Manila).
The first few days were the most challenging. I knew without taking extreme measures I would slip back in my old routine and check my phone frequently throughout the day. So I removed all my social apps on my phone and cleared my browser history passwords on my desktop and laptop for me not to open them on my devices. But that was not enough, because like many people I had a hard-wired into my brain this compulsive checking. It’s not about the likes, comments or direct messages but the hope of what could it be. Like a potential client might message me if they should go with my proposal or one of my recent posts went viral. But it’s almost always nothing. I am committed to doing this so I created some distance. I put my phone inside my bag whenever I’m in the office; I put my phone away from my bed. Thirty days without my phone beside me was difficult, but I survived.
Here’s what I did and learned from plugging out of social media for a month:
- Getting close to family and friends
My Mom always calls me every single day. We used to talk for like two minutes because I would always end up it saying, “Mom, I have to check something on my feed” but when I started this, I always talk to her for hours or two. We would always talk about random things and that made me feel close with her even if we live miles apart. Also, I could talk face to face with my friends and have meaningful conversations.
- Reading books again
I always love reading books but when social media was at a peak, I cannot finish one book at all. Social media had invaded my way of traditional reading–books in hardbound copies. I got time to read two books finished during this task. I read Veronica Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho and Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey. Those two books gave me a lot of learnings and reflections. I feel I was alive again based on the lessons learned on those books.
- I went hiking again
One of my friends invited me to hike a nearby mountain. My body was not ready but I gave in. Last year was the time I hiked a mountain where I had one of the lowest points of my life. The view was always majestic for me. Memories of yesterday kept playing on my mind again about my breakup. I started to find closure, but it never came. He never talked to me again. And I stopped expecting to find closure because there are times when it just won’t happen. The fact that the relationship ended is the only closure I’m going to get. Ah, but the view was refreshing and made me open a new chapter of my life.
- I was able to be in the zone
I was able to be a little more productive, which meant I could get ahead of my work and could either spend that on learning a course online for my Master’s Degree preparation.
- I can sleep early
Since I started college and having a long distance relationship with a different time zone, I always sleep late and would always be on my phone talking to him and scrolling Instagram, tweeting and watching Facebook videos. With 30 days, I could sleep early and I am so happy with that change. I always wake up with a light and positive mood every morning.
There’s a sense of clarity that you get when you take a step away from the compulsive checking. It is hard for me to explain or grasp but I can tell you I felt better by being away from it.
The real reason to get back on social media is the fear of missing out and when you’re connected, you really did not miss a thing. The whole month detox made me better by managing my day well and get me to redirect to my priorities. By removing these distractions allowed me to accomplish things.
Have you tried doing a social media detox?