I attempted a social media cleanse so you don't have to. Here's what I learned.

Over the summer, I completed a week-long trip with West Virginia University where I wasn’t allowed to use my cell phone for the entirety of the trip. I really enjoyed my break from my phone and social media during this time and after this trip, I started to wonder whether it would be as enjoyable when it was a self-motivated cleanse. I decided to do a three-day social media break starting the morning of October 5th through the evening of October 7th.

The first day of the cleanse was pretty easy. I had class all day, and immediately after my last class I had a Her Campus team bonding activity. It wasn’t until I went home and had some free time that I started to miss scrolling on social media when I got bored and had nothing else to do. But overall, having a full day of things to do made the cleanse really easy this day.

The second day of the cleanse was much harder than the first. Since it was a game day, I felt the need to check and post on social media about the game. I had a lot of free time on this day and that made it really hard to stay off of social media completely, especially as I have people in my life who I am only able to contact via social media. I ended up accidentally breaking the cleanse on Saturday a few times and was very disappointed but decided to continue with the cleanse to see where it took me.

Sunday was much easier as I worked an early morning shift and spent the majority of my day at work. When I got back to my dorm I was able to distract myself with homework until it was time for me to end my cleanse.

Since I had already done a week-long social media cleanse this summer I thought this would be a lot easier than it was. However, I found that it was a lot more difficult when I was the one enforcing the cleanse on myself. It’s a lot easier to be off of social media for days at a time when your days are filled with activities so you don’t feel bored. However, it’s when I did have a lull in my day or a small break that I found myself instinctively opening Twitter or Snapchat.

This cleanse helped me realize how much of my time is occupied by social media and my phone. I hope that going forward I will think twice when I go to open a social media app every time I get a spare second.