Sometimes you just need to take a break.
Ask any of my friends from growing up: I’ve never been someone to follow social media trends closely (at least what most people my age were looking at).
Last Friday night, my friend Ben was absolutely SHOCKED when I didn’t know about Charlie D’amelio. Apprently, everyone knows about her. Well, as I learned, she’s a Tik Tok dancing star with almost 100 million followers and her family are thought to be the next Kardashians. Oops.
This isn’t a new thing for me. Back in 9th grade, I used to get a ton of crap from my friends for not learning about the Mannequin Challenge until 6 months after it originally became a huge thing. In fact, I still get crap for it from friends like Ryan, Jacob, and Daniel Saharovich.
It’s definitely a struggle for me. As someone who is now a marketer for a crypto startup, I feel like I’m supposed to be learning from the various social media sites all of the time (and I am to an extent). I actually enjoy learning how businesses and thought leaders use social media to grow their company or personal brands. But it just doesn’t interest me to keep up with the latest Tik Tok stars or social media fads.
Intermittent Social Media Fasting
Once I find myself spending too much time on social media, I know it’s time for a break.
I’ll delete an app if I think it’s taking up too much of my time and not giving me any value in return. Sometimes, I will add the app back on my phone within a few days or a couple weeks. Or I might even delete an app during the day so it doesn’t distract me and then add it back that night.
This is why I like to call it intermittent social media fasting, because it’s very random and not an exact science. But in my opinion, it’s better than nothing.
Along with intermittent fasts throughout the year, I will delete all of my social media once a year around the holiday season (late November or December) and add it back after the new year. I’ve been doing this since sophomore year of college when I knew I needed to take some time away from my screen, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.
It’s seriously one of the best rituals I do every year. It gives me a chance to reset and regroup for the next year. And it also allows me to be more present with my family and friends during the holidays.
I’m far from perfect with these strategies. While I definitely have a lot of issues with social media, I also think it has immense benefits such as learning, networking, fitness, or just keeping in touch with friends. That’s why I’ll cheat sometimes and go to social media app on my computer or Safari app on my phone during the fasts.
However, after seeing The Social Dilemna on Netflix a couple of months ago, I’ve thought a lot more about how social media has way too big of a negative impact on my life and the people closest to me. These social media companies are pulling the strings, through an algorithm, on what will grab our attention the best and what will grab our attention the best is usually the conspiracies . They are designed to send you to crazy town.
We truly all live in our little echo chambers of the internet. It’s why I might never hear of someone like Charlie D’amelio, but Ben might have never heard of someone like James Clear (who wrote the book Atomic Habits) or David Perrell (who teaches a writing course called Write of Passage). It’s not his fault or my fault; we are simply in different digital universes.
This is why it feels so good and liberating to take a break. Whether it’s just for a day at a time or for an entire month, you can get away from the constant following of social media. You can reset and recharge and not let the algorithms take over so much of your time and attention.
This year, I want to be more intentional with my long social media fast (especially with a year like 2020 has been).
I’m still brainstorming exactly what it’s going to look like: whether it will be 2 weeks or 1 month, whether I’ll find someone else to hold me accountable (perhaps, changing each other’s passwords for the other person), and exactly what apps I will be deleting. I’ll keep you posted through this blog on how I decide to do it.
LASTLY, before you go, I wanted to let you know that tomorrow is DAY 30 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!
It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month, and I’ve learned so much during these past 29 posts. I’ll be writing a 30 Day Review tomorrow to assess what I’ve learned against what I originally set my intentions to be and about my future plans with it. So stay tuned for the Day 30 post tomorrow!
Cheers to living your life and not the algorithm’s life,