As I’m sure you can tell by now, I love social media and especially Instagram. It‘s a great way to express yourself and also provides you with the opportunity to connect with others and build relationships.
As a Storytelling Strategist, I enjoy helping entrepreneurs find new and innovative ways to share their story on social media due to that I end up spending a lot of time on social media myself. I have to be honest though: There was a time where I was extremely burnt out. Social Media had taken over my life. If I wasn’t on it for work purposes I would find myself mindlessly scrolling for large amounts of time. And eventually, social media, specifically Instagram, wasn’t fun for me anymore. I found myself depleted and I had no margin for creativity. Once I started to feel this way, I knew I needed to make a change.
I decided to break up with social media and go on a 40-day fast. During my fast, I was able to take the time I needed to reflect and learn new things about myself. It was what I needed to reset and get things back on track. Here are some things I learned while on my 40-day social media fast.
I learned to set boundaries
One of the first things I did during my fast was delete all of the apps on my phone. Initially, it was really difficult for me. There were many times that I wanted to re-download my apps and quickly check things. To combat that urge I started turning off my phone and placing it in a separate room. So if I was in the living room my phone would be in the bedroom. It was during that time I had realized how much I allowed these digital platforms to control my emotions. As time went on I wasn’t heavily attached to my phone and the boundaries became easier to follow. I learned that shutting out social media so you can take care of you is the ultimate self-care.
I was able to focus more on my goals.
Since I wasn’t on social media I had more time to focus on other areas of my business. I was able to learn new things and I had the time to restructure other areas I had been neglecting. I started to feel my confidence coming back in learning and doing new things. I had more margin to be creative and it felt good to create things just because I felt like it and not for the sake of posting it. Instead of spending my energy mindlessly scrolling, I had space to freely express myself.
It helped me deepen my relationship with others.
Social media can lead you to focus on yourself and not others. It’s really easy to get caught up in the comparison game. I would find myself feeling like I wasn’t good enough due to seeing people’s accomplishments. During my fast, it forced me to step outside of myself and become more present with others. I was able to have more meaningful conversations and moments with people. It was a great reminder that we are all on our own journey. One person’s blessing won’t hinder me from getting mine.
It reminded me that my value and happiness is not dependent on others.
It’s so easy to fall into this trap and I’m guilty of doing this. Whenever I would post I would find myself checking social media to see how many likes I have received and who have engaged with my profile. If I didn’t get the engagement I was looking for I would allow my emotions to take over and become irritated. I had forgotten the real reason why I was on social media which was to make an impact and build community. Taking a break from social media reminded me that my happiness is not dependent on people who have liked my photo. It comes from within. It’s all about sharing our experiences and cheering each other on.
If you are thinking about doing a social media fast I say do it! What do you have to lose? Taking the time to reconnect and recharge can be just what you need to come back stronger than ever. Don’t worry about missing anything. Social media isn’t going anywhere.