What I learned during my week off social media

I've talked about it before. I am a social media whore. I started on Myspace back in 2004 and was blogging a few weeks later. Since that first fateful day that I logged in, I haven't logged out since. That equals nearly nine years without more than one or two unplanned days without changing my status, checking up on an old friend that I haven't talked to in years, or adding a fun photo to Instagram. Well, this all changed a week ago. I was feeling down, perhaps even in a weird funk. I tried changing my routine, I discussed details with friends for insight, and I stared at the ceiling whilst laying in my bed for hours trying to figure out why I had been feeling off for months. After changing things up over and over again, I finally decided to take a last resort stance. Whenever I felt down, I turned to social media. But this time, I would turn away from it. My comfort. My outlet. My avenue for communication to all of my friends since I travel so much. One week without it. And boy did I learn a lot. I was surprised that all of these lessons were not about my social media use. The extra time that I had available allowed me to evaluate other aspects of my life.

My first time back on Facebook in a week
 - I try to focus in on my more interesting or off-the-wall thoughts just so I can post them to get a reaction from people on social media.

- Life without social media forced me to spend more time with my own thoughts and my own issues. Sitting on social media for hours is almost numbing.
- I interact so much because few people reach out to interact with me. I seek this because I don't have a regular workplace to have face-to-face interactions.

- I actually hate self-promoting, but need to do it to keep my name out there and find work.

Dressing room Puck says "HIRE ME!"
- One of my non-social media specific realizations. Dance is like any relationship, it requires a lot of work, physically and emotionally.

- The notifications and messages you receive die down very quickly once you stop posting. Interaction actually slows down almost immediately. When you start posting again, it takes time for people to start noticing.

- In using social media often, I assume that I have an interesting perspective that people want to hear.

- Only one person reached out to me beyond social media during the week that I was off (Big ups, Emily!). I even posted my email address and offered my phone number before signing out to anyone who wanted to communicate with me.

- I waste a lot less time and am early to arrive places at least 50% more often than when I am using social media regularly.

- I, surprisingly, only really started missing social media on the fifth day after stopping.

- I don't really enjoy Twitter...at all! I only use it because so many other people insist on it's usefulness.

- I don't even have to think about going on social media. I, even, typed it into my browser a few times and clicked enter before I even knew I had arrived on a site.

- Sometimes, social media use is just like having too many drinks. I will sit on it for hours, so I don't have to be mindful of the way that I am feeling at that moment.

- I love Instagram because I feel like it is like implanting a camera inside my head for everybody to get an idea of what life looks like through my eyes.

My view walking home from teaching at Koresh via Instagram
- I didn't care about the content in my Facebook feed nearly as much once I returned. I started to scroll down and, before I knew it, was clicking on my browser to go to another website. In fact, my eyes glazed over and I got bored almost immediately. I still haven't figured out why I continue scrolling down endlessly. Habit?

- I had way less use for my smart phone and would sometimes sit and stare at it trying to figure out what to do with it. If I didn't use social media, I'd consider getting a cheap phone with few perks.

- Looking at Facebook after a week off is like getting the mail. You get a few pieces of good mail, some bills, and a bunch of circulars that you wish you never got and want to throw away immediately.

- Everybody lauds your exit, cheering you on and congratulating your achievement. But by the time you return, most people have already forgotten you exist.

- Articles that are posted on Facebook tend to be less fact and more social commentary articles. Almost as if it is a platform to make a statement about one's beliefs, morals, and character.

- Instant gratification is never as rewarding as patience.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing about what you’ve learned after taking a break away from your social media profiles. Even though it helps us communicate and connect with others, it can be stressing as well. The reason is that you’re not only limiting your time, you also limit your privacy thru sharing your daily activities. Anyway, I think it can also create excitement to your online friends because unintentionally, you can tickle their curiosity about your one-week disappearance.

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