In the weeks since a few members of our team conducted our social media experiment (aka deleted the Instagram off of our phones for 5 days), we’ve been thinking about the way it made us feel to be disconnected from the lifeblood of internet scrolling.
We all mentioned that we never felt like we were missing out on what was going on in Instagram world. There wasn’t a sense of FOMO about what news we were missing, because whether it was celebrity gossip, world news, or a friend’s engagement announcement, we knew we would hear about it from other sources.
What we did feel, at times, was pathetic. From Kate: “When I deleted Instagram from my phone, the app that moved over to fill its space on my screen was my solitaire app. And I can’t even begin to count the number of times my fingers mindlessly went to and opened solitaire because it lived where Instagram used to be. It made clear to me that so often I was mindlessly—literally without realizing—opening Instagram to scroll.”
But we also felt empowered, focused, and much more productive.
From Sam: “I felt—so much better. And now I think I’m in there less, too? I think a goal of a monthly detox of a few days to a week would feel really good. I felt like my time was being spent on the things I actually wanted to be doing—granted, I was driving for a few of those days, but outside of that I was reading and writing a ton and calling friends to catch up.”
From Aubrey: “I was way more productive instead of going down weird black holes. And now that I’m back on, I’ve become obsessed with Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s engagement. Y THO.”
Which brings up another point: taking the detox, and seeing its benefits firsthand, doesn’t mean we’re ready to quit Instagram. A couple of us are deeply back in it. But, nonetheless, our mental health and time management benefited from the detox—and we’ll be doing it again.
Have you ever tried a social media detox? What worked, what didn’t?
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