Social media is all consuming, right? We’re constantly checking our phones at all times of the day, and we’re never really taking in whats actually going on around us… or being in the moment per se. For some reason, since coming home for the summer, being injured and unable to get about as easily has forced me to redefine happiness.
Exercise was something I used to kick anxiety, and being unable to take my dog on a walk, let alone go for a run did leave me feeling somewhat empty.
After a couple of weeks of Netflix binging, and scrolling on my phone/iPad, I found myself getting into a routine that I didn’t like. I wasn’t accomplishing anything in particular, and my motivation to even do things I loved (take blog pictures for example) just wasn’t there.
This Netflix binge session didn’t leave me empty handed – I managed to stumble across a couple of documentaries that majorly inspired me to hit the reset button. “Fittest on Earth – A Decade Of Fitness” and “Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things” were two which impacted me the most.
We all have an idea of what minimalism looks like… We see the plain white IKEA clad bedrooms and Scandinavian interior design, assuming that a tidy bedroom and Pinterest perfect decorations can make us happy. Whilst it’s true, a tidy room = a tidy mind, there’s so much more than your room that can be decluttered. As the documentary stated, if we only keep things that are functional and essential to living, then we’ll have a clearer mind.
Armed with that knowledge, this is what I got up to:
1) I DELETED ALL MY PICTURES
And NO, I didn’t use that meme I saved in January again. Even if I did, I had multiple versions of it that I didn’t need. Removing all the images gave me back 10GB of space on my phone, which also gave me space to start filming for a youtube video I had wanted to do for a while. WIN win!
2) I DELETED SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
BYE facebook, BYE Snapchat, BYE Whatsapp…. I kept twitter just because I do find it entertaining, and it’s my absolute favorite. I didn’t realise how much time I spent scrolling and tagging people in posts until I kept going back on my phone to get on to Facebook, only to realise I didn’t have it!! By the end of the week, I’d check Facebook on my computer before bed, not even realising I hadn’t checked it all day and didn’t miss it.
3) I ONLY REPLIED TO TEXTS WHEN I WAS FREE
Im a notoriously a bad texter. My friends know that when they message me to expect a response within 3-5 business days if they’re lucky. Most of this boils down to a combination of:
- Hating being glued to my phone messaging (we all know one text can turn into a whole conversation) – it feels like time wasting
- Reading a text without opening it, mentally saying I’ll reply later & forgetting to do so
- Not wanting to get RSI (repetitive strain injury) again
- Just not having the mental energy to do so
However, just removing the other apps actually gave me a bit more time to message people that I care about. Not having to reply to hundreds of notifications gives you time to focus on the important stuff. Also… Facetime exists! It’s much easier just to speak to someone properly for 30 minutes than text meaningless things throughout the day.
4) I UNSUBSCRIBED TO A LOT OF MAILING LISTS
I’m guilty of putting my email into fashion websites to get a discount… and then not buying anything. I then find myself being plagued with emails daily, getting annoyed because I can’t remember signing up to their mailing list.
Because I have a public email address listed on my blog, companies also add it to lists thinking I don’t notice….. HMMMMM….
Anyway, Apps like Gmail have become smarter at filtering out the junk mail and categorising emails by type, such as promotional, social & more. However, It’s good once in a while to just scroll to the bottom of an email and click unsubscribe. Once thats done, delete the email, sit back and wait to never get one from them ever again. Whoop.
5) I UNFOLLOWED/DELETED PEOPLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Such a taboo, right? Its easy to imagine someone raging at you when they delete you on something online, but this isn’t always the case. I found on my twitter timeline, for example, some accounts retweeting adverts I didn’t want to see or info about things I just simply didn’t care about. If you find yourself rolling your eyes constantly at their content, then it’s time for them to go. It came simply down to:
- Unfollowing accounts I REALLY didn’t want to follow
- Turning off retweets if I liked their account but not the adverts they retweeted
- Muting their tweets completely (If I like the person but not their tweets or retweets).
Facebook has its own equivalents; like you can unfollow someone rather than delete them completely. Pretty useful when you don’t want to see what someone’s up to but don’t want to be asked why you “cared enough to delete them” aye…
6) I GROUPED NOTIFICATIONS OR TURNED THEM OFF COMPLETELY
Do not disturb is my best friend. I’m annoying to get hold of by phone call, yes… but when all your electronic products are made by Apple, it’s hard not to be distracted! Making use of Do not disturb on my phone, iPad, iMac and Macbook makes it easier for me to get on with what I need to do.
SO HOW DID THIS AFFECT ME OVERALL?
My head feels a lot clearer. I’ve been more productive and task orientated, more organised and am enjoying people’s company a lot more. Instead of worrying about what other people are up to, I’ve been making time to look after myself, which is important. I’ve also somehow found time to watch more videos that are inspiring and interesting on youtube. Not just about minimalism & CrossFit, but passively watching tutorials taught me how to colour grade footage on premiere pro.. woop!!
Finally… I SLEEP SO MUCH BETTER!! Not looking at electronics so close to bed has helped me sleep longer hours and feel more refreshed in the morning.
A phone detox is definitely something I’d do again soon, and knowing I survived it makes me want to get rid of even more next time.
Would you do a phone detox?