This past Easter weekend I, along with the rest of my social media class, took a 24 hour cleanse from all social media platforms. To be completely honest, I was not too concerned about disconnecting from the internet. In the past, I have done my own social media cleanses; when I’m on vacation, visiting my family, or I have a lot of exams and projects to focus on. I have deactivated my accounts and deleted all my social media apps on my iPhone multiple times. I genuinely loved disconnecting, so I knew this would be easy for me.
Who? What? Where? When?
I started my cleanse Saturday evening and it ended the following Sunday evening. I was back home in Massachusetts visiting my family for Easter, so my FOMO preferred not to see what everyone back at school was doing. I deleted my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat apps on my iPhone. I considered deactivating my Facebook, but I knew I have good will power to not use it on my laptop, so I kept it up. The only form of communication I kept was texting, because I needed to be able to keep in contact with my family to coordinate our plans for the day and to contact my friends from home that were also visiting our hometown for Easter weekend.
How I Spent My Time
Mostly with my family. I didn’t find myself struggling in anyway without social media. I thought being disconnected gave me more bonding time with my family. Outside of this cleanse, I’m someone who likes to be disconnected regularly. I get a lot of complaints from my friends for being a horrible texter or ignoring the funny content they share with me online, because I love living in the moment. I try to keep my phone on silent or not with me at all times. This cleanse was not too different then my regular day-to-day life. I actually planned to do a social media cleanse that weekend I was home, and then I remembered it was homework anyway, bonus!
I was able to be more productive and get things done:
- One of the main things I needed to do coming home was to swap my winter and summer clothes. I spent a lot of time cleaning up my room and organizing my winter clothes that I brought home into my closet, and picked out the summer clothes I wanted to bring back to school.
- I caught up on a couple of my annual appointments by going to the dentist and getting a haircut.
- I went to the movies with my sister, saw Beauty and the Beast, and paid better attention because I was distracted by my phone.
- I worked on my homework, listened to my sister practice her thesis defense (she passed and is graduating grad school this year!) and gave her feedback
- I spent time putting a puzzle together for the first time in months. Who even does puzzles anymore? I do! They’re actually so fun and therapeutic.
- And I got to play around with my dog and sister, a nice game of doggy in the middle.
I will admit, Snapchat was the hardest platform to refrain from. Not because I’m someone who needs to maintain snap streaks (because I suck as responding to Snapchat too), but because I wanted to show all my friends in DC the funny shenanigans going on at home. I ended up texting them a bunch of pictures instead.
Beyond Snapchat, I did not miss any other social media platform. I was actually pleased this assignment gave me an excuse to go on a cleanse, otherwise people think I’m really weird because I love being without social media. I hate constantly being plugged in, it makes me anxious. I’m not someone who obsesses about what they’re going to post that day, coming up with captions and things to post actually induces my anxiety. I hate wasting time staring at my iPhone or laptop screen when I could be doing productive things with my life.
Call me weird, but I thoroughly enjoyed cleansing myself from social media and will continue to periodically do so going forward.
I Don’t Commercialize Myself Often
I don’t believe I am my own social media company – I’m a very social media limited person. Nothing I post is about depends on my commercial purchase or consumption choice. My parents always taught me to be careful what I post or what location I check into because it’s not good to flaunt or brag about the material things I buy or overshare information about where I am at that second. I think it’s played a large role in why I’m social media cautious and why I don’t post too much content.
The only commercial undertone I have posted is when I went to brunch, visited a cool landmark, or when I was a Sales Associate at Kate Spade. Beyond that, my content is just random events of my life that I choose to share. I determine what to post based on if I look happy or it’s a flattering picture. Without social media usage last weekend, I did not feel like I lost an outlet or way to express myself. Even if I had been on social media, I doubt I would have ended up posting anything. The only platforms I post on is Instagram and Twitter for this class. I don’t think either of my audiences missed my once-in-a-blue-mood posts.
Overall, the cleanse went well and I will continue to cleanse myself from social media at certain times going forward. If you’ve never done a social media cleanse, I high recommend doing so! It might sound scary or unheard of, but sometimes its nice to disconnect and focus on the people and moments happening right in front of your eyes. Not getting distracted from social media on my phone last weekend allowed me to share more jokes and laughs with my family.
“No longer do I want to spoil a precious moment by recording it with a phone, I’m just going to keep them. I don’t want to take a picture of all my muse anymore, I’m just going to eat them.” – Prince Ea