So sometime in the last week I started having some sort of freaky dreams that seemed to connect to things I had seen on social media before going to bed. It was pretty scary how the things I saw online were retained in my memory and how they were warped in my dreams and it was leading to some pretty intense nightmares. My boyfriend suggested that I take a short break from social media and maybe clear my head a little. Now, I’ve taken short breaks from social media before but I think this time it was a lot different. My seven day break from social media went a little bit like this:
For the first few days I was fine without social media and I didn’t really miss it. But I found out that I pretty much put the PRO in procrastinate and that even though on normal days I would just check Twitter and Tumblr and Instagram and Facebook for hours on end, if I want to avoid my work, I will find a way to do just that. Since I didn’t have social media, I watched quite a few movies. I watched Clueless for the first time, I watched Pitch Perfect for a second time, etc. The break was starting to be really nice. I felt like I was expanding my horizons by watching these movies.
But then came being out in an unpleasant situation in public.
A friend invited me to Starbucks with some of her friends that I don’t know really well. It was honestly a little bit uncomfortable. The four of us are just sitting at the end of a table making small talk about things that everyone can kind of relate to and that was all great but then came the dreaded lapses. Those lapses in conversation where everyone who isn’t taking a break from social media checks their phone and I was left sort of awkwardly opening and closing my messages app and typing up random messages I never actually sent. I really missed social media in that hour and half I had to spend at that table. I missed the sense of security having it there seemed to give me and how by checking social media I usually ended up at least seeming popular or busy.
As the week went on I found that I had more time to focus on other things such as writing this blog post. I also realized that social media plays a really big part in my day to day life. I found that I am pretty much out of tune with some things that go in the world when I’m not using social media and that I tend to feel less connected to my friends and peers without it. Although I will surely take another social media break in the future, I think it was really important for me to understand what kind of impact these sites have on me. Personally, I think everyone should take even a really short social media break. It really makes you realize what you spend your time on and gives you the liberty to spend your time doing new things.