Social Media Sabbatical

In order to continuously challenge myself to live my most meaningful life, I spent seven days without social media. And I didn’t miss a single thing.

Truthfully, checking social media is a way to distract myself from tasks at hand, and hide from responsibilities. This is a bold statement, much truer during the school year when I have assignments to complete, but equally as true during the summer when I have the time to learn freely. I wanted to see what a week without distractions would be like.

No social media meant no VSCO, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Snapchat, and no Instagram, no nothin’. I didn’t post any content and I certainly did not check any content. In order to help me stick with this experiment, I deleted the apps off my phone and I found this to be the most helpful. If the app wasn’t there, I wasn’t clicking on it, it was that simple. At the beginning of the week I did find myself opening an internet browser and begin typing “face…” out of habit, which was kind of scary knowing that my instinct is to check Facebook. As the week progressed, I found myself less and less likely to start going to a social media site out of habit.

As a result of this experiment I spent my time a lot more efficiently. I spent my time at the gym more effectively, meaning my workouts took less time to complete when I wasn’t checking my phone between sets. I spent more time reading and listening to podcasts, getting to learn about things I am interested in. I spent more time meditating, of which I will detail my experience in a later blog post. Most importantly, the time I spent in person with my friends was much more meaningful when I wasn’t checking my phone out of habit every ten minutes. I really got to focus on my friends and truly experience our moments together.

When I downloaded my social media apps again, I found that only one of my close friends posted on Instagram, which can always be accessed through her profile. And whatever else my friends had posted on time limited apps, like Snapchat stories, I didn’t miss seeing. If I wanted to know what they were up to I could always text them, they were never out of reach. I certainly did not miss the posts and stories of people who were not my friends, and I haven’t tried to catch up with “all that I missed out on”.

I want to challenge you to spend a week without social media, see how much less distracted you feel, and have the time to work some goals you’ve always wanted to achieve. If you happen to take me up on this challenge, I’d love to hear about your experience, so drop a comment below!

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