There are lots of books, articles, and blogs popping up about people taking a digital detox – stepping away from so much screen time. I just returned from a 4-day trip to Grenada, in the Caribbean, for a quick girls’ weekend. I decided this was the perfect time for a vacation from social media.
Before my trip, I was feeling overly stressed out. The stress was coming from a number of sources, and I was finding myself mindlessly scrolling through social media any time I had a free moment or just needed a break. Unfortunately, my social media feeds do not always help alleviate my stress. I don’t tend to suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when looking at others’ pictures, but I do judge myself when I see things I want to do or know I should be doing. Those feelings often lead to additional stress, which fuels the never-ending cycle.
In order to avoid temptation, I moved all of my social media apps (for me, it’s mostly Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) on my phone and my iPad to a separate folder, on a secondary screen that I wouldn’t even see. I already had notifications turned off for these apps, so I was hoping that out-of-sight, out-of-mind would apply. Once I was on vacation, I was able to use my devices solely for taking pictures of the gorgeous island (see below!) and for reading various e-books. I didn’t look at my social media at all, and after the first few hours, I didn’t even want to check them. I was happy to live in the moment, soak in the sea air, enjoy every sunset, and time with my friend.
Thinking about my word of the year, SHINE, reminds me that sunlight shining on water always makes me smile – it’s my happy place! My vacation from social media was a good thing for me because I was reminded that I don’t need social media to entertain me 24:7 and I don’t need to be constantly connected. The face-to-face connections with friends and family (and nature!) are more important to me. This is not to say that I’m going to quit the socials permanently. But I am going to make a more conscious effort when and how I use social media. I prefer reading a good book or relaxing in front of a sunset over mindless scrolling through stranger’s posts anytime. Don’t you?