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What happened when I did a social media detox

You ever do this? You’re scrolling through some social media app, stuff is happening all around you, and you’re all “yeah, uh-huh, that’s really cool…..” and you come to, and your kid is eating mud, your husband is in the middle of the most confusing story you’ve ever heard, and your kitchen is on fire…. Maybe that’s never actually happened to you, but I’m sure you’ve had a time where you missed something big cuz you were instagramming something else. My daughter was almost 8 months old when I decided I was spending too much time on my phone. I wanted to be present and there for her growing up. After all, that was why I quit my job to stay home with her, and here I was, wasting my day away scrolling through my phone, missing precious moments with my grandparents cuz I wanted to see my cousins dog for the umpteenth time, spending what little time my husband is home from work connecting with people I barely know instead of connecting with this incredible man I vowed my life to. And I was done having regrets with how I spent my time. I knew I needed something big to change what I was doing, so I quit. I quit all social media- Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. 30 days, no social media. And here’s what happened:

1) it was A LOT easier than I expected

The first two days, I just stared at my phone. Wanting to check something, wanting to just zone out, but with nothing to do. But after about day 3, it really wasn’t a temptation for me anymore. Sure, there were times when I thought “I’m really excited/proud of this. I want everyone to see it” (and if we really dive down deep into the psychology of social media, isn’t it really just about making everyone else jealous?) and other times when I idly wondered whatever happened to that guy I knew 8 years ago, but most of the time, I was just fine. No need to fill that void of empty space with mindless scrolling, which led me to the second thing:

2) I was more productive, present, and a better mom

I started actually doing something with my time- I read some books (btw- have you checked out the Libby app?? If you have a library card, or can get one, you have access to thousands of books for free!), I played with my daughter more, I baked 500 cupcakes for my cousins high school graduation, I DID something with my time, instead of getting sucked into my phone and coming to 15 minutes later with nothing to show except knowing exactly what my long lost acquaintance had for lunch that day. My housework didn’t pile up (as much at least- babies sure make a mess for being so small), I started a blog (!!!), I started being ok with the silence and just being alone with my thoughts. Turns out, they’re pretty good thoughts and I don’t have to drown them out with my phone.

3) I was more confident and comfortable with myself

I don’t know about you, but I just love following my favorite celebrities on Instagram, especially Julianne Hough- she seems so sweet and so cool, and I just love her. Unfortunately, she is incredibly beautiful and then I look in the mirror and think “ugh. Why can’t I be as pretty/muscular/funny/rich/famous as her?” Or even just those ads that pop up on Instagram or the boutique accounts you follow, and think “if I had that dress, I would be that pretty.” That probably isn’t your exact thought, but that’s what they want you to think, so you buy their stuff. And if works! The month I took off social media, I still had temptation to compare myself with other people, but it wasn’t staring me in the face for hours every day. I was able to just be me. I wanted to be better/more fit/etc, but it wasn’t a depressing thought like before, it was motivating! Like “I want to be better, and I have time right now, I’m gunna do it!” I say, you have no right to be complaining if you’re not gunna do anything about it. My parents have a joke between them, and the basis is “oh you have a headache?…. did you take anything for it?….. no? Well then do something about it or move on.” Love yourself enough to be better 🙂 it sure is easier to love yourself without seemingly perfect individuals right there every time you pick up their phone.

4) I kinda miss my friends

Being a stay at home mom can be isolating sometimes. Many days, I’d be checking the doors at night before going to bed, only to find them all locked because I literally didn’t go outside once all day (especially true when I was pumping like a maniac trying to get my supply back up). I miss seeing what they’re doing and what their kids are doing, and as much as we might deny this, it’s often just easier or more comfortable for us to message our friends on social media than texting them outright. I miss being connected with the outside world.

Now, the night before my detox ends, I’m actually a little sad. Sad I’ll have this huge temptation in my life again, cuz I’m far too bored to give social media up for good, but excited to feel connected again. I’m hoping that this detox will make me realize that I don’t need to check it all day long, and I don’t need to see everyone’s stories/posts/pictures. I can do a 5 or 10 min check up on all my favorite people, and be done for the day. If I’m being completely realistic, I’ll probably be just as bad a year from now and need another detox, but that’s ok. Learning takes time. Maybe in a couple years, I’ll learn how to be connected without the internet and quit for good. Maybe 🙂

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