5 Things I Learnt From Taking a Week off Social Media

So last week I decided that I was wasting far too much of my time on social media. On Sunday, I spent 8 hours and 43 minutes on my phone, which is to be quite honest, ridiculous. A lot of mindless scrolling, a lot of watching pointless YouTube videos, and a lot of time I could have spent doing something else. I decided I needed to take a week off to reset things and return to a more mindful usage of social media afterwards. The weeks over now so I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve learnt.

1) You can read much more:

So my week off social media included all the major platforms, as well as YouTube. I pretty much always watch YouTube when I eat, so this week I was forced to replace it. Left with limited options, I decided to start reading while eating, and its amazing that just a few pages here and there at mealtimes can get you pretty far through a book. A book is also handy for those little intervals in between tasks where you’d normally scroll through Instagram, instead you can get through a few pages. I also have a habit of scrolling through twitter just before bed, to be honest I’m not sure if I’ll ever break this one. As much as science says it’s terrible for sleep, I can’t help but find it works perfectly for me. But this week I’ve been reading instead to induce sleepiness. All the pages here and there throughout the day when you’d normally be uselessly scrolling do start to add up.

2) YouTube is great:

As much as I was spending far too much time on YouTube before this, I think it’s a great platform. You can definitely let yourself get distracted and end up watching things that aren’t worth your time, but there are some amazing creators on there, and I have really missed watching their content this week. Some of my favourites include Unnatural Vegan, Kristen Leo and Casey Neistat. All of these creators create inspiring, educational and overall entertaining content, and they’re a great addition to my day. Have to admit, I’m really looking forward to opening up my subscription box tomorrow.

3) You need social media less than you think:

I’ve definitely missed some platforms more than others this week, at the bottom of my list are Facebook and Instagram. I really don’t think its necessary for me to check Facebook more than once a week, most of my timeline is full of stuff I really don’t care about. Instagram is fun every now and then, but I really haven’t missed it too much. I think it’s great to do challenges like this to realise which social media platforms really aren’t serving you, and accordingly adjust your time spent on them to fit that.

4) You focus on yourself more:

When you don’t have all of these outside influences coming into your life multiple times a day through social media you remember what you like doing and what you want to prioritise in your life. Social media can literally take up hours of your day, and it’s really easy to let it distract you from the things you want to focus on. This time away has definitely increased my productivity levels. When there aren’t any apps there to distract you, you’re left with nothing to do but the things you actually want to do!

5) You’re less anxious:

So although it’s not technically social media, I have also had a week of no news as I was finding myself spending quite a lot of time reading it. Inevitably, most of the news is negative, and I think this impacts us more than we realise, the news makes the world seem a scary place to live in. Without it, you’re left to just focus on your own world, and you realise that actually, everything is going just fine. I think it’s important to stay updated on news, but it can definitely get to the point where we’re consuming so much that its causing anxieties.

Going back to social media tomorrow, I definitely want to implement a more controlled schedule. The extra reading I’ve been getting done has really been beneficial to me and I don’t want that to be replaced by social media again. I’m definitely excited to get back on twitter and YouTube, but I think I’ve learnt that Facebook and Instagram don’t deserve so much of my time. Have you ever taken time off social media, what did you learn from it?

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