When Apple introduced Screen Time, the feature that shows you how long you spend on your phone everyday, my mind was blown. Ya’ll, do you KNOW how much time we use our phones E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y?!?! It’s crazy. After I realized that I was spending upwards of 6 hours on my phone daily, I decided to make changes. I deleted Instagram and Facebook off my phone, and my usage went significantly down. On average, I use my phone about 2 hours a day now, and a lot of that is spent on Google Maps, so it doesn’t REALLY count, ya know? I learned more than just how to cut down on screen time though. Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned since eliminating social media from my phone.
#1. Be present
My husband often would complain that I wasn’t present because of how much time I was spending swiping through my phone, or trying to get the perfect Instagram story of our meals. When I stopped using my phone so much, I realized I was more present. I heard what people were saying, and interacted with humans more. I laughed more, and learned more. My time with my loved ones became more meaningful because the whole time was spent conversing with each other, and enjoying each other’s company.
#2. Stop comparing yourself to others – compare who you are today to who you were yesterday
I would often scroll through Instagram, oohing and aahing at the lives of others. Wow, that girl got FIT! Dang – look at how fun that vacation looks – I wish I was there. These were thoughts that often ran through my head. Since deleting these apps off my phone, I find myself reflecting more on myself, and my own growth. It’s fun to peer into the lives of others, but the only one you should give that much attention to is your own. Think about the time and energy you spend caring about how the lives of others are going. Imagine if you used those hours and energy into bettering yourself and reflecting on your own life. You would be so much more fulfilled!
#3. Everyone gets the same 24 hours – use them accordingly!
Prior to deleting these apps off my phone, I always felt like I didn’t have enough time in the day. My time after work would fly, because I killed so much of it scrolling. I didn’t do much of anything that was productive. Now my afternoons involve a nice walk with the husband, spending time present while I prepare and eat my dinner, some study time for my real estate license and reading time. I feel like my afternoon routine is SO much more productive. I feel like for the first time in my life, I have taken control of my own time and have used it in a way that makes me feel productive at the end of the day. It’s true that we don’t get to control how time goes, but we can control what we do with the time we are given.
#4. Use social media in a positive manner
I am by no means saying you should never use social media again. In fact, I continued to allow myself to use Facebook/Instagram on my phone but I made a few changes. I also limited my time on there, and was able to catch myself from mindlessly scrolling for hours. Facebook is a great resource for information. There are endless groups out there for all interests, and I have continued to utilize it to ask questions and get information I am looking for. For example, my community has a Facebook group where you can discover what is going on at the moment. This type of Facebook engagement keeps me up to date with happenings. On Instagram, I unfollowed a large amount of people who weren’t adding to my understanding of the world and added a bunch of accounts that would improve my life with information. I also continued to utilize social media as a way to communicate with my friends and family. I have learned to be intentional with how I use it all!
#5. Your highlight reel should be for you
Scroll through your Instagram feed. It’s photos of people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and promotions. Photos of people getting engaged and married. Sunny vacations on the beach and fancy dinners. INSTAGRAM IS A COLLECTION OF THE BEST MOMENTS. This goes back to lesson 2 – don’t believe that people have perfect lives. No one is going to photograph the fight they had with their best friend, or the parking ticket they got. People are posting the good. While it’s fun to see other’s highlight reels, it’s important that you remember that your highlight reel should be for you and your own memories. Take photos. Post. But don’t do it to get other’s jealous. Do it so you can reflect on your own time. Maybe even create a negative reel, so you can reflect and think about the lessons you learned over the years. Make it for you though, not for anyone else.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed my detox from social media. When winter break begins, I will probably re-download these apps, but will remember the lessons I’ve learned over the last few weeks. I think I have completely changed my mindset on how I can use my phone and social media to improve myself and my life, and that is a lesson I am so glad that I learned. Have you ever tried to “detox” from social media? What did you think?