Social media became the new great addiction of our modern age. It is similar to alcohol, gambling, or drugs. Notifications, likes, and new followers release dopamine in our brains and we get addicted to that feeling.
Social media companies are well aware of that and designed their platforms to keep us on them as long as possible. When we get asked if we could live without social media the answer almost always is “I just don’t want to”, which is what every addict says.
When the story began
Hey, I am Rahaman Bin Ujit. In the last week, I realized that over the years I built an unhealthy habit of consuming a lot of social media. Probably because my work was always based around it.
Due to the lockdown, I was trapped at home in my boring hometown. So the online world was the place where the cool stuff happened. Therefore the screen town on my phone got up to an all-time high of 9-12 hours a day.
As I saw many creators doing a social media detox and read many articles about it I got curious. So I decided to live the next 30 days without social media and see what I can take away from this.
Here’s the plan
I’m deleting Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat from my phone. The only exception is I kept WhatsApp on my phone but besides that nothing else from now on. There will be no more scrolling, no funny videos, and no posts of my friends having fun.
In the first week, I spent most of the time playing, cycling, and exercising. I also spent a lot of time with friends. I went to a beautiful place before the Sun was about to set. The whole scenery looked perfect and the old me would have probably snapped a hundred pictures and Instagram stories to share it with the online world.
But as I couldn’t do that I really gotta enjoy the moment and took it all in without worrying about “how many likes this picture would get”, they kind of felt liberating.
Later that week I fell back into old habits. sometimes I caught myself tapping where my social media apps used to be. I binge-watched several series on Netflix as I needed another source of entertainment.
I spent much more time on WhatsApp not only to text with friends but weirdly also to look at the different profile pictures of them. Probably which was came closest to Instagram I guess.
So now it’s day 20 and so far I’m feeling really good, productive. This week I actually published two articles on Zillion Media. In the next few days, I spent the majority of the time in front of my PC writing this article.
I was motivated focused and rarely distracted. I was in a creative flow and I got a lot of things done while I enjoyed my work again and was passionate about creating content.
There was still something missing in the evenings when I finished work. I would often just sit in my bed and I didn’t really know what to do. I was exhausted and I didn’t know how to fill these last hours of my day. As I would normally spend them on social media. So I knew something needed to change that’s why I started creating designs in the evenings.
Okay, it’s now day 30 and to be honest I wasn’t even looking forward to going on social media anymore. Because I really enjoyed the last 30 days without it. On the 31 days, I downloaded all the apps and I replied to my messages. I scroll through Instagram and I watched some YouTube videos.
One and a half hours were gone just like that. The time just flew and I was just sitting in bed and I was kind of overwhelmed because my mind didn’t have access to that much information in the last 30 days.
The funny thing is that there was nothing really worth mentioning that happened on social media. Nothing changed and everything was just still the same. I didn’t miss out on anything. But still, my mind was just running wild again and I was distracted and I couldn’t really focus. Therefore I decided to not use any more social media for today.
So what did I take away from these last 30 days?
While due to my job it was sometimes hard to stay completely off social media. It had many benefits as I spent less time on my phone. I had more time for my real friends. I reconnected with people who I didn’t meet in years. It felt like already existing friendships only improved.
I stopped comparing myself with other people all the time when I scrolled through social media. I always saw the amazing works of others and thought to myself why can’t I be this good at content creation. Why should I even try if it has been done before during the detox these questions started to disappear and I reconnected with my passion and creating content again I started publishing a new article every week.
I started building a habit of going for 30-minutes cycling every single afternoon without any distractions no phone. no music, just cycling and listening to the wind blowing through the leaves and seeing the city come alive. This habit makes me feel very present and frees up my mind.
I think all of us should do this kind of detox in order to reevaluate. Our relationship to social media and also to prioritize our time in the real world and in the online world. so trust me on this give it a try. Don’t use any social media for the next 30 days be strict with yourself and I’m sure you’re going to experience as many benefits as I did.