A month ago, I decided to leave social media for one month. You can read some of the reasons in this post. The point was not to see how long I could last without checking my profiles. Instead, I wanted to see if it would improve my self-esteem and negative thoughts by not being on social media.
So, did it magically improve my self-esteem and cure me of negative thinking? Er, not quite.
I expected this to happen:
After the first ten days, I was all:
Even though I’m proud that I met my goal, by the end I was like this:
Here’s a recap of my key observations:
What Did I Learn?
- I thought I had more updates waiting for me than there actually were.
- I thought Facebook was the worst for damaging self-esteem. Instagram is worse. Way worse.
- There are a lot of douchenozzles who follow only because they want a follow back vs. genuine connection. Ugh.
What Was The Hardest Part?
- Not cheating, and getting rid of the itch to constantly check.
- Fear of missing out. I got way too many emails about pending notifications.
- Resisting the urge to tweet items I thought others would find interesting, and not being able to support posts of authors.
- I worried that my close friends wouldn’t care where I was (online, anyway)
Was it a Good Idea?
- Yes and no.
- Yes, because it helped me answer why I’m on social media and what my goals are.
- No, because it didn’t improve my self-esteem, confidence, etc, as much as I’d hoped.
- Yes, because it didn’t make those things worse than they already are.
- Yes, because this break helped me identify other sources of bad feelings I intend to kick to the curb.
- If you have 2,000+ Facebook or Twitter followers, one week may be more realistic.
- If you think going off social media will instantly make you more productive, guess again.
- I don’t check social media from my cell phone (my only mobile device), so if the phone check-ins are a person’s issue, a phone detox may be in order.
- I plan to experiment more with Anti-Social and reducing social media check-ins on weekends.
- Going off social media made me play more online computer games (I kicked that habit before it became a problem, though.)
- While this was a much-needed break, I’m not sure I’d do a month again. Maybe a week or two tops 😉
Would I Recommend it to Others?
Would I Do it Again?
So, all that said, do you think you could take a social media break that long, or do you already build in social media breaks to your schedule? Sound off below.