3 things I learned during my social media detox.

November 18, 2018

I'd just like to preface this post by saying I've never watched Friends.

From September 25th - October 25th I took a social media hiatus. With a minor exception for homecoming.

  1. Social Media is incredibly time-consuming. Duh Nk. God Bless Apple for creating these screen time limits. I recently started limiting myself to 30-45 minutes per day on Instagram. You'd be amazed at how much you can do in a day when you're not constantly glued to your phone. I knew it was a problem when I would be in the library scrolling through IG stories for a solid hour before I finally got to work. An hour that was initially intended to only be 15 minutes. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing prime real estate in the library (a big study room with dry erase boards) and someone is in there on their phone with NOT ONE book cracked open.
  2. Anyone who wants to know how you're doing will find a way to contact you. There were people who I hadn't spoken to in months that suddenly reached out. They didn't have my number but got it from someone because it was important to them that they got in touch with me. At first it was just to check and see if I was ok and then it was geared more toward let's catch up + now speaking on a consistent basis.  Social media gives people access to you without having to invest in you + all the extra stuff. The extra stuff meaning the hard work, the tears, the not so pretty, the grey areas. In real time you can see what someone is doing + who they're doing it with whenever, wherever. All with the stroke of your thumb. Who has time for half-assed commitment? Something about that feels so violating, however, it's social media. You put it out there to be seen by somebody, so you can't be too upset, right? 
  3. Life is a lot more entertaining when you're not constantly checking to see what other people are doing. Not everything needs to be recorded. I love taking pictures of everybody and everything. But somethings, a lot of things, just need to be savored at that moment. Enjoy your surroundings. Somedays I'm sad that I only have a few tripod pictures from solo vacations and a few shots taken by kind strangers but I have sooooo many stories and vivid memories because I took it all in and wasn't trying to craft up the perfect VSCO picture + Youtube vlog. Traveling is expensive. Too expensive for you to not remember anything because you were editing photos or surfing the gram the whole time. I've recently made a conscious effort to put away my phone when I'm with friends. Nobody wants to be that guy. If you're just going to be on your phone the whole time you could have stayed at home. I always apologize and even feel awkward when I whip out my phone to take quick food pictures for blog posts. It's not fair for me to beg for + crave someone's undivided attention when I'm basically inseparable from my phone. As stressful as nursing school can be, I've had some of the funniest, most heartfelt and most thought-provoking conversations in these last 4 months. No phones involved except to check to see where the time had slipped away to.
In all honesty, I almost deleted my Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook after this "detox". It didn't seem fun anymore, but then I realized that social media isn't a chore or an obligation. Social media is as private as you make it. Just because someone doesn't post something on the internet doesn't mean they're not doing it. I'm a nursing student first, everything else comes second. Yes, it's nice to take + post cute pictures, however, your professors don't care about a curated feed on exam day.

All of these things may come across as very obvious but it's always nice to have gentle reminders!

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