A break from SOCIAL MEDIA

It all began when I turned on Netflix to watch the documentary called “The Social Dilemma”
As soon as I finished the hour and a half show, my heart sank and I opened up my phone to look at my screen time.
Over 5 hours of each day, I would spend on some type of social media platform. I noticed my attitude had changed and the way I looked at life had changed over a 7 year period of being heavily involved in social media.
I would wake up and grab my phone, flip to Facebook to get the family updates… watching some videos along the way, I would then move on to Instagram to see what my friends are up to today, as well as Snapchat and occasionally Twitter. I would lay in bed for an additional hour or two just to “catch up”.
I would then get up, feed the cats and the dogs… make my coffee and grab a donut and begin to scroll again. Scroll through the infinite stories of other people’s lives but what I failed to do was take a good look at mine…

After watching the social dilemma and realizing how much these companies take from you, not just your time but your energy and creativity… I wanted to take it all back.
I wanted to take a break and see what I was actually missing… if anything.

I deleted and deactivated my Facebook, Snapchat, twitter and Instagram on November 11th 2020.

The first week felt very lonely, it almost seemed like I had lost thousands of friends. No one reached out, no one asked if I was okay, no one was there for me when I felt a sense of loneliness. Even though, these friends were a double click for approval, even though these friends were sometimes building you up but mostly disagreeing and creating tension, even though these friends were all miles away but a screen close enough to feel as if they were actually there… even if those friends weren’t actually your friends… it felt as if I had lost everyone that I was “close” to.
Unfortunately this is what our world has become. A socially distanced relationship… long before the virus we were already distanced.
But here I am, 2 months in without any type of social media and I have become a NEW person.

With the time away from my phone which came gradually, after about 2 weeks off of social media I began to look for other apps to spend my time on because I felt as if I was missing something. I put that time into cell phone games and stupid apps that I never even spent time on before… however, I drew a line for myself.
I told myself if I spent more than an hour on an app (besides email) I would delete that app.

Well, my game apps are all gone. HA!

It’s coming up on my 3rd month social media free and Let me happily tell you some of the things I have done to replace my time on my phone…

I began working out each morning. (I can finally see the muscle building too! Whoo hoo!)

I began to work on quitting smoking (another topic of discussion later on)

I began taking online classes!
I have achieved a few certifications during this time as well : Break Making , Emotional Intelligence, Piano introduction, introduction to the Russian language, introduction to Graphic Design and currently finishing up a “know all” photoshop class!

Taking a break from social media cleared my head and gave me my confidence back.
I have learned that I don’t need approval from everyone else because the best kind of approval is the approval you create for yourself!

If you have any questions, would like to know a little more or just need some encouragement… please feel free to reach out!

:sunflower::herb::heart:

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I really enjoyed this and I can totally relate, although I’ve yet to close out my only social media account, I did manage to stop smoking 18 months and one day ago. :relaxed::+1:
Best wishes and congratulations for taking back your life!!
It’s something I need to work on also, and I’m gonna put my phone downnn…now!!

*Crickets chirping…
Ok, that didn’t work. But maybe going though phone, app, media withdrawal takes more time?

I’m very anti social, and this is my only form of staying in touch. :pleading_face:
Maybe just, not as often or for as long.
Ok, I’m in!!
:relaxed::+1:

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@Derek , first off… CONGRATULATIONS on quitting smoking!! That is HUGE! I’ll be talking about my journey in the next section so if you have any advice… I would looooove to hear it!
Thanks for being an inspiration!

I was a professional photographer for 9 years… was in people’s faces every day for yearrrs and when I lost my job after the company shut down… I was lost. I honestly felt like I had lost part of myself because I was drowning in contact and all of a sudden it all stopped and I had to sit at home every day while being alone.

After a lot of alcohol and cigarettes, a long long longggg year went by and I just realized I didn’t grow at all as a person and I was in the same position I had started with.
I began to thrive being alone because I knew I was in control finally, the times I wasn’t was when I was drunk or just extremely depressed and I needed help from others.

Being alone is hard but if you realize you’re finally in control completely and you appreciate who you are as a person and finally begin to grow!!

Sorry, bit of a ramble :blush::heart: Hoping for a beautiful year ahead for you!

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Hello, thank you for sharing this! I feel caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to social media. I am an artist and I utilize social media to expose and promote my work. However, I can definitely see how detrimental too much time on social media is. I dislike how easy it is to get caught up in comparison on social media, when in reality it’s typically just the highlight reel of everyone’s best, or best looking moments. But on the flip side of the coin, I really enjoy following inspirational social media accounts as well. After reading your post I definitely want to check out that documentary and consider spending less time on it. I am trying to build my confidence back, I kind of feel like I’ve lost myself throughout the pandemic. Thank you again for sharing!

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I totally feel your pain!
Being a photographer, it was hard to step back from the platform that gives me the most likes or comments.
I created a website with my work and took it to more of a professional level instead of dumping all of my artwork on all of my social media platforms where (literally) anyone can steal my work and claim it as their own. I decided a website would work best for me so I made sure to share that website with (mostly) everyone before I took my exit off SM. I also kept my Instagram up but I just haven’t logged in since I quit but with my Instagram still up, I have left direction to head to my website for contact info.
Call me old school :crazy_face::ok_hand: feels pretty good to have people actually looking at beautiful resolutions and splendid colors. Haha!

I know this won’t work for everyone because I realize a lot of people depend on SM for different reasons but even taking a step back and trying to spend a little less time on it each day will give you “enlightenment”

Best of luck, my friend!

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