We have interviewed a friend who has successfully completed the 30-day social media detox challenge. We hope this interview encourages you to take up this challenge and take a step towards improving your mental health.
1.What inspired you to start this 30-day social media detox journey?
- The documentary from Netflix called ‘The Social Dilemma’ lead me to think of what could be done in all the extra time I wasted excessively on social media, of things that I could actually achieve, or the time I could spend with my family in those few extra minutes.
2.Which social media apps did you decide not to use?
- During the social media detox I decided to log out of Instagram and Snapchat as those were the apps that took up most of my time. WhatsApp was not a possibility due to everything being done online now for the classes.
3.Out of 10 can you rate how much you used to use social media before and after you have completed this challenge?
- I could give myself an 8 before I started the detox as I used to constantly keep scrolling through Instagram aimlessly but it used to be for a few minutes to a maximum of half an hour after which I’d leave the phone and come back and open it. I’d rate myself a 3 now as I just have WhatsApp and Pinterest on my phone but I don’t look at them unnecessarily.
4.Do you think there is a rise in social media addiction because of the COVID-19 quarantine? Why do you think so?
- Yes, I definitely think that people are spending more time on their phones and on social media during the Covid- 19 quarantine as they need to connect with their friends and families in different parts of the country or world. But the problem mainly is the fact that they continue to scroll aimlessly through social media long after they have texted or called their friends and families.
5.At any point during the journey, did you ever feel like you wanted to quit and start using social media again? If you did, then after how many days approximately?
- Surprisingly no. I didn’t feel the need to rejoin social media again. I’d say it’s mostly because I could just keep in touch with my friends on WhatsApp and didn’t find the need for Instagram or Snapchat.
6.How do you feel after you have completed this journey? What do you think is the best benefit of taking up this challenge?
- I feel amazing after leaving them. There seem to be more things to try out and more time to do things you always procrastinated on doing because now you actually have all the time in the world to do them.
7.How has this challenge impacted your productivity?
- It’s increased my overall productivity for a day by at least 2-3 hours. I get to use the extra hours for doing things I love or trying out new things or just relaxing with my family.
8.How has this journey impacted your mental health? Have you noticed any changes in your general thought pattern?
- Yes, it definitely has. What I’ve realized after leaving social media was that my feelings of gloominess and a feeling of sadness overall have reduced since I’m not constantly comparing my everyday life with other people on social media. My thoughts are not about ‘Oh that person went there, lucky, and I’m at home’, it’s more optimistic and happy. I’m more satisfied with myself now more than I was before.
9.Do you have any advice for people going through this type of addiction? How can they be more mindful of their mental health?
- If you think you won’t be able to leave to them at all it’s best to start small. Try reducing your hours at first and then take it to a few days. The best way to keep amiss thoughts at bay is to ‘STOP comparing your life with others’. They are not you and you are not them. We all have different and beautiful lives to fulfill.
10.Can you give us some tips on how to complete this challenge successfully and not decide to give up in the middle?
- The best tips that helped me is to completely deactivate your accounts and delete the apps. Having the apps or opening the webpage in your browser will only tempt you to just scroll through for a few minutes while promising yourself you won’t spend more time, which eventually you will. Switch off all notifications from your social media apps and keep just the main ones like WhatsApp on (you can mute groups too). While you’ve saved those extra few minutes, use them to do something you love. Starting off with something that you’re not interested in will only bring you back to social media, so starting with things you love to do will definitely help.