Okay, okay – I admit the title was click bait! (😛) But read on to know how my experience detoxing for 3 weeks from social media was.
A few weeks back I posted a blog challenging myself to get off social media (read as: Instagram) for a week or two. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to stay off the gram for a day let alone a week. I’ve been on Instagram for the past 6 years and I am a true addict. I use ‘the gram’ like I do my refrigerator – I’d keep opening it every few minutes to check if something new has miraculously appeared on my feed. So how long do you think I lasted in my challenge to stay off IG?
Yes, its unbelievable but I lasted a whole 3 weeks without Instagram. I am someone who has been very active on social media – posting stories everyday and curating content for my page. You can check out my profile on IG @mokshahegde. So 3 weeks off the app was unthinkable for me. Like most addictions (I assume), the first few days were the hardest. I’d mindlessly unlock my phone and my finger would automatically head to where the IG app used to be on my home screen. So I decided to do other things to fill in the time that I had excess by doing other things (and trust me there was a lot of excess time) – I decided to re-start learning playing the guitar, writing, catching up with friends, working out and cooking. I also saw an increase in the time I spent on YouTube, browsing through cooking videos & workout videos. Since I don’t follow a lot of content creators on YouTube, the time I spent on the app didn’t get out of control.
WHAT WORKED WELL:
- I was able to take out time to do other things.
- It lead to a lot of mental peace. I probably can’t explain this to someone who hasn’t ever been addicted to something. But the feeling that an addiction is losing/has lost control on you is so freeing. Additionally, I had been taking a lot of pressure to create content for my page and with this break I finally got to understand that I don’t NEED to post a lot on social media to stay relevant. With that pressure off, I think I’ve been enjoying Instagram more these past 2-3 days.
- I can see a change in my IG usage pattern – while the first day back I still spent almost the same time on the app but thereafter there’s been a fall of 50%. To make sure I don’t fall back into old habits, I’ve set an app timer on the IG app for 30mins usage a day.
- I really enjoyed moments without thinking about posting about it on IG. I’m guilty of posting about almost everything that happens in my life on IG. But I haven’t posted anything in about a month and just let myself really enjoy being in the moment.
- Less FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – I’m someone who has prided herself on never feeling this fear. But with this quarantine, lockdown & slow pace of life, I started feeling a lot of FOMO from people baking fun things to people in other countries being able to freely roam around to people who have started travelling again.
- Away time from toxic people. You don’t even realize when some people on your social media become toxic for you and your thoughts. These can be friends, old acquaintances, influencers among others. Its great to get a break from them.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK WELL:
- There are a few friends who I’m solely in touch through IG – I wasn’t able to keep in touch with them.
- This might sound absurd but IG is a source for a lot of global news/happenings for me. I go through a news app for everything that is happening in India but Insta provides me with a lot of information about whats happening globally. EG: The Women’s Right Movement in Turkey against the high rate of femicide sparked by the killing of a Turkish student by her ex-boyfriend.
Overall – the detox was a big success! I LOVED being off Instagram. I’ve been feeling far more peaceful since this detox (which in turn has definitely lead to better skin and lesser breakouts :P). I definitely recommend getting a break from social media once in a while. I’ve decided to make this a periodical break, every quarter I will get off social media for 2 weeks.
Note: All images are from the internet.