My resolution this year was to live my most “present” life. I aimed to deeply enhance my overall practice as a mindfulness meditation teacher. That being said, I set out on the personal mission of assigning a challenge to myself for every month of the year.
My challenge for this month? No checking Facebook or Instagram for 31 days. As a current professional Social Media Specialist and Entrepreneur (with a strong online presence), it would be an refreshing four weeks.
The majority of my social media presence is housed on Instagram’s platform. I opened the app numerous times daily; sometimes doing it out of pure habit. My Facebook usage is predominantly used for “checking in” with my friends around the world. In order to be more mindful, and for the sake of my mental clarity, it would be a release to temporarily “sign off” from the apps.
I deleted the apps from my phone on the first of the month. I did miss sharing my mindfulness based posts with others during the first week. I would scroll to the left side of my phone, searching for the apps, and forget they were deleted. Regardless, I did not give into my own temptation. The challenge reached an ease from that point going forward. I carried on with my work and almost forgot about the platforms all together. I surpassed my personal expectations and happily completed this mini challenge.
Below, I highlighted some of the things gathered during my 31 days of being Instagram and Facebook free. Based on my personal challenge, I’m hoping others will choose to “detox” from their social media routine or limit its usage. Your brain (and overall concentration) will be grateful for it.
Here are my takeaways:
I accomplished more tasks: I was able to focus on my freelance writing without the distraction of checking notifications. Single tasking sparked a realization of how much checking social media averts our overall focus. Since the notifications were not buzzing, I would placed my phone setting on “Do Not Disturb” and carry on with the current task on hand. Being fully focused is a perfect mentor behind creating our best work.
The need for comparison completely diminished: The content a viewer “consumes” daily on social media is staggering. We are exposed to endless images, videos and outside opinions every day. Humans have a natural comparison tendency based on our outward influences. Unhappiness rates have surged since social media has made its prominent mark in daily life. Navigating through a previous health issue, Instagram was my muse for provoking subtle tendencies of body comparison. After going without it for 31 days, I can confidently (almost embarrassingly) admit my body image has improved. I felt so much appreciation for body’s beautiful uniqueness. It is humbling to forge inner appreciation found in body authenticity.
I did not miss seeing other people’s lives: Being offline did not trigger loneliness from missing others’ posts. Social media has statistically enhanced our FOMO (fear of missing out) due to oversharing or (in Instagram terms) “overgramming.” Here is something to consider when FOMO comes into play: Those holding major importance in our lives will personally share their joys with us. I never found out major news from close friends through social media. Choose to connect (or limit your following) to those you find important.
I did not feel the need to share as frequently: I did not feel the urge to check both apps as frequently after the challenge ended. Logging back onto the apps seemed mundane, superficial and empty. I enjoyed my time being present and fully connected with others outside of a digital platform. As a mindfulness practitioner, being “present” is my own gift for inner fulfillment . A large part of my presence returned while choosing to dismiss social media for a month. Going forward, I have only checked the apps 1-3 times daily and removed the notifications from my phone. Mindfully speaking, no amount of “likes” can replace a genuine person to person connection.
How will limiting your social media usage enhance your presence daily?