Why You Should Have A Social Media Free Weekend
If you would’ve told me a few years ago that I would basically have an aversion to social media today, I wouldn’t have believed you. I mean I’m the girl who was taking selfies before selfies were even a thing. I would take my purple Nikon point and shoot camera and go to town having daily selfie sessions. There was a thrill that came with every snap and Facebook upload. I use to crave the instant gratification and approval that came with every like. I would constantly check to see how many likes I had with each post or how many followers I had amassed each day. I wanted to know what other people thought about me, and when I started my business, I wanted to know what other people thought of it as well.
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That approval addiction turned into comparison over time. I was constantly checking my numbers and comparing my life to others to the point where it stifled me in my purpose and goals. I was too busy trying to gain a following and live an “Instagrammable” life. I became envious of friends and people that I didn’t even know because I was too busy subscribing to their highlight reel. I was too busy checking on their life and because of that, I couldn’t live my own. It was then that I realized that social media had to have boundaries and a purpose in my life.
Since then, I’ve been able to assign social media to its rightful place, as a source of encouragement, inspiration, and a way to connect with my friends, audience, and peers. In order to use social media effectively, I had to define its purpose, so that when comparison tried to overcome me, I could recenter my focus.
Nowadays unless I’m on my business account, I try not to spend a lot of time on Instagram. I don’t want to spend so much time watching people’s lives that I’m failing to live my own. Time is finite and we aren't allotted with much, so why waste it idly on social media?
When I find that I’m spending way too much time scrolling through Instagram, watching too many Instagram stories, or starting to compare my life to others, I know that it’s time for a reset. That’s why I love the idea of having a social media free weekend.
I’ve done a brief social media fast, but the first time I heard about a social media free weekend was on the Cultivate What Matters Blog. Basically, it is what is sounds like... taking a weekend to be social media free.
Like I mentioned, a social media free weekend is a great way to reset and refocus your mind on what matters. For some people, a full term fast may be a big step, but the weekend is the perfect time to do a social media detox.
And if a weekend is too much for you, just try it for a day or so. Cultivate What Matters recommends to have a social media free weekend about once a month, and they provide amazing tips on how you can make yours your own. The best way to do it is by doing what works for you.
I had my first one during Easter weekend when my parents were in town. I spent a day and a half off Instagram, and although my thumb struggled not to find the app, it was such a refreshing time. Not only was I able to be more present with my family, I was also able to take some time to reflect on the Resurrection and Christ’s redeeming, sacrificial love.
If you're considering having your own social media free weekend, I would recommend moving your apps to an unused folder on your phone. I found that I have a habit of checking Instagram at least hourly. If you feel like you would still be tempted to use it after putting it in a separate folder, take it a step further and completely delete it from your phone. (Hey, it’s only for a weekend)! The point is to take a meaningful and restorative break.
Social media is a great tool if it’s used for the right reasons. I would suggest that if you haven’t already that you define a purpose or guidelines for your own personal social media usage. This has been a game changer in how I approach and use my Instagram. It has allowed me to cultivate contentment and purpose in something that usually tends to steal a lot of joy and for that, I’m grateful. To learn more about how to have your own social media free weekend, check out the Cultivate What Matters Blog.