Mid August this year, I decided that my brain was on information overload needed to take in much less information which led me to deleting instagram and facebook off my phone. I just felt like every time I picked up my phone, my fingers would automatically hit those social media outlets before my brain even thought about wanting to go on. My body was literally addicted to tapping those icons and mindlessly scrolling. It's amazing how fast I can waste 20 plus minutes but I do know the apps are designed to do this.
The first two days were haaaaard mentally. Serious fomo went on! My body went for that spot where the apps used to be, only to find it not there. It took until about day three before I didn't instinctively just try tapping on them. After about a week I honestly didn't even think about it anymore or feel like I was missing it at all. Anytime I felt like I needed a mental break, I would pick up my book or drink a glass of water instead. I was using my phone a heck of a lot less and my brain was feeling a bit more relaxed. After about three weeks, I needed to post some updates about my fall session dates coming up, so had to put that little app back on my phone (darn it!). I did miss seeing everyone's faces and updates, but honestly can say that I am so much more present in my life without it. Plus I have gained lots of time back by limiting my usage to a few times a week now.
I do still love following friends and local business's on social. I love seeing all the wonderful work in the birth groups and communities I am a part of, so I don't want to completely omit social media out of my life (although if there was a good way to do this, I would consider it!) but my usage has got to be less because I know it makes a huge difference in my mental health and being really present for my children.
Two things I am doing differently now that I have put the apps back on my phone is this:
Delete the icon off my home screen - If you hold down the app for a few seconds like you do when you want to delete or move an app, a message will pop up that says "delete off home screen", this is great for me because now my mind doesn't see the app and just instinctively hit it. The app is still on my phone, the icon is just not on my screen anymore. I have to actually search and type in the words Instagram etc.. and then the icon pops up and I can enter the app via that way. I have found for this to be very beneficial for me. My brain then has to think about it and type it in, I don't go on mindlessly anymore.
Leave my phone in another room when I am working or playing with my kids. If my phone is near me, it just radiates an urge to use it! When it's out of sight it really is out of mind for me. When I pick up my kids from school, phone stays in the car. Also, when it's dinner time phone goes on the charger and is there until kids go to bed so I am not distracted by the endless feed of social media.
In the next few weeks I am really going to work on a weekly blog update post instead of relying on social media to do that work for me. Blogging has always been a challenge for me, but I am determined to change that! It's a mental challenge for me to stay consistent with it, but challenges are what change us and make us stronger and I am always growing, learning and changing.
Have you tried a social detox? I would love to know how it went for you!
If you have never tried it, I highly recommend trying to delete it for just a week. See how you feel. It's interesting to see how hardwired we have become to using our phones all the freaking time! You can always put it back on (don't delete your accounts, just the app off your phone). If you decide to try it, let me know how it went for you.