Hello, hello and welcome back to The Chic Delight. I am coming at you after taking almost four full months off from social media, and while I am so happy to be back, I also can’t believe I took that long off!
I knew in September I was wanting to come back to y’all (for SOME reason I can’t seem to stay away), but I really wanted to figure out the best method that made sense for me. And while I would love to deep dive more into my why behind my break and my why for coming back, today I want to talk to you about why this break was important and what it did for me.
First of all, a large factor in taking my break from social media is that I do truly believe it has the potential to remove so much joy from our lives, and in knowing we had a busy summer ahead, and knowing where I was mentally, I really felt like taking a a break was the best thing for me.
Now hear me out…there are good things about social media. This is not a bash on social media or a plea to get rid of your apps. My goal with this post today is to bring you some awareness, and to hopefully help you find a better “joy-filled” balance within these.
My first step in approaching social media, is figuring out how much time away you would like to give yourself. If you are feeling mentally exhausted, an increase in anxiety, stressed about X, Y, Z, removing social media is a great first step in helping to mitigate some of those feelings, but I think your length of time away depends on the severity of these. You can try just a day, a month, or even just an evening, but do a personal check in and be super honest with yourself about what not only makes sense for you, but also what would give you the best peace. Any time is good, and this can be open ended if you aren’t sure (which is where I typically fall), but if you still aren’t 100%, let’s discuss more behind the why…
To begin, social media takes up SO much time. I don’t even think we realize how much time it takes away from us day to day, but it can actually be HOURS in your day. Now, if you could get back just a quarter of that time, think about what you could do with it. Most of you reading this, are women with busy busy schedules. I feel like I am constantly grappling with time and how I can get more of it, so finding even an extra half hour can make a massive difference, especially as it compounds over time.
Secondly, social media shows you pieces of peoples’ lives you wouldn’t see or know about otherwise. I mean, this is sort of the point – to connect and socialize, but what it also does is brings awareness to what you and your life may be lacking or missing out on. Maybe some friends went to a dinner and you didn’t receive an invite. You find out because someone posts it to social media. As a result you begin to wonder why you didn’t get invited? Or maybe a girl you went to high school with got a promotion (yay her), but you have also been wanting a promotion and after seeing this you begin to wonder if you will ever get your break. These emotions, these questionings within your own life, make you wonder and can make you feel less than which is the exact opposite of feeling and finding joy.
Similarly, maybe you see the same boots over and over and over again (white cowgirl boots, I’m looking at you). After seeing them for the 20th time you begin to recognize it may be a trend, and now you need white cowgirl boots too. If you hadn’t of been on social media you maybe would have noticed others wearing white cowgirl boots, but the desire is not nearly as strong as when you see them over and over again. This results in wanting things that maybe you don’t need or maybe spending money you wouldn’t otherwise spend.
I could probably go on and on as to why social media isn’t maybe the best of spaces (once again, there are a lot of positives too!), but I think the most important thing is deciphering what social media does for YOU and how does it make you feel when you walk away from it. If you are consistently feeling less than or like you are lacking something, then a social media break may be the perfect solution.
So what did I do exactly? For me, I actually physically removed the app and opted to take an open ended break with the actual intention (truth here) being that I would not come back. But if that seems drastic, move it a few pages over so it isn’t habitually in the spot you always find it. This is an interesting one because you will see that by moving it, just how often you actually mindlessly attempt to open it. I think whichever method you choose, really depends on what you need personally from the space and the intended break you choose.
Now, perhaps you don’t want to remove it entirely, what are some other ways you can show up within the space with more joy? To start, you can limit your time on the app. With instagram you can actually set a timer and it will notify you when you have reached your limit. There are other apps you can download or you can use your settings, that will actually close you out of the app after your set time, as well. Once again, if this seems drastic, start with seeing how much time you actually spend in the app. You can find this via iPhone in “Settings” >> Screen Time. Then you can review for the week, day, or past week how much time you are averaging in an app and set a limit you would like. When you see this information, I promise you will be motivated to shift a bit.
Another way to limit or restrict negativity within your app is by muting people (unfollowing is always an option too and I’ll talk about that next). You can mute either their posts or stories, or both. Just go to their page and click their “following button.” You will then see a mute section you can turn on for posts or stories. I found that I spend a ton of time watching stories and so by muting some, I feel like I was better able to limit the amount of content I was consuming, and if someone’s stories aren’t making me feel the best, I can mute them for a little bit. You can always search these people out specifically, if you are wanting to find them or view their stories.
Lastly, I definitely recommend going through your follow list and unfollowing some accounts. It so easy to follow people during certain periods in our lives that initially provided you value, or perhaps you met them during something, but now it doesn’t seem as important. This results in your feed being bogged down by so much extra content, so I will occasionally go through my list and unfollow any account that isn’t serving me anymore. When I do this I try to be very intentional about who I keep and focus on why that account is important versus why I should get rid of them. This way it is much easier to make the decision and really when it comes down to it, its not personal.
I hope these tips help you and I hope they encourage you to take a little space. I have created some rules for myself personally moving forward that I ALREADY need to do a better job of adhering to haha. I will definitely share those soon, if you are interested. The biggest factor, is I can’t preach enough how important taking a break truly is and I think you will find our own personal benefits that come out of this. I hope you all have any amazing day!