Lately, I’ve been feeling that social media has consumed me. From the moment I wake up, my phone is already in hand and with social media apps already open to see what I missed when I was sleeping. Every now and again we all need to take a break from social media or just technology in general. So Saturday (March 4th) couldn’t have come at a better time.
March 4, 2017, is National Unplugging Day. That means not using any form of technology, which is ultimately not using our smartphones, tablets, and computers. In my case, I chose to just unplug from social media. People can do unplug cold turkey or take baby steps. My decision was the latter. I literally can not live without my phone and I thought that it was best to at least unplug from social media as a start.
The plan is to go 24 hours without any form of social media. Keep on reading to see how I did it!
How I Prepared
At exactly 12:00 midnight, I deleted all of the social media apps from my phone to prevent any temptation whatsoever. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and Pinterest. I also enabled the “Do Not Disturb” option as well on my phone so I wouldn’t be tempted to open apps on my phone when I get a notification. It silences all alerts and calls on my phone so I don’t get distracted with every “ping” notification.
No Social Media (at least for the next 24 hours)
In the beginning, it wasn’t so bad. But it wasn’t until woke up several hours later that I really had to Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform on the planet. So checking it was unbelievably difficult.
To take my mind off of using social media, I decided to go and explore the city. Although I am relatively close to the city, I don’t come as often as I’d like. I also had a date that day as well which helped keep me occupied and away from social media.
Since I suck at directions, I used my phone to guide me to my destination and to provide me with suggestions on where to go in the city. That’s another reason why I chose to unplug from social media instead of my phone altogether.
That’s another reason why I chose to unplug from social media instead of my phone altogether.
The destination ended up being the National Gallery of Art. While I was there, I was so enticed to Snap my trip to the museum but being on a date gave my the excuse not to document the experience on social media.
Throughout the day, I was tempted to check Instagram and Facebook about ten times on my phone. I also have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram bookmarked on my computer. Unplugging from social media on my phone also included my computer.
What I Learned
I’m not gonna lie. Having all my social media back on my phone was a nice feeling. But not having it for 24 hours didn’t feel like the end of the world. But I didn’t really miss much.
All in all, it wasn’t as bad as I originally thought it would be. When I was at the museum, I was more alert and focused on the art and just being in the moment.
I think that’s what I learned the most from this entire experiment. Just to live in the moment and enjoy the silence.
By unplugging, I gained a whole new sense of clarity and learned a little bit more about myself. There is more to life than what’s on our screens. Not seeing what everyone else is doing with their lives is a satisfying feeling. I just focused on me.
So from now on, I’m going to try my very best to not focus all my energy on social media at least for one day a week. Instead, I will redirect it elsewhere in a more useful and creative outlet.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you” — Anne Lamott