What I learned from one week without social media

Monday Thought

What I learned from one week without social media

It feels ages ago that I sat on this desk writing down my last post about taking a break from social media. In this blog post, I want to share my learnings from this one-week absence from social media and what I am going to do with it.

How it all started

I shared my motivation on why I want to take a break from social media in this post. It was a thought which developed in my head over time. Since I started this blog, my life got more and more connected with these little but very time-consuming apps and I learned that my attention span is decreasing enormously. Going to Hawaii for a one week vacation was the perfect excuse for me to unplug for this time and fully live in the moment. Being back now I can say that using the holiday for this experiment was a really good decision. 

social media, break, result, learning
Photo by Eaters Collective

My learnings:

What was all the fuzz about?

I deleted all my apps at home, one day before leaving for the vacation. In the beginning, I thought that was maybe a bit too early as we still had this looooong journey ahead of us: 3 flights and tons of waiting to finally get to the big island of Hawaii. I was expecting that this waiting time will be very hard as I can’t fill it with scrolling through some easy digesting content. However, I was surprised to find out that not once was I searching for the apps and I did not miss them at all. It was as if my brain remembered the good old days without internet and social media where life was also very nice 🙂 Even this morning I was not rushing back to the phone and I still have not re-installed all apps again. 

“My brain remembered the good old days.”

Went back to reading

I was reading a nice book during the holiday. While I anticipated that this would happen I also started reading more on my phone. While I was not checking social media, I visited my favorite blogs and read whole articles. Normally I was triggered by social media posts to visit the blogs of my choice. However now I typed in the URL and enjoyed whole articles and not just small snippets. I really hope that I will stick to that. It’s a phenomenon in the modern world, that you become an influencer with a million followers reach by “just” sharing your thoughts on Instagram. Many people in the influencer business stopped writing and are focusing on the pictures. For my part, I still prefer to follow the bloggers who also love to write about their experience and who still spend more time working on their blog than on their Instagram feed. However, in the end, it’s always the consumer who decides what direction the blogger world will go and visit the blogs directly is an important conscious decision over just following the Instagram feed. 

“I prefer to follow blogs than instagram accounts.”

More news please

I admit it: Normally I am very title focused when it comes to news. Most of the times I don’t read the whole article as click-baiting is just too obvious. During my social media absence, I felt the need to inform me otherwise and went back to traditional news who are not so focused on click-baiting articles but profound research. While I was also listening to my favorite news podcasts I feel much better informed now!

Travel in the moment and stop comparing

What I was reading in my travel guide and seeing through my own eyes was the only truth I knew. No comparing using social media, checking out cool spots to go to but just stopping whenever we wanted and letting go. I seriously feel so relaxed after only one week and it feels much longer than a week considering what we have explored. I guess staying away from social media during that time made it feel more intense and it was more likely to simply forget what day it was. 

Nice vacation planning

I bought my favorite travel guide, the lonely planet, before going to Hawaii. I did not do much preparation up front but was reading the travel guide while planning the next day in the evenings. I really enjoyed having an offline book in my hand. No need for searching the web or scrolling through Pinterest for nice activities to do. Everything we needed to know was in that book so taking a mobile phone with us was just not necessary. 

They want me back

Coming back from vacation my mailbox was pretty full. However most interesting, Instagram was one of the e-mail senders noticing that I am not around anymore. A couple of days after I stopped using the app they started to send me daily reminders of what my friends are posting and if I want to know who liked my pictures while I am not online. 🙂 This has, even more, encouraged me to stay away for a while. It became just too obvious (although we all already know it) that these apps are designed in a way to pursue us to spend as much time as possible on or phone / on this specific app. 

“This has even more encouraged me to stay away for a while”

So what to do with it now?

I don’t want to stay away from social media as it is just a vital part of my job now. If you want to reach other people with your ideas and thoughts you just need social media to spread it and I can see it in my traffic statistics that this is a “sad” truth. However, it is totally my decision how much time I spend on these apps over the day and what content I will consume. Therefore I will pay much more attention to this two things during the following days to find a new routine: 

  • What content inspires me and what content should I avoid?
  • How often am I checking the apps? Can I stop the unconscious browsing?

How do you consume social media?

Enough about me: I would love to know how you consume social media and if you found ways so that social media influences you in a positive way rather than just being time-consuming and not inspirational. Do you take certain days off? Do you actively go through your social media accounts unsubscribing to content you don’t think is supporting to you? Let me know in the comments below. Would love to exchange our experience! 

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Kate from Share the Love, expat, expat wife, expat life

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