If you’re like most Canadians, you’re wasting a lot of time on social media.
In fact, over 31 million Canadians use social media, spending nearly two hours daily on up to 6 different platforms. Personally, I began to feel like these platforms were becoming intrusive. And that’s why I decided to take a hiatus — 6 months of no social media.
I thought of it as a self-improvement challenge!
So starting in early April this year, I refrained from using these addictive and distracting platforms. And as of this writing, we are now in mid-October, which means my 6-month challenge is complete. And I’ve got to say; I’ve learned a few interesting lessons.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Social Media is Stealing From You
What would you do if someone stole money from you?
More than likely, you would assess this person as low-quality and then cut them loose forever. But, believe it or not, you’re tolerating this kind of thievery on a daily basis when you log on to social media. The only difference is these platforms are taking an asset from you that’s far more valuable than money.
They’re taking your time…
Case in Point
The mindless scrolling experience; we’ve all had it. You log onto Facebook or Instagram and get lost in the unending newsfeed of political talking points, angry rants, and valueless opinions. And as you absentmindedly scroll, the funny thing is you’re not even looking for anything in particular.
You’re just wasting time.
Consequently, when you finally regain cognitive function, 30, 45, or 60 minutes or more has gone drown the drain. And then it’s harder to get back into a productive groove since your mind has been inundated with garbage. It was amazing to me how much additional time I had once I gave up social media.
I cut that time-stealing thief loose and, as a result, my productivity skyrocketed.
I started this blog and have been posting weekly ever since…
I added kickboxing to my training regime…
And I received a 10% pay raise (in addition to a generous bonus) at work…
And it was all because I decided to take a break from my screen and FOCUS on my life. You can’t argue with or refute these outcomes; the results speak for themselves.
Less social media means more time to improve yourself and strive for your goals.
2. Life Becomes More Peaceful Without Social Media
Life becomes increasingly peaceful the more you distance yourself from Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc. And quite frankly, it’s easy to see why. Most people do one of two things when it comes to their social media activities:
- They whine, cry, gripe, rant, and complain about all their problems, spreading negativity to their followers.
- They boast, brag, and puff themselves up with how “amazing” their life is. They apply filters to make themselves look better than they are and only show a one-dimensional side of their lives while conveniently leaving out all the boring, dull aspects.
Of course, not everybody falls into these two categories on social media.
However, you will find that most people do. The problem arises when you see these posts every hour, on the hour, and daily. The negativity and fabricated lifestyles you’re being force-fed can put you on a slippery slope of unfavourable comparisons and negative thought patterns.
Studies have shown this can lead to depression, anxiety, and compromise your mental health.
Backed by Science
When I cut the noise by taking a break from social media, a sense of peace began to find its way into my life. I was happier, more carefree and just felt better about myself and life in general.
And before you dismiss these claims as hyperbole, understand that my experience is not only common but backed by science.
According to a study in 2020, more than 60 participants reported feeling stronger social ties with others and increased well-being after abstaining from social media for only one week!
3. You’ll Be Happier Without Social Media
I genuinely feel happier without social media.
It feels as if my life is my own again. There is no one to compare myself with, no ignorant posts I have to be subjected to, and no undeserved dopamine hits that leave me craving more. It’s a recipe for personal delight and happiness.
I swear by this.
But don’t take my word for it. A high-quality study by Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University, concluded that taking a break from social media reduces anxiety and bolsters feelings of happiness.
Shelve Your Skepticism
It’s understandable if you have reservations about quitting — or at least taking a break — from social media.
After all, it has become so ingrained in our lives that it can be difficult to imagine going without it for any length of time. For this reason, you may be skeptical or apprehensive. But I’m telling you, it’s a decision that will really make you shift your perspective on things in a positive way.
And one of the main takeaways you’ll learn is that you should take…
Everything in Moderation
I probably come off as anti-social media in this post.
But it’s only because of the benefits I’ve personally experienced from my 6-month hiatus. However, with that said, I’m not stringently against social media. In fact, I believe these platforms can actually offer a lot of utility. They are great for connecting with others, staying up to date on current events, or even running an online business by exposure to new marketing opportunities.
But as with all things, moderation is key.
It’s about learning to control this tool and using it for productive ends rather than letting it hijack your mind with an endless newsfeed.