Six Months without Social Media (What I Learned)

June 28, 2016

Six Months without Social Media (What I Learned) |

Last year I quit social media and then promptly shouted it from the rooftops because, well, I have a tendency to over share.

See, social media had become too much for me. I was so obsessed with getting likes and followers that I was missing out on socializing with my own friends and family. Plus, algorithm changes and forced ads in all my feeds were really getting me down (damn the man, right?).

Overall it wasn’t making a positive impact in my life, so I drank a glass of wine, deleted all of my accounts, and said au revoir.

The Tough Transition

A little bit of honesty here: The first couple of months were pretty hard.

Not only did it take me a while to get over the nervous habit of checking my phone for updates every two minutes, but then I basically switched one addiction for another and upped my internet usage. I subscribed to more blogs, followed more YouTubers, and often fell down an Internet rabbit hole that lasted one or two (or even three) hours. Whoops!

Eventually, I had a reality check with myself and decided I needed to figure out a way to limit my screen time…and I needed a solution fast!

Filling Free Time with Hobbies

It was then that I rediscovered the wonderful world of hobbies. By definition, a hobby is a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time.

As a kid, I had a gajillion hobbies including reading books and magazines, playing soccer, writing in my journal, making crafts, collaging, sewing, dancing, playing violin, collecting erasers, and (oddly enough) rubber stamping. Even if the Internet had existed then, I clearly wouldn’t have had time for it.

While Adult Alyssa had some leisure time on her hands, it definitely wasn’t as much as Kid Alyssa had. So, I did some soul searching and decided I would go back to my two greatest loves (reading and writing) and also tack on a new passion (cooking).

Hobby. Explosion. All of a sudden I was speeding through library books, writing blog post after blog post, and cooking up a storm in our little kitchen. It was a creative revolution, and the best part was that I didn’t even miss social media.

Happiness and The Domino Effect

Doing things you love will make you happy. This is awesome in of itself, but what’s even cooler is that it created a domino effect. Seeing the positive effects of good habits led me to pursue even better habits.

For instance, I finally signed up for French classes (a benefit for my brain) and started biking to work (a benefit for my body). A month or so after that, I started walking in the mornings while listening to my favorite podcasts (even more fuel for my brain and body).

Getting Back to Social Media

But then it started to happen. Every time I finished a great book or made a new recipe, I’d hear a little voice say, “Share it, shaaaaaare it.” Then, I’d re-do a little corner of our petite maison or drink an incredible wine and would hear it again. Share it, Alyssa, shaaaaare it.

Eventually, I had to admit that I really missed sharing little snippets of my life on social media and, more importantly, seeing little snippets of life from my friends and favorite bloggers. And so, I’m back on social media. This time with a better attitude and less time to obsess over it because I’m so busy with all these hobbies.

For now, you can find me on Instagram as @alyssapacaut. I’ll be the one posting photos of French things (because duh), white space (because j’adore), good books I’m reading (because you know I really want to share them), and glasses of wine (because that’s what I do when I’m not working or hobbying).

Are you thinking about doing a social media detox? Or have you done one before? If you have already taken a break from social media, what did you enjoy most about your time off? I’d love to know more about your own experience and hear your thoughts.

Photo from my Instagram.

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