Embarking on a Social Media Cleanse

I thought social media cleanses were bullsh*t too, until I tried it.

A “social media cleanse” or a “digital detox” is a “period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers.”

Using my phone during moments of boredom wasn’t contributing anything meaningful, so I wanted to change that.

I noticed that I was spending an embarrassing amount of time on my phone; last week I spent 17 hours and 2 minutes on social networking applications, averaging 2 hours and 24 minutes per day.

Most of my time was spent on Messages (4 hours and 45 minutes), followed by Facebook (4 hours and 31 minutes). Seeing these personal statistics made me think about how passive the habit had become.

I wanted to spend my time more meaningfully and decided that I would try and use the “Screen Time” application to break the passive habit.

After setting my daily limit to 45 minutes, I started to notice a difference in my engagement.

When I was taking my daily commute on the RTS, I put my phone in my tote and just sat in quiet observation. I wasn’t mindlessly scrolling on my phone; just passing the time.

This was just the first day of my experiment, but I noticed a few additional things. I was much more productive. Instead of scrolling on my phone, I jumped back into a few of my neglected habits. I felt less stressed and less overwhelmed without a behemoth of data in my hands.

While a social media cleanse, or digital detox, may sound silly to some, I am enjoying the benefits that have come about already. Rather than passively scrolling, I am more engaged with my surroundings and feel less isolated.

I am not shunning those who use their phones. Rather, I feel that we should be changing the nature of our relationship with digital media.

We shouldn’t default to grabbing our phones in moments of boredom or restlessness. In either situation, the phone isn’t contributing anything meaningful to our day; so why do it?

I am working on this too. It isn’t easy breaking a habit that you aren’t aware of. But becoming aware is the first step, just as an aggressive pencil-tapper is quickly reminded by their peers.

See my other posts here. And always, stay tuned and have a great week!

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