Social Media Detox: A self-experiment

What if you just went offline for a while? I’m trying that out by doing a social media detox.

Disclaimer: The article is based on the experience of our author.

I had an Instagram account with plenty of photos, highlights and regular stories. I was never addicted to it. Only in the morning I take a quick look to see if any new emails or messages have arrived or if my friends have posted a story. My screen time is far below average. Social media detox is not necessary for me! Or is it?

I was wrong: almost four hours of screen time per day

I was shocked about the fact that four hours of screen time seem to have sneaked in my daily life between university, work and private life. I was so sure that I was consciously using my phone, but apparently my use of it was not so conscious. In fact, screen time shows that I use my phone more in the morning, but also digress throughout the day. The sad peak is in the evening before going to bed. However, people surrounding me don’t see me as a cell phone junkie – at least according to the statements of my friends. But the people around me also have similar screen time, so maybe we’re all cell phone junkies in the end.

Suddenly offline

When I checked my screen time, it turned out that Instagram was the major problem. So I deleted my pictures and deactivated my account – I wasn’t ready to just delete it yet. But after my initial euphoria faded, I found myself grabbing my phone to open the app. But it was gone of course. Suddenly, I was overcome by an almost forgotten feeling that I only knew from my childhood: boredom. I just didn’t know what to do with my time. This feeling brought me to a long overdue spring cleaning. In fact, it was boredom that drove me the last few days. I started exercising again and dug out an old book I’d never read.

Social media detox as a mental reset

It’s not just my old hobbies that I’ve been pursuing again. My body image has changed, too. It is suddenly easier for me to eat consciously. Finally, I have time to cook and bake my own bread again. Despite always comparing myself on social media, it seems like this pressure has pushed me even more towards frozen pizza and sweets. And I also suddenly like my no-makeup face way more again when I’m not overloaded with filters on a daily basis. Maybe these are all coincidences after all. But either way, a social media detox is worth it. If it continues like this, I’ll delete my account soon, too, and hopefully I’ll even lose sight of my cell phone.

Image source: Fauxels via Pexels; CC0 license

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