I Know What You're Thinking - No, It is Not As Hard As You Think.
Tuesday, August 7: Day 2
Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling rattled. After my first week back at university, it seemed like everything was all go go go. I decided to go out on Saturday night, which was fun, I'll admit, but it was one of those "once a year" nights where you just go super hard, stay up till 5am and then wake up with only two hours of sleep under your belt, confused, and still a little drunk. And let me tell you, a full day of work after a night like that is NOT ideal. Yes, the night was fun, but I never feel great after a night like that. I just never quite feel like the hangover, the money spent, the lack of sleep, and the drama is worth it. Call me a Nanna, but my ideal night is spent with a cup of tea and some Lindt Mint Intense Dark Chocolate by my side, snuggled up in bed watching a funny movie, and I will without a doubt, fall asleep half way through.
So yesterday morning, still in recovery mode on a Monday from a Saturday night out, and after a big week of decisions, I sat in my bed, and re-evaluated the last week or so. What were the best moments? The moments where I felt the most calm, the furthest from drama, and the most happy? What influenced those moments? What was I doing?
And I realised that it was the moments where I was either a) by myself, or b) spending time with people who genuinely just made me happy. It wasn't those moments spent scrolling through Instagram, looking at memes, or texting four different group chats at a time. In fact, it was all of those moments where I forgot to check my phone. So, after a friend told me about going social media free, I decided that I would take the plunge, and give it a go myself.
I'm starting this little "Digital Detox Diary" on day two because I wanted to see if I could actually last the first day before starting it. Now, I'll admit, I haven't gone full cold-turkey. All I did was delete my social media apps from my phone, the one thing that I seem to always have by my side. So Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have all been deleted. I haven't deleted my accounts, just the apps. In all honesty, I could never truly 'delete' everything, because in this day and age, we do rely on Facebook for event invites, and Instagram is a part of my blog. But by simply deleting the apps on my phone, I don't get any of the notifications, and I can't waste hours scrolling through my feeds aimlessly. Now, I've told myself to just check Facebook once or twice a day on my laptop, to keep in the loop for events and my work group chat. It's all about exercising self control, and teaching yourself that it is not necessary to check your Instagram feed every 10 minutes.
In 2017, according to statistics, the average person wasted 135 minutes per day on social media, with that number increasing every day. 135 minutes, that is over two hours of our average 16 'awake hours' per day, amounting to 12.5% of our day, on average. According to my mathematical calculations, that means that we are spending 30 full days, yes 30, 24 hour days, scrolling on social media every year. Sorry, but I am utterly shocked, and I hope you are too. That is one entire month of our year wasted, scrolling on feeds, looking at memes, and engaging in clickbait.
So, with this revelation, I am experimenting in the social media free life for a week. And so far, so good. I haven't missed the notifications, the scrolling, the constant buzz that feeds my need for attention, for talking and conversing. I am doing this to simply take a break, to teach myself that I don't need to be constantly 'in the loop' or discussing something with someone. To take a step back from all of the drama, and to attempt to detangle myself, even a little bit, from the lives of everyone around me. Because at the end of the day, there are only a few select people who truly care about you, what you are doing, and how you are feeling. Shock horror, but your 900 Facebook friends and Instagram followers really don't care.
I know that I am not technically doing a full digital detox, and I haven't completely deleted social media and wiped all traces of myself from the internet. But I have to be realistic - I'm not going to fight the current times and the level of connectedness we are now experiencing, and I am not going to go off the grid to some far corner of the Australian outback for a week. I am simply diluting my influx of notifications, and decreasing my addiction to social media. So, for the next week, I am going to write a little 'Digital Detox Diary' on here, to hopefully inspire a few more of you to take the plunge. So far, so good, so stay tuned.