I DETOXED FROM SOCIAL MEDIA FOR 72 HRS - HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

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A few weeks before Freddie and I ventured off on our summer travels, we were sitting at Corner Bakery in Pasadena, enjoying a yummy breakfast and chatting about upcoming plans. In between bites of our Anaheim Scramble, we were on our phones checking ticket prices, directions for our road trip, different sights to see for our vlog, as well as choosing outfits for approaching events. While I was deep in research between the different Smithsonian’s in Washington, D.C., my focus was interrupted by a sweet and joyful voice -

“Is this how the future generation does brunch these days?” an older gentleman gleefully chuckled and teased.

I peered up and responded playfully, “There’s no hope for us!”

We continued to banter about the use of cell phones and he then went on his merry way.

I found this interaction especially interesting as this older gentleman couldn’t fathom the idea that we were enjoying a lovely brunch, conversing but all while multi-tasking and mapping out our future trip. He simply saw two millennials eating and staring at their phones - it made me realize, sometimes things aren’t always what they seem.

It’s no secret that I adore social media. I love that the internet has provided us a platform to connect endlessly with like-minded individuals, as well as access to infinite knowledge. However, I truly learned on this trip just how important it could be to unplug from social media and recharge your batteries.

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On July 3rd, Freddie and I woke up in Long Branch, NJ and decided to walk over to The Turning Point to grab some breakfast. As we were talking, Freddie mentioned that his service must not be so good as his Instagram wouldn’t load. As we walked down the pier, I pulled out my phone to see if mine was working - hmmm, no dice. At breakfast, I went to take the obligatory photo of my meal to share on my story and I noticed that it wouldn’t upload.

About an hour later, I received a few texts from my friends, “Hey babe! Is your Instagram down?” - “Liss, are your stories loading?”

These texts intrigued me to go to Facebook, but nope, that was down too (surprise, surprise, Facebook owns Instagram). I did a quick Google search and found countless articles explaining that the popular platforms were in fact down. As most other users did, I pulled up Twitter to see what everyone was saying; #Instagramdown had gone viral! And some of these responses were freaking hilarious:

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Instagram and Facebook ended up being down until later that evening and I couldn’t believe how naked I felt without it. Freddie and I kept mentioning just how powerful those platforms were as everyone around the world was going crazy without their fix. The thing with addiction is you don’t realize how addicted you are to something until you take it away. Was Zuckerberg doing this on purpose to show the world how reliant we are on his apps? The big outage of these two apps inspired me to do some quick research about the unhealthy attachment we have to technology:

  • 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, calls or alerts — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. (source)

  • Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes. (source)

  • 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device. (source)

  • 88% of U.S. consumers use mobile devices as a second screen even while watching television. (source)

  • Traditional TV viewing eats up over six days (144 hours, 54 minutes) worth of time per month. (source)

  • Some researchers have begun labeling “cell phone checking” as the new yawn because of its contagious nature. (source)

  • Almost half of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls. (source)

Well, hot damn. I have been guilty at one time or another of all of the above! What an interesting concept to understand how the world is evolving and how big of a role cell phones and social media connection play in our lives.

Now don’t get me wrong; I love technology and believe it has incredible benefits. And I honestly would never argue against the responsible use of it. However, I do think unplugging from your phone and recharging from time to time will do wonders for your psyche. This research inspired me to do the unthinkable; a 72-hour social media detox!

When we arrived back in Ohio on the weekend of July 6th, Freddie and his family threw a bbq at their house on that Saturday. I thought this would be the perfect time to unplug; enjoy the moment, the sunshine, and the face to face interaction. I couldn’t believe how carefree I felt! No notifications (I turned them off), not worried about capturing special moments to share with others to put a smile on their face (which sorry not sorry, I LOVE doing, but it was amazing living in the present), and truly taking in what was in front of me.

Here is what’s crazy, after a day filled with pool volleyball, sunbathing, giggles, delicious eats and blissful moments, Freddie and a few others started to play Cornhole, (this has been quite the popular game during our trip this summer)! Without even thinking, I grabbed my phone from my jean shorts, captured a boomerang and posted to my story on Instagram. Wait. what!? I was supposed to be on a detox. Maybe it was the beer, perhaps it was the sun, or maybe it was my subconscious that automatically went to this action, but it was like second nature!

The second I realized this, I immediately went and put my phone away in the house. And the next few days, I actually lived social media free without posting or notifications and let me just say, it was G L O R I O U S. Here are my takeaways:

  • I am far more present in my surroundings when I am not scrolling and posting.

  • You pick up where you left off. Nothing changes, the world keeps going ‘round and you never feel as if you are missing out.

  • I felt a sense of continued contentment, not worrying about posting or seeing what others were up to.

  • It allowed me to 100% live in the moment. It was quite enjoyable to listen intently, talk, and connect organically to each moment of the day.

  • I’ve never felt more centered and connected to myself.

All in all, this experience was a friendly reminder to unplug, recharge and remember to take time for yourself.

Fun fact: www.NationalDayCalendar.com added National Day for Unplugging on the first Friday of March every year as of 2017!

Have you ever unplugged from social media? Why or why not? Any tips? I love hearing from you! <3

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