A while ago I left for a short vacation (7 days) in Belgium. As usual, I don’t announce these kind of things online due to privacy, security blablabla.. you know the drill 😛 Anyway, we had a lovely apartment near the city centre of Antwerpen and enjoyed 7 days of delicious greasy fries (+lots of mayonnaise), sugary waffles, beer (only the bf, not me) and lots more. Before we left to Belgium, I made a promise to myself to be unavailable for next 7 days. Meaning, no facebook, no instagram, no blogging, no twitter, no whatsapp and no whatever social thingy you can think of. Just to see how it’d go. And I.loved.it. And I’ll tell you exactly why you should try being unavailable sometimes.
1. Save Time
Are you aware of how much time you’re losing by checking facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram and whatever more social platform you’re on? On average, users spend almost 2 hours a day on social networking. 2 hours! That equals baking 2 cakes, 1-2 workout sessions, 2 lunch breaks or 4-6 Big Bang Theory episodes. Crazy, right? And let’s be honest, is it really that important to know that John got a new car, Lisa had McDonalds for dinner (#cheatmeal) and Jessica is had to much to drink last night?
2. Increase Productivity
Constantly checking your phone/social media can take away your focus from work. Whether it’s business work or work at home, checking your phone at a set interval can disturb your focus and affect your productivity. Some might be afraid to miss important messages, but how often are your messages actually important/urgent? Trust me, if it’s really important, people will call you.
3. Become Social
It happens so often that groups of people are hanging out, but 8/10 are on their phone. Whilst you think you’re being “social” (online), you’re actually being super anti-social. It isn’t just rude, but it comes across as uninterested too. I actually have a friend who’ll randomly check out on the conversation to check her phone. Yes, in one-on-one conversations too. To do what? Scroll through facebook. I know right…. -____- And it’s not just with friends, it’s with strangers too. Try to go by train without your eyes glued to your phone; people will be more likely to talk to you when you’re unoccupied and you might enjoy real social interaction.
The down side to social media is that it makes you available 24/7. I feel like there’s a pressure to respond a.s.a.p to messages, even when they’re totally unimportant. People are easily “hurt” when they see you’ve read their message but you’re not responding right away. Maybe you’re one of those people or maybe your friends are like that. Either way, it can be very stressful. You’re constantly waiting for messages so you can respond right away. Is it that bad to respond later though? Put social media aside and let your mind be relaxed. Let go of the feeling to be available all the time. Most messages aren’t that important anyway.
5. Boost Your Mental Health
Studies suggest that social media might affect your mental health. As people mostly post the positive sides of their life on social media, followers might feel like their lives aren’t as good. It’s a “the grass is always greener on the other side”-thing. It feeds anxiety and might even make you feel miserable. Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to check if it’s true for you.
Cutting out social media completely is nearly impossible these days. However, you can give yourself social media-vacations once in a while. In addition, try cutting down your daily social media time to, for example, 30 minutes a day. Try it. It might feel like a revelation. 😉