What Changed When I Quit Social Media For 72 Straight Hours

A must-read.

Social media is a love-hate relationship for me. 

On the one hand, I love that it enables me to spread my words in a little corner of the Internet and keep in contact with my loved ones back home. And on the other, I hate that it can occasionally impact my mood or take me away from the very moment I'm living in.

With all this in mind, I realized it was probably time for a break when my girlfriend shot me on Snapchat doing a photo shoot with a pineapple. I thought it would look super cute on Insta with the pool in the background. 

And it did. So yeah.

I took a break from social media for 72 hours and here's what I learned.

1. It gave me withdrawals! 

On Day 1, I woke up, felt anxious as fuck and couldn't put my finger on why. Then it hit me: I was worried that I might miss something or do my blog an injustice by not tracking my views or, worse still, I might lose a follower! So I gave myself a talking to and did what every other self-respecting person in Bali with anxiety does — drank cocktails and ate pasta. Word.

2. I had so much more time for activities! 

Day 2 came around and when I woke up — instead of reaching for my phone to go through the night's Facebook feed — I studied. My boyfriend stayed asleep, looking all cute and stuff, and I took the time to catch up on some research. That's unheard of because normally I'm checking to see what Gigi and Zayn got up to.

3. I felt refreshingly carefree. 

Should I post another Instagram photo today? Is this blog post going too far? I really must reply to my friend's Facebook message! These thoughts race through my head on a weekly basis and it was so freeing to give the internal chatter a rest. 

4. I am more than my phone, my blog and my brand. I am Emma. 

I've made no secret of the fact I believe my purpose in life is to help other women be their best selves but with that comes this enormous amount of pressure that, for the most part, I put on myself. I'm working towards putting my name out there and in this day and age, social media is a huge part of building your reputation. That being said, just being Emma is another big part of making my dream a realization. After all, people want to connect with real people. Not a screen. 

5. It's a hell of a lot easier to not take things to heart. 

This could just be the sensitive soul in me or it could be something many of you too experience. Losing followers on Instagram, posting a pic you think will get a lot of interest and it doesn't — sometimes it can be a little hard to not take it personally. Recently, a friend of my boyfriend unfollowed me and it became a running joke on my girls' trip to Bali. Oh, they had all heard about it! In the grand scheme of things, though, would I have ever known had it not been for an app I use to track those pesky people who follow for follow to then just unfollow? Nope. I'd have never known, never questioned his motive to unfollow and, in reality, it's one less person I'll ever have to share my food with. This pleases me.

The 72 hours came and went and obviously I hopped back on, checked out my notifications and gave myself a pat on the back for completing the challenge I set myself without spontaneously combusting.

Winning! 

Will I make an effort to stop my ever-wandering thumb from hitting the home button on my iPhone? Yes.

Will I stop using social media altogether? No.

I have deleted the app that shows me who's followed and unfollowed me, however, and with it, a little bit of social anxiety.

Don't think that's a cue to unfollow me and get away with it, though. 

I will find you

This blog originally appeared on Relatable Miss Renton. Follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.