My buddy Alexis Fecteau and I very often complete little challenges amongst ourselves and most recently we decided that we would take a break from social media in order to see how differently it made us feel, if at all. Both of us have read plenty on the dangers of social media use and I think each of us had moments where we felt as though it may not be doing us any favors. The plan was to limit our social media time to just 30 minutes per day, with the optimum goal being zero. Being the competitive pair that we are, we both aimed for zero and ended up spending just 40 minutes on there during the course of the week, and here were the benefits which we discovered.
One of the first things that I noticed after just a couple of days of minimizing my social media usage was that I was so much more present in the moment when doing things. I had been guilty in the past of snapping shots of my food prior to eating, or having the impulse to do the world what I was doing instead of actually enjoying what I was doing, but all of that changed in a very short space of time. Check yourself when you are out with friends and family to see just how present you are with them.
Whether we care to admit it or not social media really brings with it a certain pressure which affects how we live our lives and ultimately how we feel about certain things. Think about how your brain would react to waking up and then looking at social media, only to see people doing amazing things and seemingly living a great life. These people in reality are sharing the best corner of the worlds but that can give the instant impression that all is perfect, it rarely is. Regardless of the truth here, the reality in your mind upon seeing this type of thing is that you feel under pressure to match it or beat it, or at the very least, sad that your life isn’t as great. When you remove social media from your world, that pressure doesn’t come and you will instead be motivated by your own actions and desires.
Anxiety and Worries
One of the things that made me aware of my overuse of social media was that I began to get worried about things around the world which I couldn’t change, but I would still burden myself with them. I can remember reading about the war in Yemen and all of the permutations of every military strategy, and felt incredibly sad about what was happening. The trouble with social media you see is that the world very quickly becomes smaller and we get clear information about all of these events. The fact of the matter however is that you are completely useless here, and short of donating money to charities or voting, there is nothing you can do, which makes beating yourself up about it or burdening yourself completely nonsensical.
Why not give it a try this week, put the phone down, close the tab on your computer and go social media free, you’ll be amazed at the results.