I Took A Break From Social Media And Here's What Happened

by - Saturday, August 05, 2017

Have you ever felt tired scrolling through your phone, overwhelmed by so much information?

Do you feel pressured to create 'nice' content for your social media updates, comparing your life to others and feel cynical towards other people?

Have you become procrastinated, unproductive and waste so many hours scrolling on your phone?

If you're feeling one or more of the above, my friend, maybe it's time for you to take a break from social media.

Social media is a fun community where people can share glimpse of their lives, meeting new people, even promote business and earn MONEY! It's an amazing invention and in this digital era it's almost impossible to live without it.

Wait, impossible?

Yeah, I thought I could never live without social media because I needed to be present and stay updated all the time. I was in a love-hate relationship with my online life. There was the time when I feel my social life is awesome, then there was also time when I wanted to eliminate all of them

Scroll, advertisements.  
Scroll, more advertisements
Scroll, pretty selfies and OOTD with pretty quotes from Google.

et cetera.

It was pretty much my feed everyday. I finally reached my limit and feeling kinda fed up with it. 

I know, you might feel like I'm being contradictory because if you take a look at my account, that's pretty much EVERYTHING I did too. I carefully curated my existence in Instagram, I took pretty pictures and edited my face to match the so-called 'beauty standard'.
I'm not what you call as 'influential' on the internet. But I feel that kind of pressure. If you're a 'social media influencer' or a public figure, I understand that the pressure to be perfect would be a lot times higher.

And that's when I feel like I'm losing myself over this life I curated online. Negative feelings started to wash over me : insecurity, pressure, exhaustion, etc. Not to mention I've also wasted so many hours staring at the screen like a total crap.

Realization hit me in a single snap. "That's enough." I said to myself. "I gotta do something about this."

I admit my addiction to social media is pretty bad. One of my friend actually had pointed it out to me before like, "Can't you just put your phone down while hanging out with us?" I just COULDN'T STOP checking Instagram for once an hour.๐Ÿ˜ข

Well in short, I just want to clear my head and fix myself that has been a hot mess lately. I've been having personal issues and most of the time I just couldn't think straight. I just want to live my life, eliminate negative vibes and see whether living without social media would make me feel better /or worse, so I decided to step back for a while.


What I mean 'social media' here is all platforms I usually use to share information : Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Path. So here's how I take a break from social media :

1. I deactivated my Facebook & Instagram & logged out of my social media accounts
2. I removed all my social apps from my phone.
3. Installed Journal to put my thoughts & rant there. (because I have a bad habit of dropping hints online, passive-agressive FTW ๐Ÿ˜€)
4. Installed DuoLingo & Sailor Moon Drops so at least I would have something to do with my phone lol

Please note that this doesn't include messaging apps that I use daily to communicate with my friends & colleagues, and EMAIL! How should I keep up with work if I get rid of my email? (Remember, I'm just taking a break, not isolating myself  lol)

How about Youtube? Well, I don't think it's contributing much to my stress, instead it makes me feel motivated. So I still watch it occasionally. Mostly cat and cooking videos tho. My favorite channel lately is ochikeron, justonecookbook and ToplessBaker (GIRLS! You gotta look it up! You'll love it! ๐Ÿ’–)

The social media platform that impacts me so much negatively, the one that I want to get rid the most and also THE HARDEST to let go is Instagram. But I know I have to do this. So I tap the deactivate button. And poof. I'm gone.


During the first day, sure it felt weird because years of using social media unconsciously shaped my habit. When I wake up, on the train, on the elevator, before I go to sleep, I ALWAYS CHECK MY SOCIAL MEDIA. So when it's all gone, I'm not gonna lie, I feel something was missing.

One morning I scrolled my phone and just realized my apps are all gone.

I stared at my phone screen, dumbfounded.

I don't know what the fuck to do with my phone.

So I just went straight to the bathroom and do my morning routine. Or distract myself by playing Sailor Moon Drops.

My only source of distraction ๐Ÿ˜‚

Leaving social media, had I suffered from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) ?

