I unintentionally experienced a social media detox over Memorial Day weekend. My husband and I went to my sister-in-law’s lake cabin in Corsicana and the internet connection was very weak. Additionally, I could not make a phone call that did not fail.
Being a newspaper owner and publisher, I am connected literally to my phone day and night. I give my cell number out to anyone who asks and since our office began working remotely, I have answered every call at the Pleasanton Express.
For three days, I could not make or receive calls and could not connect to social media or the internet except rarely. I LOVED IT! Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and access to the internet to Google to my heart’s desire any time of the day. But, the freedom to just disconnect was blissful.
We turned on the TV once to all watch Frozen together because my grand-nephew Ryder wanted to watch it. Other than that we listened to music, played cards, fished, cooked, ate, watched birds, stared at the lake, dipped our toes in the water, took walks, read books and just super chilled.
Studies have discovered that the more time you spend on a social media site, the more likely you are to develop depression. I don’t think social media depresses me, but it certainly disconnects me from the life in front of me. It also tells me too much information on people’s political beliefs which I have zero interest in knowing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I did get a bit sad that it seemed as though a civil war was going to break out over mask wearers vs. non-mask wearers. If it could all be my friends and their kids doing things like the #candychallenge I would be very happy.
I loved living in the moment this past weekend and on Monday. Just fully engaging in slow conversation and healthy and fun activities. It filled my soul. I did find myself thinking that I wanted to share some of the fun with my friends on Facebook, but then would think, but why. Just be. Then, I caught a catfish and could not resist. I also posted a story on Ryder’s review of roasted marshmallows vs. roasted Peeps. The peep won hands down with its crispy, crunchy browned sugar wrapper around the ooey gooey goodness on the inside.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a person spends an average of 158 minutes on social media a day. This does not include other phone usage such as streaming, googling or reading. That is 18.43 hours a week or 958 hours a year or 40 days a year. JUST ON SOCIAL MEDIA! My unintentional detox was such a gift that I plan to start giving it to myself every weekend. Now, if I could just find a way to get myself to accidently exercise and fall in love with it, too.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher/Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at email@example.com.