An Unintentional Social Media Break


I've been having some phone troubles for the last week, which forced me into an unintentional break from my iPhone addiction (including Instagram). And instead of feeling panicked about being phone-less, I actually felt lighter. I didn't feel a compulsion to check my email or see what's new on social media every five minutes. And since I wasn't receiving any texts, I felt no anxiety about not responding to them right away. I'm going to get a new phone, if for no other reason than I need to be able to call 911 in case of emergency. But I thought it was interesting how much weight it took off me mentally, knowing that there wasn't anything new to see on my phone because my phone was dead. So I've been thinking about how to get (and keep) that feeling of freedom, short of getting a dumbphone (Ben is fully on board with this idea, but I'm not that extreme). Curious to hear if you've had similar experiences, and what you've done to free yourself from obsessive phone checking. It's so sad that this is an actual problem in today's world! And I'm an adult, I can only imagine the teens that have grown up with smartphones...and scarier yet, what struggles my own kids will have with technology.

How an unintentional social media break has me thinking about how to intentionally free myself from my phone addiction

I'm sure it's different for everyone, but for me, Instagram is probably my biggest problem. I don't post every day, but I still feel like I need to check it every day to see what everyone else is up to. I feel a sense of relief when I finally scroll down to a post I've already seen, like it's a real accomplishment to catch up with my feed (eyeroll). I recognize that this is unhealthy, but somehow I'm not ready to quit...I still enjoy seeing what my friends are up to, and because of this blog I do feel like Instagram is somewhat necessary for my business. I've tried to make a few changes, including unfollowing a lot of bloggers (even ones I still really like). It was giving me anxiety and guilt whenever I saw them share a new blog post--reminding me that I'm falling behind, and I "should" be blogging more often. And that's not even touching Instagram Stories! I feel so exhausted whenever I see someone who posts like thirty Stories a day. How do you have time for that?! That's basically documenting your entire DAY through a screen.

Even though I haven't been able to pull the plug (and I don't think I will anytime soon), I have friends and family that have. Ben deleted all social media apps from his phone and has no regrets. And my brother-in-law deleted his Instagram account entirely. He recently took his family on an epic month-long trip to Australia and New Zealand, and they didn't post a single photo on social media (and I've seen their photos, they did some incredible things that I would have totally wanted to brag about).

I feel like it's a conversation that keeps coming up in my friend circle...trying to live more in the real world and less on the screen. I think that's what we all want. So how do we do it??? Don't tell me that better self-control is the answer, because if so I am screwed. :) Just some thoughts for the day...I'd love to hear what you think!

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  1. Posted by Holly on Sunday, November 12th, 2017

    I love Instagram but I only check it in the evenings as I find it relaxing to look at all the pretty pictures. I quit Twitter a few years ago & try to limit checking Facebook. I don’t care for fb at all but my daughter & her boyfriend love sharing on that platform. I think like most things, moderation is the key. When something starts to make me feel anxious I know that’s my clue to take a step back temporarily.
    • Posted by Aileen on Monday, November 13th, 2017

      I'm starting to check Instagram less often too! Definitely helps to restrict it to once or twice a day, instead of checking in all day long. I barely use Twitter anymore either and I mostly only get on Facebook when I want to check out this neighborhood garage sale group I'm in. :) I agree that your gut will tell you when enough is enough. Since I feel like mine has been sounding the alarm bells on my phone and Instagram usage, I'm trying really hard to cut back. After all, I want to be a good example for Ian and I definitely do NOT want him plugged into a screen all day long.