Most millennials would have a list of items they would call their death wish.
Not getting that Justin Bieber concert ticket, dropping that $50 bottle of MAC foundation Studio Fix Fluid, or having no data left for social media.
I took it to the next level, and lived two weeks without social media.
By clarifying what I mean, I had no access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr.
This is what I concluded…
Dreams are better without a phone in your hand
On Facebook, I created a dream log but it slowly died over time. The detail in my dreams have always been something that I’ve loved about my subconscious imagination. Over time they diminished to mere images here and there. One of my dreams is here
Maybe my brain was anticipating this mental break from technology and its vibrant lit screen. Before bed most nights, you could guarantee I was scrolling through the latest feed. Once I had stopped the dreams came back.
One of the dreams involved me saving 10 little kids from an absent minded terrorist who dropped one of his weapons without realising. Thus, allowing me to tackle him through a door crack by a round of bullets.
Over the two weeks, it morphed into more intense dreams, I couldn’t help but think this was correlated. Maybe if you restrict technology on your brain before bed it allows your own subconscious to take over?
Reading is good M’kay?
I was an avid book reader in my primary and high school life.
Mainly reading teenage novels about any issues they had. Perhaps seeking my own worries by reading the answers of others. I loved anything by Margaret Clark, John Marsden and the likes of Go ask Alice by Anonymous
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Anne Brashares was my take-it-back book making up for lost time replacing phone usage with a book.
I love reading. Spending less time on a phone while more time experiencing another persons world is so much more worthwhile.
Social media is a huge time sucker.
Sometimes it’s good to step back
By taking some time to step back through actually experiencing life. It makes you realise how insignificant social media is.
Having 10,000 likes on your Facebook profile doesn’t fucking matter when you’re a tiny speck in the grand scheme of things. Yet people care way too much.
Sure it’s fantastic to catch up with friends from overseas or have pointless hilarious meme filled conversations with old high school buddies. I get it. But conversing with real people and real relationships is more rewarding.
It’s been proven: Instagram is the worst culprit for mental health
Balance is the key of life.
Coming to terms with my own anxiety doing this break has been eye opening. In the sense that, I have come to realise I am addicted to social media.
Embarrassingly, I have spent hours on my phone just scrolling- looking at the lives of people I have never met. Wasting my own life in the mean time.
If my anxiety was a piece of cake, social media would be icing that covers all crevices.
BBC wrote an article which highlights the effects that social media can have on people. Particularly younger people. Emphasising on Instagram and Snapchat due to their heavy image content says a lot.
For me, I was using it as an addiction that crippled my anxiety and sent me into a cycle of feelings of guilt. Surprisingly, knowing less about people’s lives has made me feel better. But rather in the sense that, if I were to see them or speak to them, I wouldn’t have already known what they had done.
What have I learnt?
My aim right now is to live without the necessity of social media but still being able to use it wisely. I went back onto Facebook as today was the two week mark, but I was nervous. Nervous it would suck me back in. I am happy to confirm for now. I don’t even have the app on my phone.
I challenge you to go two weeks without social media. Notice the differences there are in your life whether it be positive or negative