5 Lessons I Learned During My Social Media Break

Oh, the joys and curses of social media! I mean, you’re probably reading this article via a post you saw on social media, am I right?! A social media break isn’t for everyone, but I’ve got a story for you.

I’ve made a career out of social media with my background in digital marketing. I’ve met life-long friends through it, found this amazing CGS community through Instagram, I’ve even found a long-lost older sister on Facebook when I was in college (ask me about that story another day lol).

However, what happens when you feel like you can’t function without checking your phone? What happens when Instagram puts you in a place of jealousy and comparing your life to others? What happens when you find yourself “doom-scrolling” on Instagram Facebook, and now TikTok…and you notice that you’ve “doom-scrolled” for over an hour? What happens when your iPhone informs you that you’ve spent over 12 hours/per week on social media apps?

…Yeah, all those questions were relayed to me…and I was in the middle of a career breakdown.

So, ya girl needed to take a break from social media.

By the time this article is published, I would be on my social media detox for about 6 months, with the exception of engaging with the CGS community of course, and I have learned so much about myself and was able to get my life back!

Now, I wrote about how social media can affect your budget, but hey, clearly, I still needed to work on my social media usage, so I decided to do a dopamine/social media detox. Honey, let me tell you…I learned a lot, but I’ll share with you just 5 lessons I’ve learned (and still learning) during my social media break!

5 Lessons I Learned During My Social Media Break

#1 I Used Social Media for Escapism and a Distraction from Reality

Oh, this was a hard pill to swallow and a humbling lesson to learn. You see since I’ve turned 30, life has been a bit tough for me (professionally, emotionally, etc.), and I can admit that I turned to social media to not deal with things that were going on in my life.

I just wanted to be like those influencers who traveled the world for free on brand trips and get free makeup (don’t judge me for wanting free beauty products). I did the whole comparison of those women who had significant others (I’ve been single forever lol), who announced they became homeowners (I’m still renting lol), and had gotten promotions and/or their dream jobs (the longest I’ve been at a job was 2 years, and I’ve been let go a few times)…doom-scrolling on social media became unhealthy.

It wasn’t until I started therapy, life-coaching, and working with Raya (cause ya girl needs a village lol) and started doing the inner/shadow work within myself that I had to recognize that I used social media as a way to procrastinate. I used it as a way to escape my debt, to escape my low self-esteem issues, to escape my mental health issues.

Now, I’ve learned that in addition to income, I can use social media as a way to gain knowledge and learn from welcoming communities, like this one! I am determined to create my dream life, a life that I do not have to escape from 🙂

#2 I Have Way More Time

Bruh…when Siri told me “Lena girl, you spend too much time on IG and TikTok, go back to your hobbies”, I listened lol! You guys, I was spending hours a day on my phone like I was addicted to it, it became a drug to me, a dopamine-spike in my brain. I couldn’t believe I wasted so much time…I had to do something.

It’s crazy because I would always say things like, “oh, I wish I had more time in a day to get things done” or “man, I wish I had time to do all the things I want to do” or my favorite, “how do I have the same 24 hours in a day that Beyonce has?” GIRL – because I was on social media like I was dating it, haha!

It was truly fascinating how all of a sudden, I had time to do things like read a book for pleasure, go on morning struts, clean out my closets, exercise, cook healthy food (I’m still working on that one lol), start learning a language, etc.…just time! I swear, the next time you ask yourself, “where has the time gone?” The answer is probably to social media lol!

#3 My Interests Changed

So, I should have mentioned this earlier, but since I am a community manager for CGS, I cannot give up social media completely because it’s part of my job. However, my break was mainly not scrolling and wasting time on social media, and one of my goals was to unfollow people and accounts that just weren’t serving me anymore!

I couldn’t believe that I was following over 5,000 accounts on IG…like, how and most importantly, why? So, you know what I did? I started to go through my IG and started unfollowing all the “blog-worthy” celebs like the Kardashians/Jenners, different reality stars, public figures, and brands who just weren’t adding any value to my life.

Admittedly, I am still doing this because apparently IG locks your account if you unfollow too many people at a time (I learned the hard way lol). Also, why was I still following old classmates that I haven’t spoken to since elementary school?

Instead of following celebs and influencers who weren’t inspiring me or were making me feel bad about myself, I’ve been following more content in categories like self-love, personal finance (follow CGS on Instagram), mental health professionals, and only celebs and influencers who inspire me or post interesting content.

Aww, I think I’m growing up y’all lol!

#4 There is No Time Like the Present

Ok, this may go along with my previous point about having more time, but I have truly just enjoyed being in the moment and not having to do anything without posting it to my IG stories.

I can enjoy my friends in-person without posting our whole hangout online. I can hang with my family without posting pics of our food, and I can just enjoy my life in privacy!

#5 I Learned Who My Surface-level Friends Were

This last lesson was tough, but I needed to learn this. Now, when I decided to go on this break from social media, I didn’t make any type of announcement, I just…disappeared. I knew that I needed to have a season where I could be selfish and focus on me and my personal development.

What did I notice? My inner circle was always texting me, calling me, even sent me DM messages just to see how I was. When I was active on social media, I was pretty active and was always posting on my IG/FB stories, posting selfies, and engaging with all posts on my feed.

What I found interesting was people that I didn’t even know in real life, but they follow me on social media, reached out to me before some folks that I have known for years did! It’s been a bit jarring, but I am learning not to take it personal; as we’re all adults with lives, careers, kids and significant others…but it taught me that I am doing the right thing by focusing on myself, because most people are…and that’s okay! 😊

Whew, I learned a lot about myself and dedicated so much to myself during this detox, and to be honest, I may ease my way back to social media, but I don’t feel the immediate rush. I like the quietness, the stillness, and the mental clarity. Social media can be anxiety-inducing, and I am trying to live a soft life in 2023!

Anyways, I hope this article inspires you to reflect on how much time you spend on social media, and how to be more intentional with your time spent. There’s nothing wrong with setting limits and taking a day or two out of the week to completely unplug!

Related: 6 Small Tweaks to Your Day to Feel Amazing

If you’re a proud member of the CGS Community, drop some love and comment below! Stay connected with us via our IG @citygirlsavings and join the tight-knit online community via our City Girl Savings Facebook Group.

Love podcasts?! Listen to the City Girl Savings podcast featuring our very own Founder/CEO, Raya Reaves, as she covers topics to help us City Girls live the life that we deserve!

-Lena
The CGS Team
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