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MY SOCIAL MEDIA CLEANSE
Hey guys! Sorry for not posting in a while, I was moving into my new apartment but I am finally back.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was starting a social media cleanse and I recently finished it! This break included Instagram, Facebook and Facebook Messenger and it lasted for one month. The reasons as to why I did it varied but it was mostly an experiment so I could see if and how it would affect my mental health. Below are the main takeaways and personal experience with this cleanse:
1. I learned how to embrace "boredom," and be ok with it: In life, we all go through small moments of boredom (whether you are waiting for a doctor's appointment or simply are in an uber waiting to arrive to your destination). During these small fragments of my life, I would instantly go on my phone and mindlessly check Instagram for no reason. However, while I was doing the cleanse, I learned to embrace these periods of time by simply taking life in, or having a real connection and conversation with someone. These may seem like brief moments in life but they actually add up and we don't ever realize how much time of the day we simply scroll endlessly while life passes by in front of us.
2. I stopped comparing myself to others: One of the biggest mental health impacts that Instagram (specifically) had on me was the tendency to compare myself to other people. As a musician myself, it is incredibly difficult not to be aware of some one else's "wins" and successes and negating your own. However, this period taught me that we all have a different path and that while someone else may be thriving it doesn't mean that you aren't either.
3. I revisited fun (and productive) activities: I cannot tell you how long it had been since I grabbed a book, made some tea, sat on the couch, and read for a whole afternoon. This month I managed to read 2 different books for my very own pleasure on my own agenda! I also took up painting again since my mom is an artist and she had the materials for me to do so. I took French lessons twice a week and I learned new recipes and spent quality time with my family while we cooked together. I also created the habits of completing the New York Times Daily Crossword every morning with my mom. There are so many things I wasn't doing anymore because of the time that these social media platforms took up.
4. I realized how much social media other people use: Have you ever been the only sober person in a party who gets to see how everyone else acts around you? Well, being social media sober for one month wasn't all that different from that scenario! It is crazy the amount of time I saw friends and family glued to their phones scrolling or texting. Since I used to do the same before the cleanse, I never really noticed it as much. At times it was a little bit frustrating especially when you were talking to someone and they were simply not present. However, I managed to understand and also tell them that it was something that bothered me.
5. I got used to not using social media as much as I did before: Before I started this experiment of not using IG and FB I thought it was going to be IMPOSSIBLE (with all caps)! I was terrified and thought that I was going to be missing out on so much. However, after the first few days, I realized it was not bad at all. All the friends and family that I needed to communicate with would text me directly so I knew I wasn't really missing out on the people that I love. Now that I am back on all socials, I realized that I am actually not using it as much as I did before. I learned to control it rather than have them control me.
I know this cleanse sounds crazy especially in this day and age but I really recommend it. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or simply feel that you need a mental break health, this will seriously help you out!
Let me know if you ever try it and how your experience goes.
Till next time!
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