Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive a small compensation to help support my blog if you decide to make a purchase through my links at no cost to you.
My second weekend after going back to school, I was left wondering on Sunday night where all of my time had gone that weekend. The answer? Scrolling through social media on my phone.
So I took the next week off from social media, and here is what I learned:
It was almost embarrassing how much I continued to pick up my phone and mindlessly check email and flip through various screens of apps.
My goal for taking a break was to not only see if my nights and weekends felt longer but to also see if I would read more.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how the week went.
I actually found the first day to be the easiest. It was a bit of a relief to unplug and not constantly check my socials for comments and messages.
I was more focused on my workout after school because I wasn’t doing three sets of ten scrolls between exercises. I even came home and cleaned for close to an hour instead of plopping on the couch to scroll mindlessly. I watched TV with my husband that night and felt completely engaged and present in the evening.
This was when I realized how much of my idle time is spent picking up my phone to check social media.
I’ll admit I broke that night and opened Facebook and Instagram on my iPad a few times to check notifications. However, I didn’t do any scrolling and I didn’t respond to anything.
My anxiety over needing something to do on my phone was out of control this day. I think I spent a good three minutes that morning just switching between email accounts so I had something to do on my phone. Not good.
I checked notifications a couple of times on my iPad again and responded to one TikTok comment because it was related to an Etsy product. I did start a new book that night and read almost 100 pages of it.
I think by this point in the week I was so tired I didn’t even care that I wasn’t on social media. I could have used the distraction but I reached for my book instead.
We went on a small date night and normally I would be on my phone in the car the entire time. I did pick up my phone a lot during the drive and mindlessly check email and get on Pinterest, but eventually I put it down and was just in the moment.
We went to the book store and I just browsed instead of thinking about content. No phone at dinner either which was nice.
When we got home I crashed on the couch, so I can’t say my night felt any longer than usual, but I needed the rest because I couldn’t sleep three nights this week.
I definitely got my day started sooner without social media. Normally I sit on the couch with my coffee for at least two (sometimes three) hours and constantly check socials. I did a few chores and took a shower before 11 so I felt like my Saturday morning was longer.
I checked Facebook a little too much due to an incident in our area. But I managed to not do any significant scrolling and just open the app to search for updates a few times.
I once again opened Facebook several times for updates related to the previously mentioned incident. The top post on my feed that morning included an argument between my sister in law and brother in law in the comments. And I realized how nice it was to not get caught up in reading comments like this all week.
What I noticed about my habits over the week was I never felt like I was missing out on anything-I’m just addicted to constantly having my phone in my hand. Social media has completely taken over my life.
I did feel happier and less irritable throughout the week. Considering I was on my period, I have to assume this was because of the social media break. I have noticed I will actually become fidgety and angry when I have to do something on the weekend that requires me to not use my phone for a period of time.
I wish I could say I read more during the week, but I don’t feel like my reading habits were any different. I did watch more TV, but I didn’t mind because it was nice to spend time with husband and not just sit on the couch next to each other while we scrolled.
It was a relief to not feel the need to constantly engage or create content. I think the part of the digital detox I enjoyed the most was unplugging from socializing. Kind of ironic if you think about it.
I also didn’t feel as angry or anxious about work. My TikTok algorithm has turned into teacherquittok again, and it’s probably not good for me to constantly see teachers leaving the profession because they point out all the things that are wrong with education.
It was also good for me to not constantly see TikToks about people claiming they left their full time jobs to work remotely or make six figures from their online businesses. Those things may be true for some people, but for the most part it’s probably a lie and only makes me feel bad about myself and have negative feelings about my own life.
This week definitely encouraged me to reevaluate my phone habits. I sometimes feel as a content creator and business owner that I have to constantly be plugged in and researching trends in social media. So I enjoyed having a week as just a normal wife and teacher who didn’t have any side gigs going on.
I am not sure where I will go from here because I can’t just delete my social altogether, but I do like the idea of maybe only checking them on my iPad since I don’t always have that with me. My overall mood was better this week without social media, so I know I need to change my habits. I would like to get to a place where I can stick to a time limit each day and only open the apps to check notifications and move on without scrolling for an hour.