Digital Detox: Getting Back on Social Media

I’m back!! Not that anyone knew I was gone, but still…

This post comes from our blog intern, Faith!

Last week I went on a digital detox. I voluntarily deleted all of my social media accounts, and then documented it for your reading pleasure. This week, I took a trip back to the app store to reacquaint myself with the millennial world and all of its brunch Instagrams and GNO snap stories. You would think I would be really excited about this, yes? Me too! But, oddly enough I had more mixed feelings than a prepubescent girl encountering her first crush holding my finger over the app store button.

It took fifteen minutes of staring and contemplating before I actually hit re-download. I kept having to ask myself: Do I reaaaaalllly need to go back? I decided the answer was yes, and every day since, I have wondered why I couldn’t say no, because somewhere in between the two hours I spent catching up on all of the posts I had missed I thought to myself: help! I am getting sucked back into this sinking hole of social media. 

When I was in sixth grade, my mom refused to let me get a Facebook account, but the rebellious ten-year-old that I was got one anyway. I would secretly make statuses like “GLEE 2NIGHT!!” (which is horrifyingly embarrassing but straying from the point) and when my mom found out she said to me, “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” Maybe you have heard your mother say this to you too? Well, in hour three of my social media spiral I found myself channeling my mother and saying the exact same thing. Why? Because I was unexpectedly so disappointed in myself for not being able to put the phone down. Like, what did I actually just gain from that? I should have spent that time reading a new book, or discovering a new coffee shop, or literally ANYTHING ELSE.

So unlike my post last week in which I explained all of the reasons I couldn’t get off social media, I am now telling you to try to this detox for yourself, because there is more to life than how it appears on someone’s profile page. Don’t know how to start? Here are 7 things (one for each day of the week!) I opted for instead of picking up my phone. And be proud of me, because unlike last week, compulsive online shopping is not one of them.

Read a book

There are so many! Pick one! Magazines count! Did you know it is possible to get news these days from actual newspapers and not 140 character tweets? Look into it.

Clean your closet

Okay so this might not sound fun, but plot twist: it is! Especially if played out like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City: The Movie. You can get friends to help tell you what is cute and what is sooo 2000 and late and, when it’s over, you have room for more clothes! So maybe I lied and this does include online shopping?

Go outside

Run, walk, hike, or just simply lay in the sun. I have the stamina of an 80-year-old man so I opted to tan, but it doesn’t matter… just try staring at something that is not a screen. Who knows, you could discover something you never knew existed.

DIY Spa Day

So self-explanatory. Treat yo self. Don’t know how? Learn here.

Cook

If you are anything like me, then you are mesmerized by 30-second Tasty Videos and always think to yourself “hey, I could make that” but then never do. Find one, and give it your best shot. My chicken parm meatballs may have looked nothing like the video but it’s the attempt that counts, right?  If you are nothing like me and have no recipes saved, check a few out here.

Play board games

Remember those? Yes, they still exist. And yes, they are still as fun as my seven-year-old self remembers! I have a three day-long Scrabble game going on with my mother — as I am still trying to convince her that jawn, is in fact, a word.

Paint 

No, I didn’t personally own an easel, canvases or oil paints, but I did have a car that drove my best friend and me 20 minutes down the road to a paint-your-own pottery studio. We painted next to a 4-year-old’s birthday party and had the best time. No shame.

Maybe you will do all of this, maybe you will do absolutely none of it. Whichever your path, I encourage you to think on this: Why is it that our generation feels a constant need to post about their life and a constant entitlement into the social lives of others? Unfortunately, my time off and back on social media has not given me the answer, but I can say that it has started a conversation with my peers, and brought me one step closer to finding out.

+ Let us know your favorite phone-free activity in the comments below! 

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As I said before, I admire you so much for doing the digital detox! I do love the activities you’ve listed out too. I usually do them with my phone present, though (oops), with the exception of reading. When I read I forget the rest of the world.

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
http://charmainenyw.com

Social media can be too much at times. I could use a detox at times.

I’ve been thinking about doing my own social media detox. You’re right that it’s so easy to fall into a mindless scrolling spree instead of doing something more fun like reading a book or exploring somewhere new. Playing a board game is one of my favourite things to do – I highly recommend Colt Express for something a bit different when your Scrabble game finally comes to an end ;)