The week before week I turned off my social media accounts, just for the week… no posting and no scrolling just for 7 days… and to be honest when I popped it on the list at no.55, I thought it would be a breeze…. And then when I made the decision that now was the time, it suddenly felt much more challenging, but I was not expecting it to be as challenging as it has been. So to pass the time and to put some words to my feelings I decided to start writing this blog on day two… and because I love any excuse to do them, I thought I could format it as a captains log to help me through… all because day one was much harder than I expected.
Captains Log – Day 1
Date: Sunday 20.10.19
Today’s forecast: Partly cloudy. Maximum of 16
Sunrise: 6:29am Sunset: 7:42pm
Fun fact about my life that I have never noticed… checking social media is one of the first things I do in the morning… before I get out of bed, before I have breakfast… before I do anything else… but not this morning… I did check my TimeHop because even though that’s linked to my social media platforms it’s just my life… so I don’t think it counts… Not checking it actually threw my morning off… and I very quickly started to realise how much I pick up my phone and habitually check my social media accounts… it’s a lot! In fact thanks to my screen time app I can tell you I picked up my phone 157 times… and while I didn’t open my social media (because I had deleted the apps) I can assure that I went to… maybe 100 of those times. I am not sure why the need to check it is so strong… I don’t post that much, but I do love to scroll… even as I went to bed tonight I felt the need to almost check 1 more time… let’s hope it’s just withdrawal and that it will get easier.
Captains Log – Day 2
Date: Monday 21.10.19
Today’s forecast: Warmer with decreasing clouds. Maximum of 22
Sunrise: 6:28am Sunset: 7:43pm
I am 100% sure that no one has even noticed my absence on Social media… because that’s they way it works right… you get so consumed by what is there, you rarely notice what is missing… and I know that in reality I am probably missing nothing, other than getting jealous of the highlight reels of everyone else’s lives… but I just want to know… I really really want to know… but I have stayed strong… I have not checked… I can get through this… I can break this habit… I can be in control
Captains Log – Day 3
Date: Tuesday 22.10.19
Today’s forecast: Increasing sunshine. Maximum of 20
Sunrise: 6:26am Sunset: 7:44pm
Good news, this morning I thought about social media, but didn’t try to open it before I remembered, this is what they call progress… in fact I got through most of the day without too much hassle… I was reminded that I missed some things when I got to school and someone told me about something they had posted and then again at lunch when I was told I had been invited to an event… but I wasn’t super phased by it, in fact it wasn’t until I got home that I started to miss it again… I took some photos that I probably would have posted, some new material for my highlight reel:
- I hit a new mum milestone, I carried Isaac’s trike down to child care so he could ride it home… it was a LONG walk home, but it was a fun milestone moment that I usually would have posted.
- We used our new oven for the first time and cooked and epic roast dinner… definitely post worthy and the one that made me think the most…
- I finished writing a blog and it was ready to post… but I didn’t want to post it and not see what happened…
I realised that for a lot of this the validation that I get from comments and likes probably means more to me than I realised. Before this week, I think I had considered myself immune to this for some reason… I just thought I was that in to it… I mean I have no current plans of social media domination, but… it turns out I am just as vulnerable to needing to be liked online as the next person… I think this is going to be good for me… even if it just makes me more aware.
I also can’t decided if strava counts as social media… I have still been using it because it isn’t something that pops into my mind when I think about social media… but it is social and you do get ‘kudos’ for exercising from those who follow you… it’s not quite the same, but it’s probably not far off… but I am not ready to forego my exercise stats.
Captains Log – Day 4
Date: Wednesday 23.10.19
Today’s forecast: Sunny. Maximum of 27
Sunrise: 6:25am Sunset: 7:45pm
Ok… just as a side note… you may already know this, but I have learnt that each day the sunrise just gets earlier by a minute… and two at maximum and the sunset gets later by the same… I mean it makes sense… but I had just never noticed it before…
Captains Log – Day 5
Date: Thursday 24.10.19
Today’s forecast: Sunny. Maximum of 34
Sunrise: 6:24am Sunset: 7:46pm
There are photos of Isaac and I on Facebook… we went to a party… I know they are there but I can’t see them… I have to wait… I can wait… but I know they are there.
Captains Log – Day 7
Date: Saturday 26.10.19
Today’s forecast: Windy with showers. Maximum of 16
Sunrise: 6:21am Sunset: 7:48pm
Good news, I’ve almost made it, the end of my 7 days is in sight… and the even better news is that the last few days have come and gone without too much longing… so much so that I didn’t even bother to write a log to distract myself.
To be honest though I am not sure if it got easier because I was learning to live without it or because I had made it half way so I knew I wouldn’t have to wait much longer.
Doing this just for my list has been good for me. I’ve always envied those who live social media free, I think in many ways it’s quite liberating. I have started to pick my phone up less… but only a little… and I would like to think I have been a bit more present in my own life… I have however missed a few things, nothing life and death, but there have been events and messages that I have missed… I have also felt less connected… I think being able to see people’s lives in little snapshots gives you a false sense of community and insight. You feel like you know how someone is going and what is happening in their lives without having to actually communicate with them… which is wonderful for lazy friendships, but not so great if that’s what you’ve been relying on… it’s made me realise that I need to reach out and not just like things on Facebook… and that while, if I’m really honest, my bad social habits will probably return as soon I a re-download the apps… I am hoping that I might be a little bit more aware of what I am actually using it for… and if my connections are more than just 0’s and 1s.
This has been a much greater challenge than I anticipated, but I am glad I have done it… now I just have to work out what to do with my new insight so that it’s helpful and not a waste.