Today marks the day of the end of my challenge. This challenge was to go one month without social media, meaning: no Snapchat, no Instagram, no Facebook, no Twitter, and even no Pinterest. Some of you may be wondering why Pinterest or what’s so wrong with Pinterest? Well, I wanted to challenge myself to deleting all of the ‘time consuming’ apps from my smart- phone. I wanted to test out all of the negative rumors that follow social media. Most likely, many of you have heard the complaints on how social media negatively affects our relationships or how it is time consuming and even the talk of how it is so called addicting. So I put it to the test.
The first day was easy. It was the start of the challenge, so this called for deleting the apps and setting an alarm on the calendar for one month from that day. Luckily, a good friend joined in too. This helped immensely because we often talked about what we did with our time or how our bodies were reacting to it. We even came up with a ‘consequence’ if we gave in before our challenge was up and a reward at the end of the challenge. This made it fun be- cause neither of us wanted to be ‘losers.’
As few days passed and the realization of how social media affected me started to occur. Every time I sat down whether it be at my work desk, couch, dinner table, bed, nearly every ‘relaxing’ moment, my hand reached for the phone automatically and my mind subconsciously went straight to a social media app out of habit. However, because they were no longer on my phone, it hit me how often I ‘automatically’ relied on social media to occupy my time. This was a little alarming especially because after that moment this thought crossed my mind, “Oh, well what shall I do now?”
That’s when ‘plan b’ came into play. When this happened, I need something to do to occupy my time. This came pretty easy given that I am in school full-time and have children, so I have a truckload of things to do. When the to-do list was caught up, all of a sudden there was all this free time whereas before my “no social media” challenge, there was no such things as ‘free-time.’ This is when the hunt for hobbies came next. So I downloaded ‘audible’ and started listening to books and found a some new favorites. Then every other day an hour was spent at the gym. Next, my spiritual life; praying, reading, going to church grew stronger and family activities were happening more often than they used to.
Last but not least, my most favorite part about this challenge is the reward at the end of it. This realization didn’t happen till the very end; every single day for a month, my self-esteem went from being at its lowest point to head- ing in the right direction of being comfortable with myself. There was no more scrolling through watching idols or acquaintances live an exotic life anymore and no more comparing my life to theirs. Since I wasn’t doing that anymore, I was living my own life and enjoying it more. There was no focus on what I don’t have and if I had that I would be happier.
Social media isn’t a terrible thing if you are able to find a fine and healthy balance with it, but if you do this challenge and you realize that you had some problems with it, that’s when it’s a problem. Today, I challenge you to go one month without it and see what you learn about yourself.