At first days, I kinda felt I've missed out on so much things. And the urge to check on them again was hard to resist, my social media detox wasn't going smooth all the time either. There was a day when I finally cheated and logged into my Instagram via desktop to check on notification LOLOL. I was feeling dirty afterwards like I've just cheated behind my partner's back. I really felt like I've broken some real commitments tho.๐Ÿ˜

I finally broke my silence when I heard that Chester Bennington passed away. It bugged me so much that finally lead me to update my Instastory. Somehow I can relate to his death in some ways and it made me think about my feelings too. It's bad news like this that triggered the emptiness and negative feelings within me. *sigh* ๐Ÿ˜ญ

But actually, days after days gone by, I realize I was doing OK without the news about Anastasia Beverly Hills newest eyeshadow palette, or hottest beauty products recommended by blogger fellas, hippiest dining place in town, stuff like that. So I adjusted myself and finally feeling pretty much fine with it. A lesson I learned from this is maybe as soon as we get rid of something, we'll realize that it's not as important as we thought it is

Anyway, here are some things I noticed during my absence from social media. Originally I wanted to be away just for one week, and guess what? I was away for three weeks, almost one month. Phew. Some realizations came too late I know, but it's better than never. After all, it's a PROGRESS! Yee haw!

1. I Do Not Feel Obligated to Report My Activity Online

this is funny tho lol

After years of heavy social media usage, we might feel obligated to share our moments to the world right away. To make the moment more real, to make it more validated is by letting people know it happened. Nothing's wrong with that because that's what social medias are made for : Sharing.

I do feel the urge to share. All the time. But sometimes they could lead to overshare which could be annoying at times. I admit sometimes I overshare stuff, especially on Instastory. Even in warteg I feel like I need to take picture and share it, which is very unnecessary if I think carefully about thatLike.. why would people want to know what I eat at warteg tho? <-- (ini emang dasarnya gak mutu blas ๐Ÿ˜‚). Sometimes when we focus too much on sharing stuff, we may miss the moment that is actually happening in front of us. Solution? set boundaries on what to keep and what to share. Some things are better left unsaid though, or in my case, unshared. ๐Ÿ˜

2. I Had Time to Reinvent Myself

All my life I've been having an issue with my self-esteem and insecurities. It's something that I can't instantly get rid of. I want to be accepted, liked, so I tend to avoid criticism. I've never thought of this before, but during my detox, I just realized that social media brings out the competitive side within me. I feel this pressure to catch up, especially when I see my friend's pretty feeds. I feel I need to do something like that too. The pressure to be 'liked' and 'praised' is there and I feel it.

This type of competitiveness is vain and unhealthy. I don't get a million dollar from that. But what kind of feedback we hope to get when we post on social media? Attention, right? Well, who doesn't love attention anyway? So yeah attention does worth more than a million dollar apparently. ๐Ÿ˜…

Hello world. This is my confidence and security torn in two. Ouch

I don't know since when numbers of likes, comments, followers have become a measurement of my value and self-worth. But when I first started Instagram, it was certainly not something that I aim for. Back then I didn't give a single flying fuck about numbers. Didn't know since when that I do.

My absence gave me time to think, it gave me an overview on my motivation to use social media at the first place. What am I going to use it for? What am I going to share? Which part of myself that I would like people to see?

3. Less Stress, More Time

Social media has been associated with depression and anxiety. Just like what I said before, sometimes seeing my social feeds brings my stress to a whole new level, either it's because of bad news, pressure, or my freakin insecurity acting up. Obviously staying away from them benefits me so much in this. I feel a lot fresher because I don't get in touch with things that actually not very important but somehow weighs my mind for no apparent reason. Do you understand what I mean? ๐Ÿ˜Œ 

Now talking about time, internet is my mega number 1 distraction. I could spend my time just scrolling my phone and lost in my online world for God knows how long. Do you know what's my favorite thing to do on weekend? That's it : Laying on the bed and scrolling endlessly. Sometimes I was so upset with my lack of self control and my chronic procrastination. Really, I could have used my time to do something else and when I realized that, it was too late. I've wasted too much.

To be honest, I'm still having a hard time managing my time even after my detox ended. I still procrastinate on my work and slow at writing, but this time I tried to allocate my time to something more fun instead : English class & gym.

So, the conclusion is, when you get rid of your social media, you will get :  good mood and plenty of time to be productive

4. Longer Battery Life & Reduce Data Usage

Obviously you can save so much data and battery if you remove your apps. My social apps are the ones who consume most of my data and battery. Even when I didn't use them, they would be still running in the background and consume my data. I just realized how efficient my phone become after I removed them. My data lasted 2 weeks longer than usual so it kinda save me when I'm broke at the end of the month lol. Also no apps means nothing sucks your phone battery like Dementor sucking the life outta you.  Yay for long-lasting battery!

