What I learnt from giving up social media for a month.

It wasn’t something I planned on doing, it kind of just happened…

In the past month there was a death in my family, I had influenza for a couple of weeks, then my bub got sick and my mobile phone blew up so I had to go purchase a new one and I still can’t work out how the heck to use it properly! With all that going on, I just took some time out, I was feeling deflated, worn out, and emotionally drained. Before I knew it I just couldn’t be bothered with my personal social media accounts.

I have a little photography business which I have an Instagram and Facebook page for, I did keep posting on these accounts as it’s my source of income but it was strictly business. No scrolling, just booking in clients and posting the occasional photo when I felt inspired.

Now you’re probably thinking, pffftt four weeks is nothing. But for someone who would log in multiple times a day, and post almost daily, a month is a pretty good break! I learnt quite a lot in those four weeks not tuning in to the constant scrolling, so much so I don’t think i’ll be logging on as often as I used to. I found I actually was so much more content and possibly even happier without it.

So here’s what I learnt…

  1. You don’t get your heart broken.

Often I would see posts of my friends having catch up’s without me, or someone having a party and I wasn’t invited… That stuff right there breaks your heart. The constant wonder of ‘why didn’t they invite me?’ and feeling like there was something wrong with me that my own friends didn’t want to hang out with me. It’s a kick in the guts especially when you’re already feeling isolated and alone as a new mama. I’ve learnt what you don’t know won’t hurt you, and by not logging in and seeing this stuff meant not getting upset or feeling rejected.

2. People actually don’t care. 

No one actually notices if you don’t log in. People are so consumed by their own lives that they don’t actually take notice if you stop posting on social media. In the month I was offline no one called or sent me a txt message to see if I was alright. I could have been hit by a bus and no one would have known. The lesson I learnt here is, if you have a friend who regularly posts online and then all of a sudden doesn’t, maybe check in on them. It’s these little out of the ordinary things that can indicate there’s something not right going on.

3. You get your time back for the important stuff. 

It’s amazing how consumed by our phones we are. When we are on them we aren’t present to the people right in front of us. Since having Lara I have made a conscious choice to not use my phone when she is awake for two main reasons… one because she’s obsessed with it. The phone can be just sitting on the table and she will reach for it. We don’t want her to grow up using phones and ipads as toys. The other because I want my full attention to be hers when I’m with her. Phones are a huge distraction to the present life, and by not logging in to my social media accounts meant I had no need to be on my phone really. (no one calls me lol) I often left the house without it, and when I was home it was left in my bag. It actually felt so good to not be controlled by technology, to not even think about it, not to even care what other people were doing. This is freedom!

4. You miss out on some big things.

Everyone these days announces their exciting news on social media. Pregnancy, engagements, new house, arrival of baby etc. By not logging in to social media meant I missed some of these announcements from friends, which made me look like I didn’t give a sh*t because I didn’t ‘like’ their post or comment a cute emoji. Sorry guys, I was grieving, dealing with my own emotions while coughing up a lung and drowning in mucus, but I promise I’m really happy for you all even if you think I’m an a**hole.

5. It made me want more out of life. 

I’m not sure if it was the death, the time out from social media, not being social or hanging out with friends for those few weeks, but I just have had enough of everyhting. I said to hubby I just want to go away, away from everything I know.  I want a fresh start, I want new experiences. I want to just pack up and leave without a word to anyone. So we talked about the idea of moving interstate, when to have baby number two, a holiday, our savings plans to buy a farm house in the country… what our life will look like in the next 5 years… We don’t know what it will look like, but we both agreed we don’t want to be doing exactly what were doing now, and that is enough for me to feel excited about the future.

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I gained so much knowledge in the past month. Death brings to light that our time on earth is precious. You could die tomorrow, what have you done? Could you say you lived a happy life? That you actually lived it, or did you spend half your time on social media worrying about keeping up with the latest trends, competing over friendships, arguing with people, not being aware of this moment right now because your face was looking down at a screen waiting for validation with a ‘like’…

What is the meaning of friendship? Is it just ‘likes’ and comments on Instagram and Facebook? Is it sending a daily snap chat? Or is it having someone call you and ask áre you ok?’ or dropping a pot of soup off to your doorstep when you’re sick? Actions speak louder than words. I’ve had a lot of words come my way in the past of Í’ll be a better friend’ and Í’m sorry I hurt your feelings’ but the action doesn’t end up changing, and it’s draining! We need to be more than virtual friends, we need physical friendships more than ever. 

I hope this posts encourages you to take a step back from social media, cut down your usage time. Check in on your strong friends, drop a care package to their door. Review your five year plan, what do you want out of life?. Life is short, live it now, don’t wait for the perfect time because there is no bloody perfect time. Tell someone you love them to their face instead of a txt message, don’t live a life of regret. I’m only 31 years old, and there are so many things I wish I had done differently in life but I was too scared. I missed out on opportunities because I didn’t take a risk… It’s only the past couple years I’ve turned things around and it is so freeing! Trust me! If you don’t do something now, you will stay in the same place, doing the same things, being defeated by the same people. The time is NOW!

X Jess

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