Over the last decade, it’s no secret that social media has wildly grown and become an essential piece of our daily lives. There are SO many pros to using a social media network, like connecting with friends, co-workers, family, or meeting awesome new friends (hello, Hey! VINA). We can make connections around the globe and aren’t limited to the people who live in our vicinity. It’s truly a beautiful thing, when used correctly.
For me, Facebook became a site I logged into out of habit and rarely enjoyed my visit. I would endlessly scroll through the timeline and became increasingly annoyed at most of the posts I read. I got to a point where I would log in and think, “Why am I even here?”
Sure, I enjoyed seeing updates from friends and family about their happy lives, but i could no longer tolerate or scroll past the users who would blindly share incorrect information or misleading/fake news stories. I wanted to shake the person posting and scream, “Seriously, it takes 30 seconds to open Google and verify something these days!” I even texted a friend and said those exact words. Their response? They didn’t care or think it was a big deal. That did it for me—I reached a breaking point.
I decided to actually do something about it. I couldn’t continue correcting people in the comments (yeah, it’s fine, I was that person…). It was time for me to bid my adieus and bow out gracefully. But that isn’t the answer for everyone!
How do you know a social media detox, whether it’s in the form of deactivation or deletion, is right for you? Start by asking yourself these questions:
-Is this adding joy to my life, or is it simply a way to pass time?
-Would I miss it if I didn’t have it?
-Am I wasting too much time endlessly scrolling through a news feed, only to find myself annoyed or angry at the content I view?
That third question was a big YES for me and that’s how I knew it was time to detox. I ended up deleting my Facebook account in May after having it for 12 years. TWELVE YEARS! I mean, the archive this website had on me was insane (which, to be honest, was a great reason to delete it IMO). I was worried I would have a serious case of FOMO, but I don’t. Sure, I miss connecting with friends and family but deleting has (happily) forced me to make phone calls and send texts/emails to the people I love.
I still have Twitter and Instagram, but I’ve changed my habits on both of those platforms after this detox. I took a small break from posting anything on those networks and even deleted the apps off my iPhone for a couple of weeks. I missed those much more than Facebook, though. It didn’t take long to reinstall those and I didn’t have a sense of dread when I did. I kind of had the “first day of school” feeling—you know, when you’re excited to get back to see all your friends and hear about what they did during the break!
When I decided to end my detox with Twitter and Instagram, the first two questions I mentioned before were now easily answered: yes, these do bring joy to my life (but also to pass time when I am waiting for someone or something), and yes, I did miss it when I didn’t have it. That’s how I knew I took enough time away. Would I do it again? Absolutely. I think it’s healthy to take a break from everything in life every now and again—it’s just like taking a vacation from work. Sometimes you just need to unplug!
Have you ever gone on a social media sabbatical? Tell us why and how it worked out for you in the comments below! And if you’re looking for some vinas to have IRL experiences with, start swiping!