Have you been feeling anxious or overwhelmed lately? Find out how a 10-day social media fast can help you hit the reset button and change everything.
A social media fast?
Why would anyone want to go off of social media for 10 days?
You may be here just out of plain curiosity. Or you maybe you’re wondering how a break from social media could help you too.
Well, believe me when I say that it can do incredible things.
WAIT, IS SOCIAL MEDIA BAD?
No! Not at all!
Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you that quitting social media is what you need. It’s a huge part of our lives, and that’s ok.
It’s how we connect with family and friends, get great ideas, learn, share parts of our lives, run businesses and so much more. But it can take over our lives if we don’t keep it in check.
Social media can have serious effects on us as women. It can affect our physical and mental wellbeing. And without realizing it, we can get caught in traps such as comparison, jealousy, anxiety, depression, judgment, and ingratitude.
But dismissing it completely doesn’t have to be the answer. Instead, try hitting the reset button with a social media fast.
Is it uncomfortable at first? Yes! But it’s easier than you might think and 100% worth it.
NO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR 10 DAYS??
Toward the end of 2018, Russel M. Nelson, the leader of my church, issued a challenge for all women, ages 8 and up, to participate in a 10-day social media fast. As I listened to him speak, I thought hard about what he was asking.
No social media for 10 days? Could I really do it?
I decided to go for it. After all, how hard could it be?
I’d never been one to be tethered to my phone. And I took pride in the fact that I wasn’t overly dependent on it.
And when it came to social media, I figured I had a pretty healthy relationship with it. I posted, but not excessively. And I tried to keep only friends and accounts I truly loved in my feed.
I’d be fine. Or so I thought…
Day 1 was a shocker for me! I realized that I was much more dependent on social media that I’d originally thought. I may not have been a big poster, but I learned I was a huge consumer.
By the end of the first day, I’d hit the Instagram icon on my phone so many times it was embarrassing! I never let it open completely. I caught myself each time. But here’s the sad thing: I was hitting it without even realizing it. It had become automatic.
Throughout the day I was constantly reaching for my phone and hitting a social media icon.
That’s when I decided to rearrange my apps. And that’s when I finally sat back and thought about how much time I’d been spending on social media. A little scrolling here. A little scrolling there. Scrolling while relaxing in the evening. Scrolling…scrolling…scrolling. It really adds up!
Turns out I needed a detox more than I realized.
By the end of the 10 days, I found myself feeling less anxious and more motivated. And when I started opening my social apps again, I tried to be more aware of how much time I spent on them.
If you need a little help with this and you’re an iPhone user, there’s an excellent feature you can use. It’s called “Screen Time” and it allows you to monitor your screen time usage and set limits. It’s in settings just under “Do Not Disturb”.
Since then, when I find myself on social media too much, I have to step back and ask myself: what’s missing? Usually, when I feel the need or urge to scroll, it’s because something is out of balance in my personal life. I discovered how true that was during my fast and it’s held true every time.
HOW TO GET STARTED ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FAST
Whether you’re hopelessly addicted to social media or just a casual user, going without social media for 10 days can be hard at first. So to help make things a little easier here are 4 tips to get you started:
1. Rearrange your apps
You’ve probably hit your favorite social media icons on your phone screen so many times you can do it with your eyes closed! So try moving them around!
You can simply rearrange your icons or put all of your social media apps into a folder to make it a little less convenient.
For iPhone users, hold an icon, then click “edit screen”. You can then drag one icon over another and it will automatically create a folder. Repeat the process for any other icons, this time dragging it into the newly created folder.
2. Come up with a plan
During your fast, every time you reach for social media, what will you do instead? For me, I chose to read. I put my reading app where my Instagram icon used to be. I definitely read a lot more during those 10 days!
You’ll eventually get better at being creative with your time. But come up with a simple substitute to start.
3. Let your family know
Let your family in on what you’re doing. They can be supportive or even join in. And saying it out loud makes it official. Now you’re committed!
Also, if there are people you constantly communicate with through social media, you might want to let them know too so you don’t leave them wondering.
All or nothing
Phasing slowly out of social media is not the way to go here. You have to go cold turkey or it will be much harder and less effective. It’s only for 10 days, you’ll be ok!
10 BENEFITS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA FAST
If you decide to give this a try, good luck! I know you can do it! And it will be so worth it. Here are 10 ways you’ll benefit –
- Become more creative with your time. Scrolling is easy. Can you find another way to decompress?
- Be more present with your family and friends. You’ll be able to stop multitasking when it comes to listening to those you love.
- Start to focus more on your own life and less on others’ lives. You just might find yourself with more motivation and drive.
- Live with less distraction. Less procrastination will help you get more done in less time.
- Have a clearer and calmer mind. You’ll be able to think and plan more effectively which will help you feel less anxious and stressed.
- Have less FOMO. Maybe not at first! But you’ll stop feeling left out, be able to let go of the fear of missing out and find joy in what you have around you.
- Be able to do a time audit. How much time were you spending on social media? How can you use that time better?
- Surprise yourself with what you can do. What can you accomplish with the extra time you’ve gained?
- Do things for YOU and your family, not for a post. You’ll find yourself feeling more fulfilled.
- Be happier! Enjoy a life with less comparison, ingratitude, judging, etc. It’ll improve your mood!
So far, I’ve only talked about how a social media fast will benefit you. But as an added bonus, this fast will benefit those around you too. For starters, it will help you to become more aware of those around you.
Why does that matter?
Women have a natural gift of compassion and empathy. We’re able to sense need and know how to fulfill it. And nothing can beat the influence of a mother.
But these gifts can only be cultivated if we’re present. If we’re looking upward and outward – and not down at our phones.
Your ability to brighten the lives of those around you will be a gift for them. But even here, you’ll still benefit. Did you know that one of the easiest and best ways to become happier is to serve others??
COULD YOU DO A SOCIAL MEDIA FAST?
So what do you think? Are you willing to give this a shot?
If you do decide to take a break from social media, make sure you also take some time to reflect. At the end of your fast, write down a few changes you notice in yourself and how you spent your time.
Good luck! And let me know in the comments how it goes!
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