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

I sat up and closed TikTok on my smartphone, staring in disbelief at the placing sun outside 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, flip through my apps for only a few minutes, and start my non-public writing. Now, the entire night had surpassed. Bleary-eyed, hungry, and worn through, I decided to begin dinner and pass. I didn’t get any writing executed that night. This had become my ordinary–paintings all day, social media all night, maybe consuming if I didn’t get completely sucked into the vortex. Bedtime became more social media apps with Netflix in the background. I knew perhaps I should use my time better, but I completed my work at some point in the day and slept sufficiently at night. I didn’t truely have an impetus to exchange.

Until I got my display time record the subsequent Sunday.

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

But no person ever wrote an award-prevailing novel while 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 TikTok 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 should return. What I found out in those 30 days was not what I anticipated.


I don’t know 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 in my purge turned into that I would choose my phone up to 2-three instances in 15 minutes, stare at it for a moment before I found out there was nothing for me to look at, and then place it down. There are many factors on this global I love more 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. I was 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 personnel. 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 was not constantly worried about what everybody else changed into doing inside the moment; however, more importantly, I felt I didn’t need to let every person understand what I changed to do. And the potential to walk away from that validation became big.


Much has been said about writing as a solitary art. It’s executed in silence, commonly alone, and without much collaboration within the beginning levels. This loneliness especially annoys 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 became absolutely by myself. After the primary week, I deeply ignored my cherished ones’ virtual noise,e 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,d in reality,y studying all the one’s group messages.


Perhaps the most sudden result of my social media purge was an advanced feeling 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]” and changed into distinctly quieter–on occasion, absent. I can 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 out there’s a purpose for this–without spending 40-plus hours per week evaluating myself to others, I am helping reduce my anxiety over private failure. I was soothing my need to be the best round of different human beings.


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

And righere’se’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 hebecames okay. After getting involved in texts about not replying to Facebook invitations for film golf equipment, birthdays, and different miscellaneous social gatherings, I also began the Cooleol’old Social Network. I’ve kept the blessings of my smash, left the horrific behavior, and while I’m not topping any pleasant-supplier lists, I’m at least on my manner.

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