Here’s What A Social Media Detox Is Like
Ever thought of switching social media off for a week? I did a social media detox and here’s how I went. Maybe you should try it too and let us know what you found.
Social media or is it anti-social media?
I guess it’s a bit of both.
Social media platforms I use
I’m mostly a Twitter and Facebook social media fan, though I occasionally log onto LinkedIn and see what’s happening.
What I use social media for
I connect, gain valuable insight and support from others and learn new things each day. Things that I don’t think I’d find on Google – such as a discussion on setting copywriting rates. It is social, and even though I’ve never met these people, we form a thriving community where we help each other out.
The social media detox challenge
I set myself these goals.
Ok, it’s not all social media, but it was also about limiting technology.
1. No Facebook
2. No Twitter
3. Stop using mobile for Internet surfing after 6:30pm
4. Only check emails at 8am, lunch time and 5pm.
5. Limit texting
Here’s what I noticed and learned
1. I’m not the only one switched on. I catch a train a few days a week which goes from the Eltham area into the Melbourne CBD. Commuters on my train are mainly looking into their laps and are silent.
2. We’re plugged into anything we can get our hands on. It’s either a phone, laptop, Kindle or connected to a mobile via headphones. Have I missed anything? I don’t think I’ve seen anyone playing a Nintendo DS on the commute, no yet anyway.
3. We’re tempted. I resisted the temptation on the first day and switched off social media completely. I deleted the apps from my phone.
I even switched my phone off as well. I did switch on at lunch and 5pm only. Just to check for phone calls. It was a good day. I wasn’t tempted. But I saw so many others tempted.
We seem to have moved to needing to be connected as often as we can.
4. We’re impulsive. I realised how impulsive we are. A wealth of information is at our fingertips and we need to have that information now.
I’d think of something, then want to grab my phone or calendar to check it out. Maybe there’s a running race in Melbourne coming up, ok let’s check. And check it now. ‘I’ll just Google it’ seems to be the current catchphrase.
5. We’re not as mindful as we could be. We’re all deeply engrossed in our devices. I realised that I hadn’t looked out the train window for awhile.
I’d not even noticed the autumn leaves on the journey. Now, I do have a pile of my neighbour’s leaves in my backyard, so I did know it was Autumn.
But I’d not noticed the rocking of the train, the sound it makes as it slows down and I hadn’t people watched in ages.
6. There’s a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) in a lot of us. When we’re on, we’re on and when we’re not, we’re wondering what’s happening in those online communities, whether someone has emailed us, whether there’s something important in our inbox.
We don’t want to miss out on some important piece of information.
So much so that the Deloitte Consumer Mobile Survey 2015 showed that 52% of us check our phone within 15 minutes of waking up. And 81% of us within an hour of waking. And note that a lot of us probably have our phones next to us at night.
But we need to remember that the world still goes round and it doesn’t matter if you’ve missed a conversation. If it’s really important someone will contact us another way.
How did I find the challenge?
Hard at first – that’s why I resisted the temptation and deleted the apps from my phone. I put myself in the mindset that I wouldn’t miss anything online, my Twitter followers would still be there after a week – most of them were. I did lose a few though. Certain things were harder than others. Not looking things up instantly on Google was hard. I like to research and have an instant answer.
But here’s what I did instead
- I used paper for notes rather than an app. I left my note at home one day so I had to remember the few items I needed to pick up at the supermarket.
- I started reading a new book.
- I must admit I used my laptop on the train and wrote a blog.
- I baked biscuits one evening when I would have been fluffing around with social.
But, at the end of the day : I didn’t miss out on anything.