Quitting Social Media Experiment

Firstly, thanks for all the lovely comments you left on my previous journal post about the break I was taking, I’ll check in next week and respond to you all. (I’m still on my social media week off ’til Monday).

What have I noticed after a five day break from social media?

The first thing I want to mention here, before I go on to make a list of dot points, is that something profound did emerge from this break. I discovered something that I haven’t heard before. When I quit social media, perhaps the most incredible thing of all to me, and the biggest gift I gave myself here, was that I reconnected with myself. While plugged in to social media, I had sort of lost myself, my sense of who I am and what I desire. I think it’s akin to an addiction. I lost myself in my addiction. Too much of social media, with no boundaries, can make you a bit sick. I felt a bit lost and a bit confused, and had this sense that life was passing me by. I was right. Once I bit the bullet, and left social media for a while, I realised it was an addiction, a scratch that I itch. However, that was not the only thing I noticed. I also found, that because my brand is online and I need to present a regular online presence to keep my business plugging along, that I was using all my creative energy and inspiration to create promotions etc. When Twitter had a glitch last week and I received no views at all for 2-3 days, I felt that all my efforts were not worthwhile and I’d been wasting my precious time. I only realised afterward, that it had not been in vain, and that it was just a Twitter glitch, however I am grateful for it being the catalyst that rescued me from myself. Here are a few things I noticed about my break from social media.

1. I had more self control. I no longer felt that urgency to check, that I had before. It’s much easier to refrain and put it off til later in the day, and even tho I still periodically checked my messages, etc. I found that I did have the will power to exercise self control.

2. It gave me more insight. I was able to see more clearly the role social media played in my life, and begin to create some boundaries with it that feel acceptable and suit me better.

3. I had more perspective. I could see myself in relation to social media, my relationship with it, and what had gone wrong. Two things, an addiction and no boundaries.

4. I have an addiction. We analyse social media and our relationship with it a lot, and I’ve heard people say that it’s easy to fall into addictive behaviour with it, and that’s what’s happened to me. I would mindlessly refresh the screen so many times, I’d forget what I was doing, and be stuck in a trance. I would put off the little things that needed doing all through the day and find myself overwhelmed by evening with all the things I needed to do.

5. I lack boundaries. I haven’t had any clear boundaries up until now, and it’s incredibly empowering to have discovered that there is a way forward for me with social media, that only emerged once I’d experienced walking away from it. From now on, I have a boundary plan mapped out.

6. I had more energy. The energy I once used to create promo’s and check news feeds and reply, was instead being spent on more quality lifestyle things, such as exercise, meditation and painting.

6. I experienced feeling less hurried, more at peace, a sense of contentment and happiness was there that is less visible when I’m plugged into social media.

7. I felt I could take more time to do the things I love, such as walking the beach and painting and enjoy them more fully. I felt less of a need to post photos of what I’m doing, and instead, was content to enjoy the simple pleasures of beautiful moments. Sharing what I do with others on social media, feels a little bit too intrusive for me. I like my privacy, but it’s been really difficult for me to separate my personal life from my creative business, as the two seem to go hand in hand. It’s a part of me, so it’s been hard to figure out how to share one and not so much the other. The time away from social media, helps forge this process of boundary making.

8. I ENJOYED and SAVOURED every aspect my life, soo soo soo much more.

9. It wasn’t as hard as I expected it would be.

The outcome or conclusion is, that it is actually quite unacceptable for me to continue on the way I was going. I now have a clear plan of action involving some boundaries that feel suited to my lifestyle and way of doing things.

For me, the boundaries will be one week off, one week on. How does this work? I give myself a whole week off to explore my art, gain inspiration, visit the library and paint. The following week, I upload all the works I painted the week before and promote them. Then we go back to the week off again. So, I’ll be around, just one week you will see me, and the next you won’t. I will at least make a start on this, and see how it goes, and report back after a while to let you know how it’s going.

Journal Comments

  • CheriesArt
  • Linda Callaghan
  • Elaine Teague
  • Negin Mf