Without consistently poisoning my mind with content to compare my life to others, I discovered peace in pockets of the day I forgot existed. Our social media fast is coming to a close this Sunday and I have found a deep passion for the process of detoxifying.
Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm. Removing a customary piece of your daily life comes with side effects, much like recovering from an addiction. Here are a few I experienced when removing social media:
Feeling Naked: It genuinely felt as though I was missing a piece of clothing without indulging in my mindless tendency of scrolling. Laying down at night left me with the unease that I had forgotten to accomplish an important “to-do” that day.
Clothing On: I had forgotten nothing. In fact, I had accomplished more during the day than I was used to. Without the release of Oxytocin into my system – the same hormone released from falling in love – it felt similar to going through a breakup, leaving me with the notion I had skipped an important portion of my set routine.
FOMO: I was concerned that I was going to miss out on important news from people I hadn’t had an intentional conversation with in months.
Nothing To Miss: Without social media tricking my brain into thinking I was having a meaningful interaction by commenting on someone’s photo, I was able to reframe what it means to be intentional. I didn’t miss out on anything – I talked to the people who matter to me and who I have chosen to invest in.
Muscle Memory: I found myself flipping my phone over and moving the screen to where my social apps are kept, only stopping once I realized they were no longer there. The number of times I caught myself after I had already started trying to scroll was scary.
Breaking The Habit: You don’t realize how bad a habit has gotten till you break the cycle. Social media has been part of my life for about 10 years and I still haven’t broken my mind’s addiction to it after 40 days and 40 nights. I cannot imagine the discomfort it would cause for children who have interacted with social media from day one.
A crash diet is named that for a purpose – it will crash and fail. We want immediate results and that is our biggest downfall. Altering pieces of our lifestyle will not happen overnight. It takes focus, diligence, patience and humility just to make it from one day to the next. This process revealed to me how impatient I am – it encouraged me to delight in the small victories and not to give up even when the world around me was changing.
We made it through a pandemic without scrolling, creeping, or posting, and have set regulations on our use of social media moving forward. Detoxifying social media from our lifestyle focused our attention on the most important conversations we have had to date.
God has a hard time delivering clear messages to zombies. Keep your eyes up and your mind open – nothing on that screen will ever compare to what is presently surrounding you.