I Tried Giving Up Social Media For 7 Days And This Is What Happened

By Chloe Sputore
27th Jul 2016

We Tried Giving Up Social Media For 7 Days And This Is What Happened...

If you had asked me a week ago if I was addicted to social media, I would have scoffed at you. I mean, I only check it when I wake up, while I’m eating breakfast, on the way to work, a few times during the day, on the way home and all night while I am watching TV. That’s totally normal, right?

Well, according to my husband, family and friends it’s not. Apparently I am a terrible human being who does not know a thing about engaging in the “present moment”, despite all the yoga I do.

So in the interests of being more engaged in life, reducing my risk of phone related cancers and keeping the hubby happy, I tried giving up social media for seven days. This is what happened…

Note: As I have to use social media for my job and was not keen on getting fired, I made an exception to use social media strictly for work purposes!

I wake up and so far so good—I was a clever cookie and hid all of my social apps in a folder titled “don’t open” and turned off all notifications on my phone before heading off to sleep last night. Chloe = 1, social media = 0.

Half-way through my morning routine, the withdrawals start kicking in. Any time I am sitting still or waiting for something (or just every five minutes or so) I feel the urge to whip out my phone and start scrolling through my newsfeed and not doing so is like leaving the biggest itch of your life unscratched. Hi, I’m Chloe and I am addicted to social media.

I’m only mid-way through the day and I have noticed that my brain repeats the word Facebook a whole lot, just like having an annoying Calvin Harris song stuck in your head. It’s getting extremely annoying and my hate for Mark Zuckerberg has reached all new levels. Hopefully this will reduce over the next few days, otherwise you might soon find me sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth in the fetal position.

Mid-afternoon I encounter a snooty comment on an Urban List Facebook post and without thinking I click on the person’s name to Facestalk (judge) said person. My fingers don’t seem to have any regard for this social media ban. Fail!

I head into the evening with only a few slip-ups under my belt and begin binge watching House Hunters on 9Life (what did we do before this glorious channel existed?). It soon occurs to me that I don't really know what to do when I'm watching TV. I'm not supposed to just watch TV...right? I’m also questioning what life is without Snapchat filters? Are dogs still doing silly things and are cats still afraid of cucumbers?

Day two and the little niggles to check social media have definitely reduced slightly…to at least 10 minutes apart. I get a bad case of FOMO anytime anyone mentions something cute/funny/bad/stupid they’ve seen on Facebook.

My husband seems pretty happy with the fact I have given up social media for the week. I didn’t realise it bothered him so much…probably because I was on my phone looking at Instagram.

I don’t know how anyone wakes up without looking at Facebook. I snooze at least seven times this morning before resorting to going through my emails (snore) in an attempt to wake up.

I’m noticing less of a desire to check my newsfeed and surprisingly the FOMO has reduced greatly. I guess it’s a case of what you don’t see, you don’t miss? That said, I have noticed my happiness levels have slightly dropped. Not sure if this is just due to the mid-week slump or not seeing adorable snap chats of my nephew.

Today I fail on purpose. My husband tells me about this adorable dog video and says I can wait to look at it next week, but I am impatient—especially when it comes to dogs. I watch the video (and re-watch it about five times). Am I a failure? Maybe. Do I care? No.

My social media ban has made me realise how addicted I am to dog videos. My colleagues tell me about another adorable dog video and I watch it, fully aware that I am breaking the rules. What can I say, I’m a badass?

Thanks to my new-found Pokemon Go addiction my weekend without social media is a total breeze as I am too focused on trying to find Pikachu and not that concerned about seeing how cool everyone else’s weekend is on Instagram.

The Verdict

By the time the weekend came to a close (I never found Pikachu *sad face*) I wasn’t even thinking about checking Facebook, I couldn’t care less about what was happening on Instagram and Snapchat seemed like a thing of the past. I even toyed with the idea of giving up social media forever, but instead decided I didn’t want to forgo a life without dog videos and Snapchats of my nephew. Now that I can sufficiently wake up without scrolling through Facebook I’m keeping my social media “check in” times to the bare minimum, checking it a max of two times a day and not while I am doing other things (like watching House Hunters) or talking to my husband. Stay tuned for next week when I tackle my Pokemon Go addiction (just jokes, I’m never giving that up)!

Read about that time we gave up coffee!

Image credit: Gabrielle Stjernqvist

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