After watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma, I decided to delete my Instagram and Facebook. The movie does a great job at showing how algorithms are controlling our lives and making us addicted to scrolling. It explains how we go down rabbit holes of information or dog videos because our phones constantly show us more and more likeable content. Although I don’t spend loads of time on social media (my average was between 2-3 hours a day), when I did go on it, it was definitely distracting. With that in mind, I decided to do a fast for 30 days (the whole month of November) and see if it helped my focus better.
The first couple of days to a week were a bit hard. As someone who is very vocal about sharing my personal life online, I found myself wanting to click the app often to update people on what I was doing. When I was on a hike, I wanted to show my social media following my view. When I was eating outdoors, I wanted to show my noodle soup bowl or when I was at an outdoor drive-in, I wanted to boast about watching a movie under the stars.
If I didn’t go on a cleanse, I never would have noticed how addicted I was to sharing every aspect of my day-to-day. Majority of the pictures I took, pre-fast, were put onto my social channels in some way. The reset allowed me to live my life for me instead of the ‘Gram. It took out the excuses to not do things I had on my agenda and allowed me to finish things on the original deadline I had.
I also had a lot of peace without social media in my life. Instead of finding out about news on Instagram, I was back to reading and watching the news from reputable sites. It also happened to be the month of the election and it was incredibly liberating to not be spammed with election news, Donald Trump’s actions and voting posts. I started listening to podcasts that detailed the news of the election and depicted accurate facts.
Instead of viewing my friends’ lives online through photos, I called and Facetimed them. I got updates while seeing their faces and it made our friendships stronger. My no social media November turned out to be exactly what I needed.