I wanted to share some of the things I learned from my social media fast. I wanted to participate even though the Prophet specifically asked 12-18 year olds because I believe blessings will come from doing what the Prophet asks and I am the Second Counselor in the YWs so I figured it would be good to do it alongside my young women.
Before I do share what I learned, I want to preface with my experience with social media.
About a year ago now there was a switch that flipped for me when it came to social media. Before this switch flipped I would live for posting on social media. I had to go do things so I could share them and try to prove to everyone that I had a great life. Now I share what I want, when I want if I feel like it. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Life is not a competition.
Before I used to scroll through photos that the people I followed liked, along with my feed, and through the random suggestions that were people I didn’t even know. Such a time waster and it always left me feeling a little bad about myself because I saw so much. It was a social media overdose. Now I only look at who I follow and I only follow people that make me feel good and that I know one way or another. It makes me sad when I hear that people get depressed when using social media. You don’t choose depression, but you do choose what you look at on social media.
Because of what I used to do above, I would also have frequent pity parties. I still have pity parties, I think it’s a natural part of life, but I only allow myself a certain amount of time to have them and then I move on. I let it go and I try to refocus on the good in my life. Now I am happy for others and their successes and I let them know it. Now I don’t covet things I don’t have. Who doesn’t think they struggle with that commandment? Guilty. I try to comment on people’s posts when I have a nice thought about it; whether it’s their cute outfit, cool lookin’ photo, pretty hair, fun idea, exciting accomplishment, or awesome looking vacation. Who doesn’t appreciate nice comments? And I’ve turned my negative thoughts into positive ones. I’m happy for others and, again, just remind myself that life is not a competition and we all have our own race to run.
Before I used to obsess over people’s feeds and their photos and then compare mine and try to do things like everyone else. This hasn’t necessarily changed, I do still like my photos to look good and turn out a certain way (just ask my sweet husband) but now I don’t compare mine to everyone else’s and obsess over what others are doing. I do me and I’ve learned to embrace what that is and love myself the way I am!
Ok, now on to the main purpose of this post. The things I learned from going without social media for 7 days:
- I had a bad habit of naturally going into my social media apps. I uninstalled them and would go to where they were without even thinking about it. Around day 3 I stopped doing this and hopefully broke the habit. I will have to be more conscious about now that I’ve downloaded them again.
- This kind of goes along with number 1 but mindless scrolling is real. I am definitely going to limit my daily use of social media.
- I did a lot better without social media than I thought I would. I went through a little withdrawal in the beginning but never bad enough that I needed to redownload my apps and “cheat.” I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was ready to download it again, but it was definitely a nice break and I may have to do social media fasts more often.
- I did and didn’t miss seeing what everyone was up to. I didn’t experience FOMO, and once getting back on I realized I really didn’t miss out on anything. But what I did miss was the connection social media gives. I like knowing things about my friends and family that I probably wouldn’t know without it. Which also made me realize I need to better at actually talking to my friends and family. Because of social media I can just see what they’re doing, but I want to have real relationships with them.
- The reason I’m so attached to my phone is because of social media. This last week, when I didn’t have it downloaded, my phone wasn’t next to me 24/7 and I could leave it places and be just fine. It was kind of great! I didn’t feel the need to constantly be checking it. My Mom would always joke that it’s my second umbilical cord and I thought that was going too far but it’s slightly accurate (just slightly Mom!).
- Life goes on without social media. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like we think that if we aren’t posting and sharing and commenting that the world will just stop and everyone will forget about us or something. We get so caught up in posting in our stories and making sure people see our posts that we don’t live the life around us. And the people that really care will be in touch with you in other ways.
- This fast was good for me. I am really glad that I did it. I believe there are blessings for doing what the Prophet asks.
If you didn’t do the Prophet’s challenge to fast from social media then I would highly recommend it. And see what things you learn from your fast. If you did do it, I’d love to hear what you learned!