As I’m writing this, I just have a couple of days of social media fasting left, but to be honest, this could go on forever. I wouldn’t have thought that not using social media would make a great impact on me but it did. Let me explain.
One of my ‘rules’ of this social media detox challenge was that I wasn’t gonna use Facebook or Instagram. To make it a little easier, I gave myself the possibility of being online for a couple of minutes each day – if something important happens. (Let’s be real for a second: on social media nothing important ever happens). However, I only took advantage of this loophole 2 times to participate in group chats.
I didn’t really miss it. But I did realize that something was missing. My routine was off. When I switched on my computer in the mornings (aka noon), there was nothing to do except to start working. I couldn’t procrastinate on Facebook. If I didn’t do something on my computer, I could just do something in real life. Instagram felt meaningless. There’s nothing there for me except for photos making me feel bad about my life and giving me FOMO. I see more value in Facebook: Not being online made me feel completely out of touch on what was going on in the world. Also, I probably missed 20 of my friends’ birthdays. #sorrynotsorry
When you can’t get 8 people together around a table in a restaurant for conversation without somebody needing to check how many likes they have on something, it’s kind of sad.
Without social media, I was less distracted which, of course, was horrible in my job but a delight when working on private projects. There was nothing keeping me from productive working sessions other than my own procrastination and my Netflix addiction. I’d say I’ve pushed myself quite far creatively in this week. I finished my Spring/Summer fashion collection and even though I feel silly calling it a ‘collection’ or ‘fashion’ I am quite proud of it and I’m excited to finally release it March 23rd. Here’s a little preview – more designs to come.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are built on the guidelines of addictive design (Yes, it is actually called just that!). That means that a model of algorithms controls a system of gratifications, similar to e.g. slot machines. (You can read more about that here). However, one thing I realized while talking to Rory was that while social media might be addictive, it lacks real entertainment value. Social media doesn’t give back in a way winning the lottery does. There’s nothing to gain from it. And no matter how great it feels to have posted a photo which grossed a lot of likes, it doesn’t make me happy. It doesn’t do anything for me. It only makes me obsessed of doing it again without the process being fun or cool or entertaining or joyful. It’s actually just a waste of time.
Now, I know this post sounds like me having found a new cult that I want you all to join. But no, that’s not what I am saying. I won’t go completely offline either. I just wanna be careful with my usage and log off any apps when I don’t use them. I will also turn off any and all push notifications because I see now how much they annoy me. I will also keep my phone in airplane mode at night. I wanna focus on what I feel is important and use social media as an enhancement, to stay up to date and to find interesting events. I don’t believe that social media will kill our society but yes, I do think that it will harm us. If you wanna find out for yourself what a social media detox does to you, go ahead and don’t forget to tag me in any related posts/content! I’m looking forward to hearing from many of you! Until then…