Five surprising lessons I found out when I stopped the use of social media for a month

I sat up and closed Tik Tok on my smartphone, staring in disbelief at the placing sun outdoor my window. It had been vivid out of doors once I sat down to give myself a “ten-minute social media damage” after work. The goal was to relax and flip through my apps for only a few mins and then start my non-public writing. Now the entire night had surpassed. Bleary-eyed, hungry, worn through, I determined to begin dinner and pass from there.

I didn’t get any writing executed that night.

This had grown to be my ordinary–paintings all day, social media all night, maybe consume if I didn’t get completely sucked into the vortex. Bedtime became more social media apps with Netflix within the background. I knew maybe I should use my time better, but I completed my work at some point of the day and got sufficient sleep at night. I didn’t truely have an impetus to exchange.

Social Media

Until I got my display time record the subsequent Sunday.

I become spending more than forty hours every week on my phone, with most of that point going to social media apps like Instagram and Facebook. Given that I already paintings a complete-time task and pick up freelance assignments on the facet, it became no surprise I changed into too wiped to ever paintings on creative tasks—my 1/3 activity became staring at my smartphone. If the antique adage, approximately spending 10,000 hours on something to come to be a master turned into true, then I turned into well on my manner to being a black-belt stage Tik Tok-creeping Instagram wizard.

But no person ever wrote an award-prevailing novel whilst staring at teenagers lip-syncing in cosplay.

So, I made the compulsory, “I’m taking a social media to ruin text me if you want me” post, and deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok off my telephone (but not the real bills, I’m no longer insane).

I stored Twitter. Consider it my one cookie on the end of a day efficaciously dieting—you have to cave to an indulgence here and there during a restriction; otherwise, you’ll binge.

I promised myself one month as a reset, after which I ought to come returned. What I found out in those 30 days become not what I anticipated.


I don’t have any idea what the wide variety turned into earlier than I took a month off; however, even after a tough tech reset, I’m still selecting up my phone 113 times a day, according to the Screen Time report on my iPhone.

What I noticed at some point of my purge turned into that I would choose my phone up 2-three instances in a 15 minute period, stare at it for a moment before I found out there was nothing for me to look at, and then placed it down. There are many factors on this global I love extra than my telephone, and I truely don’t poke, prod, or contact them that frequently.


I’m already a person who operates at an excessive strain-level often. I selected to be a single creator in one of the most steeply-priced locations to live in the united states–nearly the world. That comes with a positive near-steady stage of adrenaline on its personal. Throw in anxiety in pretty much each shape, and I’m strung tighter than a twine pulled through drag-racers in opposite instructions.

But once I began limiting my screen time, some of that stress melted away. I turned into now not constantly worried about what everybody else changed into doing inside the moment; however, more importantly, I felt like I didn’t need to let every person understand what I changed into doing. And the potential to walk away from that validation became big.


Much has been said on writing as a solitary art. It’s something executed in silence, commonly alone, and with no longer a great deal of collaboration within the beginning levels. This loneliness is especially annoyed for me as I work remotely, so there may be no workplace face-time to fill the social void. Once I took away social media breaks, I become absolutely by myself.

After the primary week, I deeply ignored my cherished ones’ virtual noise catching me up on their day. So I leaned harder into the direct conversation than I had before. Lunch breaks have been for sending love notes, checking in on weekend plans, and in reality studying all the one’s group messages.


Perhaps the maximum sudden result of my social media purge was an advanced feel of self-esteem.

Remember the anxiety? The little voice within my head again told me I wasn’t “as desirable as [insert person, place, or thing here]” changed into distinctly quieter–on occasion absent. I become in a position to stroll far from social situations without the consistent nagging of “you stated the wrong issue” echoing in my head.

I looked it up, and it turns available’s a purpose for this–without spending 40-plus hours per week evaluating myself to others, I become helping reduce my anxiety over private failure. I was soothing my need to be the best round of different human beings all the time.


The ebook’s not accomplished but; however, I controlled to bump my phrase count number notably. I also ultimately jumped in and completed a 2,200-word long-form passion piece I had pitched an editor months earlier. All because I had the energy to make time for non-public tasks, and then without a doubt, engage with them.

And right here’s where perhaps my story ends with some disappointment.

I ended up re-downloading social apps sooner than planned. While on a journey to the mountains, I remembered that my dog-sitter buddies posted Instagram tales of my pupper to show me he becomes okay. And after getting involved in texts about now not replying to Facebook invitations for film golf equipment, birthdays, and different miscellaneous social gatherings, I ended up beginning the coolest ol’ Social Network again up as well.

But, I’ve kept the blessings of my smash, left the horrific behavior, and whilst I’m not topping any pleasant-supplier lists just yet, I’m at least on my manner.

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