A month ago I have decided on a series of 30-day challenges.
The goal is: to get rid of bad habits and replace them with a few productive ones.
Currently I am in the last days of the following challenges:
- 30 days of no lip picking
- 30 days of no social media
- 30 days of flossing (the teeth)
Today I want to talk about the 30 days of no social media.
About the benefits and the struggles I encountered during this challenge.
To understand my experience I have to brief you on my background story of social media (ab-) use:
Let’s start with the good news. I haven’t used Facebook in many many months already.
So it makes the detox a tiny bit easier.
The bad news is: I am using both my Instagram accounts very frequently (ahem). Especially @natasjournal where I post pictures of my Bullet Journal almost on a daily basis. That means that I check the Instagram feed daily, actually almost every hour. Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
But after analyzing my behavior and doing some research I figured out that my addictive behavior pattern with this social network is no exception. I found out that all social media was built to fool us in the same way by using simple yet very effective psychological tricks.
You may ask yourself how?
The answer is: Dopamine.
This video How Your Brain Is Getting Hacked by Tristan Harris explains everything you need to know. (I highly recommend it!)
Basically the people who create and work for those companies (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram &Co) studied Persuasive Technologies and know all the ways of getting and keeping your attention. Just like slot machines do.
The beginning of the challenge was blissful. I have found freedom.
It may sound extreme, but I felt truly liberated. I had no engagements, no need to post or to check comments. I felt much lighter. No mental obligations. Nothing.
I have truly felt in control of my life and my mind.
Then slowly but steady another thing crept into my attention which I didn’t classify as social media, that had exactly the same addictive mechanism in it.
And then I realized something. I realized that no matter how hard I try to eliminate distraction. There will always be something that will try to take the place of its predecessor. It can be YouTube, Netflix, Quora, Pinterest, Tumblr or just a silly game on your phone.
And the reason is: boredom. I feel like we don’t allow ourselves to be bored anymore. It’s like we can’t handle to feel this emptiness, so we try our best to fill every moment with distractions.
Well I’ll just leave this thought here.
PROS AND CONS
Let’s face it.
The social media detox is a wonderful thing. But it does have its downsides.
- I miss talking to friends I met on Instagram. (We use Instagram chat as the primary way of communication)
- I had situations where just grabbing Instagram would have been very useful: checking a specific”how to” video I saved or remembering a name I forgot.
- I miss connecting with the Bujo-Community and getting inspiration for my own Bujo.
- Time. I just don’t waste as much time. I have much more time to listen to audiobooks, read, paint, play guitar. To actually do things that fulfill me and don’t rob my energy.
- Overall having a clearer mind. I don’t have an urge to check notifications or the feed. I feel calmer and not enslaved by my own mind.
- Not seeing the fake perfect lives of other people.
Honestly, we are all human. We all have our ups and downs. But we do tend to post our ups. (Who would want a negative Instagram or Facebook feed, right?) Having a nice filter with a pretty face doesn’t make your life perfect, but it does fool me to believe that at times.
Honestly. I don’t want this challenge to end.
This challenge opened some very firm doors for me.
In this past month I have improved in many areas of my life – tremendously.
Only by avoiding social media.
I guess that I will go back to my Bullet Journal account @natasjournal.
But I will choose designated days on which I will upload and use it. To not fall back into the old habits. If that will not work, I will consider to give up social media all together.
What do you think about this challenge? Have you done a similar one or are you planning on doing one? If yes, how did it affect you.
Let me know in the comments below! 🙂
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