By Casha Doemland
September 21, 2018
When I pitched the idea to go social media free, I didn’t do it for the article, I did it for myself because as humans, I think it’s easy to get caught up in a world that isn’t necessarily real. So this article (more or less) acted as the accountability partner I thought I needed to complete this assignment.
On Sunday, before midnight, I dragged all of my apps (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube & Facebook) into a folder titled “DO NOT TOUCH” for extra reinforcement. I let my friends, family and strangers that follow me know I would be completing a seven day cleanse. If they needed anything, I advised them to contact me by texting, calling, or emailing me. The following reflection is a reflection of my struggles, if any, with each platform:
Instagram proved to be the greatest challenge, as I spend a fair amount of time on the app leisurely scrolling when I'm not working on posting for my passion project We Are Phenomenal.
I also have this awful habit of scrolling first thing in the morning, which is a habit I’ve desperately been trying to break and think I now have.
The first few mornings were difficult, but when I threw myself into my morning meditation or work out, the urge subsided. I also found myself unlocking my phone at random points throughout the first day or two, only to realize I had no business picking it up.
All in all, the break from Instagram was the one I needed. When I return to social media, I vow to spend less time mindlessly scrolling through the app because I realized how addicted I’d become to it.
My next most used platform I use is YouTube because I use it for its endless amounts of Yoga and guided meditation videos.
I did, however, cut back on my yoga and download a few apps to get me through the week.
I am very much looking forward to returning to my YouTube Yoga!
I'm not known for tweeting. If anything, I use Twitter to keep up on pop culture and news related articles when I don't have the time to look at my newsletters or scroll through the New York Times. So Twitter, you were not missed.
I use Facebook for the groups, whether it's to connect with fellow creatives, learn about events or seek advice. Occasionally, my dad will tag me in a video, but overall, my time on Facebook is limited. As a result, the cleanse was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
When I take the time to reflect on each day and re-read my journal mentioning the moments I struggled, I realized most of those moments occurred within the first 24 hours. After that, my mind adjusted to life without it. I know that may sound crazy, but you'd be surprised at what your body does based on muscle memory – the number of times I unlocked my phone the first day to check Instagram was astounding.
As the days went on, life without these platforms became easier. It's not to say that I did not miss the value of each platform for its ability to allow me to see what my friends and family around the world are up to or promote a passion project of my own. It was nice to not have to think about what to post, how to caption it, or if it fits an aesthetic.
Additionally, when I wasn't writing for work, I swapped binge watching for a book and managed to read 1.5 in the past seven days (I don't sleep a lot). I returned to my journal and penned some free writing, which is something I've missed and have been too lazy to commit to when using apps in excess. I enjoyed hikes and an afternoon at the beach. I climbed with the person I loved and puzzled to my heart’s content.
I gave my body the reset it needed to combat months of stress and I'm grateful for this experience; I'm grateful for the opportunity to unplug and give my mind and body the self-love it deserves.