Social Media Detox: Day 1

The pull towards my phone is unmistakable. Every empty second is filled with the desire to reach towards that little black box and begin scrolling. How useless it is to fill valuable time with useless information like the for you page on Instagram. There’s no meaning to the time spent scrolling, it utterly wasted time and yet that draw is so strong. I’ve spent a lot of time today on my phone checking my emails a thousand times, scrolling through my photos, looking at Snapchat even though there’s nothing to look at. 

I want to look at Instagram, I want to look at Facebook, I want to do the things I am so used to doing all day everyday. I’ve had social media since January of 2016, that’s five years of social media and starting at the very young age of fourteen which is a very susceptible age to begin something so addictive. 

The main reason I deleted social media is because I’ve been having a very hard time thinking creatively or focusing on anything. I’ve spent hours scrolling on Instagram for no reason and it’s been damaging my life. Not to mention stressing me out with the constant bombardment of news and opinions and hate flying all over the place. So the break was needed and the more I think about it the more I realize it’s probably going to be way longer than the weekend. I planned on just deleting social media for Saturday and Sunday, but I’m leaning more towards at least a week if not for the rest of January. 

What if I gave myself time to create without the watchful eye of the internet? What if I created selfishly, just for myself and not a single other soul? I’ve never really done that before except in the very very beginning. There’s just too much pressure from Instagram with getting enough likes and getting enough attention and all of that crap. There’s so much more to the art of creating, the areas which I desperately need. 

I need the freedom to create without pressure, I need the freedom to create just for myself, I need the freedom to create as a way of escaping from the world. Life is suffocating the hell out of me and I need my art to breathe. There has to be an escape and I need to be able to find it again. 

So in all honesty I don’t know how long this break is going to be. It could be two days, it could be two weeks, it could be two years. All I know is that my soul is craving it and I am being led in this direction. I need to live again. I need to have a life that is separate from the screen, that is separated from the pressure of likes and comments. There is nothing productive or good about scrolling constantly on social media, so I am returning to life. I am returning to the world that I desperately want to be part of and I am returning to myself again. 

Today I deleted the apps after announcing I was doing it on Instagram. It was scary as well as relieving. I made the decision to keep Snapchat mainly because I know I don’t use it for anything else besides communicating with a few close friends, but other than that they are all gone. I read a lot throughout the day, I’m currently reading “Together” by Vivek H. Murthy, “Dream Big” by Bob Goff, and “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. Honestly, it was mainly to fill up time. I constantly felt like picking up my phone and am still struggling with that lack of being able to focus. I don’t know what to do and cannot find the drive to do much of anything. But the ability to be able to read, do laundry, check the mail, spend time with family, and even do a photoshoot was greatly appreciated. I even watched an entire movie without scrolling through Instagram the whole time (I would highly recommend “Rebel in the Rye” it’s very good). 

Over all the day wasn’t productive in the traditional sense of the word, but it felt right. I showered this evening and spent that time thinking about how I need this time off of social media to really focus on living again. So I’ll close this recap with the simple thought that maybe this will be the absolute best thing for me. 

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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