This is Your Sign to go on a Social Media Cleanse

Up until this point there was never a moment in my life when I truly stepped back to examine my relationship with social media. That in itself felt frightening to me in hindsight, because over the years it had just grown to be an instinct that I hadn’t even given a second thought to. It wasn’t until my best friend encouraged me to try deleting all of my social media apps that I was really pushed to recognize the toxicity in what I once identified as a daily norm.

During the first few days of lockdown I began to notice the days physically pass me as I planted myself in the same position all day staring at my phone. The higher my screentime got, the worse I felt. The apps that I had almost been using for the simulation of comfort were actually making me feel increasingly more lonely. I felt dismayed by how social media had begun to feel like an outlet for negativity rather than anything remotely constructive. One day after feeling particularly frustrated I finally pushed myself just to see what life would be like without it.

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My initial thought after deleting a large portion of the apps from my phone was, well what do I do now? I had become so used to filling the endless hours of quarantine by mindlessly scrolling through my phone. So much so that minutes after deleting my social media apps I noticed myself instinctively opening my phone and trying to find the Instagram app.

As more time has passed, I have felt increasingly happier with my decision. Deleting my social media apps has freed up my mind to truly and honestly focus on myself. Social media was merely a distraction from the utter stagnation of life, and without it you're virtually forced to face it and more importantly do something about it. I finally felt motivated to get myself into a steady exercise routine, I’ve gotten myself back on a better sleeping schedule, and I’ve been truly deliberate in all of my interactions with my loved ones.

The main justification I found myself using for the usefulness of social media was that it helped me keep up with my friends’ lives. But, during quarantine I realized that nobody was doing anything, not even Beyonce. Social media wasn’t doing anything for me, and it turns out the absence of it freed me to build closer relationships. I realized at that point that keeping in contact with those important to you is more than liking a picture or sending a text message, but going the extra mile to feel like a substantial part of their life from afar. This can take any form you find meaning in, but is simply just exerting more effort to make sure your friends and family are really okay.

Hawaii Girl Happy Explore Jacket Beach Adventure Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus

I have no idea how long I’ll make this cleanse last, but this experience has largely made me feel a lot more in tune with myself and much more appreciative for the little things in my life. In these abnormal times, it’s important to truly focus on what’s important and begin to prioritize yourself.