I Highly Suggest A Break From Social. Here's Why:

Alli Kelly

From January 1st to January 31st, I decided to take a break from social media. That means deleting Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok off my phone for the entire month. Why? 

  1. I wanted to reconnect with myself.
  2. I needed a break from comparing myself to others.

The biggest surprise to me is that I didn’t miss it. I never once had a moment of longing to know what someone had done over the weekend or anything of the sort. Honestly, I rarely gave thought to the fact that I was even on a break. It only came up when friends would say, “Hey, I’ve sent you six DM’s on Instagram today,” and I’d have to explain myself to them. 

The results of my personal experiment were positive, and because of this great experience, I suggest you try it as well. Here’s why: 

The Art of Comparison

As you know, comparing myself was a big reason I chose to take a break in the first place. I realized that comparison is fundamental to the human experience and that I wasn’t going to get away from it. I didn’t need to stop comparing myself to others completely. I needed to change my relationship with the act of comparing and the results that came from it. I wanted to remember who I am and the society I live in, not take everything so personally.

Read more: Stop Scrolling - It's Time To Talk About Your Wellbeing!

No Pics, But it Did Happen…

Instead of “doing it for the gram,” I’m doing it for me. During my break, I went on multiple beautiful walks with my husband and dog by the lakefront, spent time with friends at a few events, and even got a tattoo, all while being present and never posting a single picture.

I was able to participate in activities that brought me joy without feeling the need to tell someone about it. This was incredibly freeing. I legitimately only told my husband I was getting a tattoo and that’s mainly because we live together (insert shoulder shrug emoji). 

News Consumption

Although Instagram was my main source of news prior to my cleanse, it became clear to me early on that I was not uninformed without it. I have a desk job and therefore get updates from existing on a computer most of my day. I also received texts from friends about Betty White’s passing, new strains of COVID-19, and the like. I also spent time reading online publications that spoke to me (much like this one!) and took care in seeking out information rather than having it pushed in my face.

Refocussing my Intentions

Without being glued to my phone in the way I was before, I was able to go back to the start: Why do I want to be on Instagram or TikTok? It came down to three things: connection, inspiration, entertainment. Going forward in my social media endeavors, if an account or person isn’t serving any of my three intentions, they go. I also plan to seek inspiration within, rather than relying on external sources as my first step in any creative process.

My 30 days are over, and I find myself unconsciously continuing the “cleanse.” I’ve extended it into February and don’t have a desire to go back to it. I’m enjoying the experience of connecting with myself and my present moment, something I didn’t know I needed as badly as I did. If you find yourself reading this article and craving some of the freedom I’ve experienced, I highly suggest a break from social media. It was the detox I didn’t know I needed.

Alli Kelly

"Feminism is for everyone. We all need to take an active part in deconstructing the way the patriarchy has shaped us as women. Get educated, get out there, and make a difference for yourself and your sisters."
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