One week ago I turned 28, but more importantly I stepped away from social media. Like I didn’t even check my birthday notifications stepped away from social media. Because I’ve been asked a surprising amount of times how my week without these online platforms has been, I decided to write about it. You’re welcome.
- It’s really helpful to tell people you’re taking a break
Pretty much as long as people have been taking breaks from social media, I’ve been judging their decision to let everyone know. I thought it was just for attention so people would ask why and say I’ll miss you. Maybe it was for some, but I’m off my judgy train.
Frequently, especially in this past year, I’ve fasted from social media for a time and I never posted about it. Honestly, it’s like being self-righteous in reverse. Maybe the long con of being self-righteous? Instead of looking all high and mighty in a post, I get the privilege of telling people when they asked if I saw something ‘oh, I’m fasting from social media right now.’ Barf.
I decided to tell people to avoid a year of people asking if I saw someone’s post. Because then it’s a million ‘I’m not on social media’ conversations I didn’t want to have. This is one decision I’m so grateful I made. It’s a rare feeling for me.
While people have asked how my week has been and we’ve talked about my time away, no one has assumed I saw something online. No one rolls their eyes when I talk about my break because they already know. It’s actually been kind of magical.
2. You have to work harder to distract yourself
I wish I had a nickel every time I picked up my phone and just stared at it, begging for it to entertain me. In reality, I’ve deleted most gaming and social apps that distract me for this reason. Just because you cut the bad boy from your life doesn’t mean you don’t wish he’d text you now and again.
Sometimes I put the phone down and realize it has nothing for me, or I browse my apps and open something random to entertain myself. I’m really into browsing Amazon and checking for weather pattern changes.
3. Social media sites are all like ‘I just can’t quit you’
Turns out leaving social media isn’t super easy. It took me four days to unravel all of its hooks in my life, like links to other accounts and notifications on my laptop. At one point I thought I had them all and then I still received more.
Instagram has been the worst. Every couple of days it sends me an email with posts I’ve missed since being in my account. How creepy is that? I’ve unsubscribed twice. Hopefully it will stick this time.
This is why we need some time apart, social media.
4. Taking pictures is a different experience
I’m not saying I solely took photos to share online. I just mostly took photos to share online. Going into this, I knew I’d have to find a balance between visually documenting my year and knowing I wouldn’t have a place to showcase my happenings.
I decided to create a Flickr account, which feels very 2003. This way I can track photos throughout the year by date to remember everything (without having 10,000 photos on my phone [I’m already halfway there])
If you’re ever like ‘I wonder what Chelsea’s year looks like, check out my page yo
So there you have it. I haven’t missed it yet, but then again going a week without is nothing new for me. We’ll check back in a month.