So I decided to do a little experiment. I stayed off social media for four days. It may not seem like much, but as an outlet that consumes 98% of my day, that’s a record. During that time, I stay distracted. I worked on my writing, played with my daughter, checked out new recipes and even worked out.
During my short detox, I took away a few questions.
Does social media affect self-esteem?
Almost two years ago I started working out and looking up different routines. The algorithms that are used to bring up feed suggestions rely on things that have been previously searched. Every time I went on the explore page of Instagram, I was hit with hundreds of workout pages, weight loss tips, and other people’s personal journey. Sometimes it was the overwhelming push that I needed. Other times, it was a constant reminder that I was at the beginning of my journey.
Do I allocate inappropriate amounts of time to social media?
Am I the only one that has stayed up two extra hours mindlessly on their phone when they should have been trying to get some sleep? There have been nights where my eyes were so heavy. But once I’m in bed, my phone is in my hand.
While taking this break from social media, I have been able to get better sleep. I turn on my music low and I’m asleep before the first song has even finished. It wasn’t that I couldn’t sleep using social media. It was just my focus had just been somewhere else. This was causing me to be more drained in the morning. Normally I would be asleep 3-4 a.m. and my daughter would be waking me up around 7 a.m. So yeah, those hours I spent on social media definitely needed to be spent elsewhere.
How did taking a break from social media help me reset and refocus?
“…those hours I spent on social media definitely needed to be spent elsewhere.”
By choosing to take this break, I was able to refocus on some of the goals I had planned for myself. How many pages I needed to write without using social media to take a break. Scrolling online, I would easily lose how much time I spent taking an actual break. I could focus better when I was feeding my daughter. Instead of flipping through pictures of random people, I talked to my daughter. I told her how much I loved her and how I saw our day going. I know how important it is to talk to her and connect. Even at this age of 3 months old.
Will I take another break from social media?
I spent four days unplugged from pretty much everyone. It was hard for the first two days. But once I focused on something else, being with my daughter, myself or my writing, each day became easier. Detoxing from social media allowed me to focus, reset my priorities. It was the break that I didn’t know I needed.
Born with a pen and notebook, Jaenaeva Watson is a creative writer beginning her next step as a journalist. She graduated 2017 from the University of West Georgia where she majored in journalism and minored in creative writing. She is a first-generation American, born and raised in College Park, Ga. Jaenaeva wants to travel the world with her daughter, writing about her experiences.