• Michael Mclaren

What Happens When You Take 2 Weeks Off Social Media?

2 whole weeks without checking Facebook..


Without scrolling through Instagram..


If you’d asked me to do this 6 months ago, I’d have found it impossible!


As much as I liked to pretend I was “working” on Facebook and Instagram, the reality is I was just using valuable time on something that had absolutely no ROI, for that time spent.


Well, I guess there was some return on investment. But the problem was, it wasn’t all positive.




For me, scrolling social media was becoming like buying a lottery ticket.


My time = the price for my ticket.


I might log off feeling excited about something. Or motivated or even in awe of something amazing I’d seen.


Winning!


Or, it could go the other way.


I could be left feeling massively inadequate, or frustrated, or just extremely anxious in general.


Not only NOT winning, but imagine getting a punch to the gut every time your weekly lottery numbers failed to come out..


For a long period of time, I was always winning with that lottery ticket.


I had practiced a lot of what I advise.


Auditing the things that appear on my timeline. Working on acknowledging and processing any negative thoughts that did come my way.


Whether it was tiredness, or even over exposure to social media, I felt as though I was starting to lose more often than win.


I noticed old habits creeping their way back in.


Occasionally glancing at Instagram a few minutes before going to bed.


Sometimes finding myself automatically opening the Facebook app without even noticing within 5-10 minutes of waking up in the morning!


I decided I needed a break.


Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.


Or maybe a more fitting phrase would be,


Distance helps create perspective.

And perspective was exactly what I needed.


I was spending way too much time on it.


I was gaining very little from it.


And was in fact allowing myself to lose a lot of energy from it.


During those 2 weeks?


To put it simply. I felt pretty good!


No fear of missing out.


No real temptations to have a quick peak.


Those 5-10 minute scrolls soon add up, and I found myself just putting more attention towards reading and learning with that now free time.


My energy improved almost instantly.


I no longer felt like I was relying on likes or emojis to feel like I was doing OK.


Perspective?


Well, it made me realise you sometimes don’t realise the positive or negative impact something may be having on you, until you remove it completely for a period of time.


I’d fallen into the trap of believing social media was a necessity.


I NEEDED to check it.


I NEEDED to stay involved.


In reality, social media is a tool, not a necessity.


The biggest problem with myself, and I’d imagine perhaps some of those who read this, is social media has become something we NEED, without fully realising.


It’s a potentially extremely useful tool.


To share ideas, connect, keep up to date with all that’s going on.


But it is not needed.


Your time is the most valuable asset you’ve ever had, have or will have to give.


Social media can take much larger cuts of that than we sometimes realise.


I recommend paying particular attention just to what exactly you’re receiving as a return for that precious time you’ve spent.

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