5 Benefits Of Using Social Media Less

Last year I started to observe what I spend my time on and how that made me feel. Did using social media benefit me? How about a post on Instagram that did not get any likes? What about the people I followed? Overall; what did social media do to me?

This started an experiment of questioning who I followed, why I even had the social media accounts I had and what I used the platforms for. All these answers led me to being significantly less on my phone and spending less time on my social media accounts on my computer allowing me to focus on work and writing - it even led me to delete several social media accounts. Simply because I started being aware of how I was affected.

Being less on social media does not mean that I do not spend a lot of time on my computer, because I do a fair amount. I still watch movies, documentaries, write blog posts and so on, I just don't have my Facebook open or constantly have the urge to to go on Pinterest or Tumblr and scroll for hours.

1. Less charging
This does not come as a surprise because using an electric device less means less charging. I used to have to charge my phone daily but since using social media less, my phone is down to needing to be charged once or twice a week which saves electricity and money. Probably not the biggest change but it is definitely nice to not have my phone constantly being on low battery. But nonetheless; I use my phone less which means I use less battery which means I do not have to constantly charge my phone.

2. I have been able to break the twitch
Here I am talking about the 'I should check my phone' twitch. I think a lot of us know it. Without a thought you reach for our phone and start scrolling and suddenly you realize you had no idea how that happened. It is on autopilot. This is a habit that is hard to break and I had to start out small.

I started off not checking my phone the first thing in the morning. Instead I replaced this with a routine of getting up, opening the window to get fresh air, brushing my teeth, putting on clothes and walking barefoot in our garden. All of this instead of mindlessly scrolling for an hour. Then I moved on to not checking before I went to bed - making it a rule I cannot use my phone in my bed and therefore also removing scrolling time before bed which has helped my sleep.

I still sometimes do get the sudden urge to check my phone - for example after posing something to see if there are any comments and what the reactions is - but I have not found myself with the phone in my hand scrolling without knowing how I got there for a long time. When I do get the urge I observe it, take a deep breath and asks what is so important. My brain never has a good answer. 

3. 'I should share this' is gone
Social media is built upon the idea of sharing. Sharing something funny you saw, sharing something you are about to eat, sharing something you experienced. There has been many times, especially when I had snapchat, where I found myself thinking 'oh, I should share this on..' and since taking a step back and being more mindful about my social media use I have come to realize that I don't have to share everything - not that I did before but I had the urge to want to share it. I am not saying that everything people share is wrong or bad, because it's not. There are simply a lot of oversharing when in comes to the internet and social media. Before posing something, aks what the purpose is and see if you like the answer. 

4. I am less in a bad mood
I have observed that in periods where I am less on social media and where what I do on social media is down to just doing what I came there to do, I am less moody and less prone to being in a bad mood.
A lot of social media use leaves me fuzzy, disoriented, drained of energy and confused. It is hard to explain but too much social media left my mind cluttered and I had a hard time clearing my mind. It was kind of like a cloud had surrounded my brain and it did nothing good.

5. My attention span has bettered
At one point I was watching a series on Netflix while I was scrolling on my Instragram while I also stuffed my face with food. And the scary thing is, when this happens, I don't even realize what I'm during until long into it. It feels like it just happens automatically without me actively deciding to do it. I could also sometimes find myself be doing something, end up on social media for half an hour, if not more, before I notice what happened and then have no idea what I was doing. This also means that my concentration has bettered significantly and I am able to focus on a task from beginning to end instead of getting distracted.

These are some of the benefits I have experienced while observing my social media use and spending less time on the platforms. Social media is not all bad, it's really not. There are definitely great things to come of social media but in my experience there are definitely more bad than there are good.