If you’re anything like me, your phone has pretty much become your life. It’s our way of communicating, catching up on news, checking balances and buying alllll the things we don’t need. For me, it’s there from the moment I wake up and stop my alarm, to me setting my alarm for the following morning, and sometimes after. Most of my use centres around the different social media platforms and late last year, I grew tired of continuously scrolling comparing myself to others, and for that reason, a detox was needed.
The advancements in technology are unbelievable and the fact that livelihoods & businesses can be pretty much run on a small device is amazing. The attachment we have to it, however, is sad. It’s ironic that a device centred around connecting to others has left us so disconnected from the real world.
How many times have you not been listened to because somebody’s attention is on Bob’s (unbelievably, I couldn’t think of a better name) latest status update? (Another parenthesis, but hey Mum, this is you).
Then think how many times you’ve been the one asking for something to be repeated as your attention was elsewhere.
It happens all the time and when you’re on the receiving end of ignorance, it can be quite upsetting. And, let’s face it, their attention is probably not on the breaking news and instead is on statuses, tweets, stories, or posts. Maybe I’m being a bit over the top, sensitive is my middle name, but if I knew I’d made somebody feel like I wasn’t listening to them due to my attention being on my phone, I’d feel bad.
I have the usual social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram and I was checking them constantly (not so much Facebook). It was genuinely an obsession because after I’d close the apps, I’d open them shortly after and why? Nothing had changed in under a minute and at the time, it was only serving to make me feel miserable.
Essentially, social media was bad for my mental health. So, as I said, late last year, I reached a point where I needed a break. I’m already somebody who compares myself to others, and it was becoming something I did minute by minute as my feeds were filled with picturesque beaches, toned stomachs and amazing makeup skills. All whilst I was waking up to minus temperatures, eating too many calories with scruffy hair and unplucked eyebrows. Creating a beautiful image of myself here.
I ended up having a full 30 day detox from social media. The only account I kept was my baking Instagram as I don’t check it that often anyway, and what else was I supposed to do without social media? Bake, and eat of course. Hence my dieting now.
I was surprised at how little I used my phone while I was logged out from the different platforms. Don’t get me wrong, it was still with me pretty much all the time, but I wasn’t actively using it as much. When you’re a little detached from your phone, you realise the extent of how attached everybody else is, how many times everybody double taps the screen and how many times they snap their face.
You also realise what you can do in a day instead of watching what everybody else does in theirs. And in all honesty, even if I was having a ‘do nothing’ kind of day, I wasn’t seeing all the Girl Boss posts, and how motivated everybody else was waking up at 6am going to the gym. Girl Boss mode is amazing, but sometimes, just sometimes, I choose my bed and quite frankly, my bed chooses me.
I’m now back on all social media accounts, and I won’t pretend, I do check them quite often, mostly Instagram & Twitter, but that’s mostly due to me blogging and interacting with other people. I was actually tempted to not log off Twitter in the first place because I find it the most humorous social media platform and it was the first account I logged back into.
I do still look at other people’s glossy photos and feel envious, but it doesn’t consume my thoughts as much as it used to.
I’m not saying everybody should have 3o days away from social media, but I do think it’s important to have a break of some kind. Whether that’s simply cutting down and not relying on it, or choosing one day of the week away from it all.
Once you’re back online, you’ll find your that bit more connected to the real world.