How my battery and data is being drained everyday ๐Ÿ˜‚

So, what have I been doing without social media?

Pretty much the same, I go to work in the morning and go home at night. But I have some new activities that makes me feel happy & excited. I start working out at the gym, take a professional English class and cooking ! ๐Ÿ˜† Basically I want to improve myself little by little, and learning new things makes me feel accomplished and alive again. I want to be better, for myself and everyone around me. Especially my family, close friends and my partner whom I love so much.

By the time I'm writing this, I'm back on the grid again, though not fully active like I used to be. My Instagram and Path is back, but my Facebook is still inactive tho. I don't know, I don't feel like coming back there yet. ๐Ÿ˜  Today I still occasionally check my Instagram, give likes and comments, but the amount of time I spend on Instagram is greatly reduced, I don't keep checking here and there all the time like I used to do.  I could allocate my time to do something else.  Which is a big change for me.

You know what, I think quitting social media is easier than coming back to it. When I decided to come back and starting all over again, the anxiety somehow gets doubled up. Well, you know, the hardest part of ending things is starting from scratch. So I still don't have the mood to post anything yet.

very much neglected whoa


My point is I'm not saying social media is a problem. Like everything else in this world, it has both positive and negative impacts depending on how you use it.  I do enjoy social media and internet in general. It has been an amazing platform to express myself and create opportunities that didn't exist years ago. As for my case, I don't fully blame social media for what I'm feeling, because in the end it's what's within me (my mind and my heart) that impacts my life. However, going offline somehow helps to ease the pressure and helps me to do a self-reflection on some of my life aspects.

I didn't expect to notice and realize a lot of things during my detox, something more complex than just "being gone to clear my head". It's about something rooted deeply in my behavior and the way I react to something.

Gone for 3 weeks, I feel better and free, full of liberation and relief, because I know I can use my time for something else more rewarding and it makes me feel good.

I'm surprised that I'm actually doing OK without my social apps though, I thought I'd be miserable but turn out it feels good instead. Sometimes I don't wanna go back, sometimes I do. But for now I still have one more responsibility to post content for a brand, maybe I'll come back when my post is ready. ๐Ÿ˜

I'm not encouraging you to quit social media completely, especially if you have responsibilities that use social media as your platform. If you want to try, go for it and see how it goes. Everyone can do social media detox, it's about choice and nothing is wrong with that. If you're currently feeling fun and balanced with your social media, that's awesome. But if you're feeling worn-out, then rest. Use your time as much as possible, and when you're ready, you can go back anytime.

Thank you for those who were concerned and asked questions. Don't worry, I'm OK and I'm now in full control of my account (or at least I think so lol).

Have you ever been on social detox? What do you think of social media nowadays 
and how does it affect you?

You can share your thoughts in the comment. I'd like to know how people think about this. After all, it's quite a subjective and sensitive topic, isn't it?

Much love,

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  1. gw juga sama pernah ngerasa kyk gitu, terutama merasa perlu berkompetisi, ini bagian yg gw jg pernah rasain. tp puji tuhan bisa kendaliin sendiri cm dgn delete app nya tanpa deactivation. skg malah pgn delete akunnya karena malu ada post yang gak senonoh yg gw upload pas lg gak mikir panjang lebar, juga udh ngerasa bisa hidup tanpa ig, dan krn kadang ngerasa gak ada faedahnya posting2 foto sendiri. eh tp malah dapet job buat review. jd bingung, utk sementara cm hapus beberapa post yg memalukan. mungkin nanti gw jg akan coba detox kyk lo. thanks for sharing claren.

  2. Totally agree rennn XDD In many levels!
    Aku juga suka scrolling ga jelas suka mager -___-"
    Kayaknya butuh detox juga kali ya..
    Thanks for sharing ren <3


  3. I just started doing the detox today since my friend passed away last few weeks and my GPA dropped insignificantly, also I must study hard for JLPT in December. So, inspired by Michelle Phan, I decided to deactivate all my accounts since I started leaving Path after Eid and realized how much better my life without that app! I think if it works with Path, it'll work on other platforms too!

    Thanks for sharing, senpai~!

    I'll post my #SNSRehab weekly journal on my Medium, feel free to visit if you want to read my story!


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