Written by Ryota
Can You Quit Social Media for 30 Days? Most people say they think they could if they wanted to, but the reality is they can’t. A study found that people check their phones an average of 80 to 300 times a day, spending 3.5 hours a day on it.
Social media can be as addictive as alcohol and drugs. The majority of users get a dopamine rush and feel happy when they receive likes and notifications. It’s a very organic phenomenon because there is a psychological component to it. Social media companies, whose business model is advertising, all have the same goals: to increase the number of users and increase the time spent on the site. To do that, they hire top-level engineers, build great apps, and add psychological knowledge to make users feel entertained and comfortable.
For example, in the past, Facebook changed the colors of its likes and applications with each update, searching for more addictive ones. In the beginning, the colors of Facebook’s likes and logo were almost primary colors, red and blue. Other changes were made to the algorithm in the feed to move from chronological order to posts that users might be more interested in. These are only a few examples, each social media company has a variety of tricks up its sleeve. And, I was being fed up with social media.
Meanwhile, I read an article titled “Quit Social Media for 30 Days”. I was so intrigued by the challenge that I deleted Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram immediately afterward without reading the body of the article. The next 30 days were incredibly productive and I felt amazing. And these are the benefits of that experience.
Social media brings us closer to people and allows us to view the lives of others. There are some great aspects to this, but it can lead to comparisons. Comparing yourself to others harms your mental health and self-esteem. Many people are aware of this side effect, but they do it without realizing it. Comparison is endless and meaningless.
Reclaim your time
Since I quit social media, I have more time to spend on the things I love. Interestingly, a day feels a lot longer. Even longer than the actual increase in time. I’ve read four books in the past 30 days and spent more time on my hobbies.
I can focus on my tasks with fewer interruptions. I also noticed that I was distracted by social media even when I wasn’t using it. This is a benefit that anyone can imagine, but it’s amazing when you actually try it.
Finally, the time came to log in again. I was surprised to myself that I wasn’t looking forward to it. Then I entered my username and password, and 30 days of posts appeared all at once. But nothing had changed there. Everyone was there, updating as usual. Many people think of “maybe” when they temporarily stop using social media, that maybe they will get an important message, or maybe they will meet someone new. I personally call this “the power of maybe”.
To beat this, I contacted my close friends beforehand through iMessage. Fortunately, my friends were understanding of my strange challenge.
This challenge is not recommended for everyone. Everyone has different values and priorities. However, this experience was very valuable and meaningful to me.