My social media fast ended just over 2 weeks ago on Easter Sunday, and since then I've slowly returned to Facebook and Instagram. I haven't taken that long of a break from social media since I joined the sites long ago so I thought I'd share my thoughts on how it felt.
- I spent way less time on my phone. This was one of the biggest benefits of taking a break from social media. Before the fast I found myself mindlessly scrolling Facebook and Instagram. I think it's ok to do that occasionally but it can become a really big time suck, which was the case for me.
- It took away the comparison game. As I've mentioned before, I sometimes struggle with comparing my lives to others. Without social media, there was less temptation to compare my lives to others.
- Less exposure to all things political. I'm so over this year's election even though we aren't in the heart of the campaign season yet. I've pretty much completely disengaged myself from it because it only frustrates me to see a party that I typically would side with (Republicans) have such asinine people in the running for the candidacy (I'm looking at you, Trump and Cruz). It was easier to disengage without Facebook because I didn't have to see all the political articles and such that people share. I'm sure some will think it's awful that I've disengaged from the election process but it just frustrates me to follow the news. I'll still vote on election day but I will most likely not vote for a presidential candidate.
- I felt disconnected from far away friends. I do not enjoy talking on the phone so one of the primary ways I keep in touch with faraway friends is by social media. I missed being able to see what they were up to and seeing pictures of their kids or furr-babies.
As you can see, I had 3 pros of staying away from social media and only one con, which is eye-opening. I am back on social media but my presence going forward will be different than it was before. The biggest change I am making is not adding Facebook back on my phone. I will look at my feed in the morning on my laptop when I am eating breakfast and maybe in the evening, but besides that I don't think I really need to be able to check it on a more regular basis. This way I'll still be able to connect with far away friends. This approach ties into my theme for 2016 being "the year of less" as I'll spend less time pouring over the latest news and status updates on Facebook and more time being in the moment in my very own life.
Have you ever taken a break from social media?