To say it's been a while since I've written a blog post would be an understatement. I've been exceptionally lazy when it comes to blogging and instead I've just been focusing on my Etsy shop. I also quit social media. I stopped using Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (personal and Please Note accounts) in October and I'm so happy that I did. I wanted to take some time to share how it has affected me in case any of you are considering it as well. I've compiled a list of the ways that quitting social media has positively affected me because honestly, as far as I can tell, there is hardly any downside.
I'm Getting Things Done
My post-work routine before quitting social media was a lot different than it is now. I used to come home and immediately plop down on the couch (ok, that hasn't changed) and start scrolling. Before I knew it, it was 7PM and I hadn't started dinner. This would snowball. I'd make dinner late, and then my husband and I would be too tired afterwards to do the dishes and we'd let them pile up. Now, I find myself plopping on the couch for a considerably less amount of time because there isn't much to look at on my phone. I start making dinner earlier and actually do the dishes afterwards. This is nice because now when I come home from work the following day, I'm coming home to a clean kitchen that I actually want to cook in.
I also watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo in January (like everyone else) and organized our entire apartment. It feels SO good. We donated 9 large bags of clothes/miscellaneous items. 9 bags! I know where every single item in our apartment is now and it makes day to day life so much easier. We're currently house hunting and being this organized is going to make moving 10 times easier. I'm actually looking forward to it.
I'm Living in the Moment
Now that I don't have Instagram, I don't feel the constant urge to photograph everything. I suppose this could be seen as a bad thing because I'm barely taking photos at all anymore, but at the same time, it's helping me see what is really important. I'll take photos on holidays, if we're at a special event, or on someone's birthday but that's about it. I don't need to share what I made for dinner. I can just make it and enjoy it (and be as messy as I want because it doesn't need to look pretty for a photo). I don't need to share my walk to the coffee shop. I can just walk there, enjoy the weather, get a cup of coffee and walk home.
I'm finding myself feeling more at ease when I'm in public now. Let's say I'm at a restaurant, waiting for my to go order. I used to just stare at my phone until I heard my name called. Now, I relax and look around. I take the moment to be alone with my thoughts. I've even found myself in the middle of a conversation with a stranger because neither of us happened to be staring at our phones. Once I learned to stop using my phone as a crutch, I felt less anxious.
I Have Less Anxiety
Speaking of anxiety, I've noticed that, for me at least, social media was definitely a big cause of it. I was constantly thinking about it when I wasn't even using it. Should I have posted that? Could I have edited that photo better? Did that comment I left sound weird?
I tend to overthink everything and social media was only making it worse. Why waste my time worrying about trivial things? I have plenty of more important things to overthink. Haha.
I Get A Break From the News
The second I quit Facebook and Instagram I was in control of when I read the news and what news I read. Let's face it, the news is draining and having articles shoved down your throat all day can be exhausting. Yes, I still read the news every single day and yes, I still try to be fair and read articles and opinions that that I might not agree with but I stop reading when I want to. Giving yourself a break from all of it is necessary. Staying informed is important but so is my sanity.
I Have More To Talk About
The only possible negative I've noticed is that I'm definitely finding things out a little later than most of my friends (engagements, babies, etc) but I'm ok with that and in fact, the more I think about it, it's not a negative at all. My family and friends often have news to share when they see me in person now and vice versa. Since I'm "out of the loop", people can tell me things and actually see my reaction instead of just seeing that I "liked" their announcement.
Have you ever started to tell someone something only to have them say, "Oh ya, I saw that on your Instagram"? That doesn't happen to me anymore. No one knows what I've been up to unless I tell them, and it's so liberating. Instead of trying to figure out what to tell people that they don't already know, I'm realizing that I have a ton of stuff to talk about.
To sum it all up, I'm loving being social media-less and don't see myself going back anytime soon, if ever. If you're considering giving it a try but think it might be too difficult, I promise it gets easier. I was a full blown addict, opening Instagram without even knowing I was doing it. It was like a reflex. If I was able to quit cold turkey, anybody can.