I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox. I needed a digital detox. A virtual cleanse from the Web World. And, it was an amazing journey.
I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.
Ahh! You get the point.
I needed a new kind of ‘reality check.’ I swear, you can legitimately lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did. I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation. I became more sedentary. And more irritable.
At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that? Yeah, definitely a low point.
I started feeling lost. And NOT connected. Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become. I was desperate for conversation and human interaction. I wanted to feel alive again. So, I began my digital detox.
- First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone. This way, I wouldn’t have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
- Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband. We started playing card games at night and reading together.
- Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night. The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’ Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
- Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows. Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
- Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
- Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
- Seventh, I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram. However, I did not attach my photos to other social medias.
It was a well worth it experience.
- I was able to connect closer to my husband
- Spend more quality time with McKinley
- Be more present in the world
- Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
- Appreciate the small things again
- Become more active
- Understand the slippery slope to social media
- Best of all…I was able to get back to my roots…back to being me.
I think this is an awesome exercise. Try out some of these methods for 1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time. What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?