Hi there, and welcome to my quitting social media experience.
I’d like to invite new readers to check out my first post on quitting social media for one year. It goes over why I’m quitting social media, how I feel about leaving social media, what I expect to happen during this digital cleanse, and my why behind this experiment.
Another thing I want to mention, to all readers this time, is that going forward I want to these updates to have some consistent structure. Having a more focused structure on these reports will allow me to take notice of relevant things and write them down. I think it’ll be easier for the readers to follow along on the timeline, too.
At the time of writing, the loose structure of these updates will look like this:
- Introduction and checkpoint overview
- Review on things/habit/lifestyle changes I’ve noticed
- Review of emotions/feelings I’ve experienced
If you have any suggestions on what else I should include or some modification to this structure, please direct them to the comments section below. I appreciate and welcome constructive feedback.
Okay, onward to the details about my experience so far without social media for one month.
Day 30 of 365 Checkpoint
I’ve just hit my checkpoint on being without social media for 30 days or about one month.
So far into this experiment, I have definitely experienced some inconveniences, lifestyle changes, and different emotions as a result of my social media abstinence.
In this post I’ll explain some of the important (and surprising) things I’ve noticed so far.
Note: Future checkpoints will be written for month two, month three, month six, month nine, and at the one year mark.
So far in being without social media for a month, there has been only one noteworthy inconvenience: not being able to sell used items on Facebook Marketplace.
From time to time I like to declutter my space and sell items that no longer serve me. My usual routine would be to survey what I own, from clothes to gym equipment and other various miscellaneous things. If I’m not using an item, I’m selling or donating it.
Periodically, I do this whenever I notice that something I own hasn’t been used for 6 months to a year. If something I bought isn’t useful to me anymore, I’d rather sell it to someone who would use it than have it collect dust.
Selling on Facebook Marketplace Is Easy
Selling used items is an easy way for a lot of folks to make quick, easy cash. An event that comes to mind is when I moved earlier this year. I had to get rid of furniture I couldn’t take with me. All this had to be done within less than a months notice of me having to move out.
In a pinch, I logged onto Facebook and listed my couch, table/chair set, and tv stand on Facebook Marketplace. Everything sold.
Facebook Marketplace is a great way to find tons of buyers/sellers who are relatively safe to do business with because communication is made from their personal profiles. To me, it’s main benefits were that it was free and easy to use, relatively safe to conduct business, and there are a lot of people using it, which means a large amount of selling potential.
At the time, not being able to list my secondhand items on Facebook Marketplace was really frustrating. Selling there was so easy and I’d get buyers reaching out same-day. But, staying committed to this social media cleanse, I searched for alternatives.
Two alternative online options I’m using are Letgo and Craigslist. Letgo is an app that lets users buy from, sell to, and chat with others locally. Craigslist is a dinosaur of a website but a worthy competitor in the online buying/selling space. It was founded in 1995 and is still in the top 200 ranking sites according to Alexa.com.
For selling clothes, I visit Plato’s Closet. Whatever they don’t buy, I donate.
So far, I’ve been doing well with these alternative options. Admittedly, I do miss the whole package that Facebook Marketplace offers, but I’m doing just fine without it.
Along with my social media cleanse comes with me a general digital cleanse in the form of limiting my screen time (or being more intentional with my screen time).
For me this meant only opening my laptop or booting up my PC if I have a task to complete that requires internet use. Now, I rarely get caught up in looking at things that aren’t relevant to moving my life forward.
Another way I’ve limited screen time is I’ve reached out to friends and have asked them to call me instead of text should they want to get in touch. This way we’re both not looking at screens and we’ll have more information in our conversations. (By information I mean things like inflection and the cadence of a conversation.) As a result, I have less frequent conversations, but the conversations I do have are filled with more meaning and character.
There are two noteworthy emotions I felt should be reported here, though they’re almost antonyms of each other. Since these thirty days, I’ve noticed that I’ve found myself more calm or less anxious in situations where normally I would have been a bit on edge.
We’ll use my visit to Apple’s Genius Bar as an example. Earlier this month, my laptop showed signs of damage to the charging ports so I registered for an appointment at my nearest Apple store. If you’ve ever been in an Apple store, you’d know they’re packed at almost all hours of operation. And anyone who knows me close enough knows that I have a tendency to become anxious in crowds.
So, fast-forward to my arrival to the Apple store. Things went pretty routinely, a helpful Apple employee was manning the front of the store and checked me in for my appointment. After check in, they directed me to the waiting area in the back of the store where I sat by myself and waited among the sea of people.
A Welcome, New Experience
Normally, in situations like this (being by myself in a crowd for an extended period of time), I would have experienced a noticeable anxiety stirring inside me. I can’t quite put a pin on why, but I knew myself well enough to recognize this emotional-situational pattern.
To my surprise, I didn’t experience any anxiety. Even after waiting for over 30 minutes from my scheduled appointment time. In fact, I felt very calm.
I just sat with the other Apple patients and let myself just be there. I didn’t look at my phone much except to check the time. During those thirty or so minutes waiting, my eyes explored the store’s layout of products that the marketing/design team worked on.
I also did a bit of people watching, too. It was interesting. Aside from myself and the Apple team, the majority of the people inside the store had their eyes focused either on their phone screen or an Apple product’s screen. Everyone’s heads were down. I guess it’s not really too surprising since I was in an Apple store, but it was a powerful image to experience.
It’s been an interesting month without social media. I experienced some digital hurdles but quickly overcame them thanks to alternative options. There were also some welcome new emotions and lifestyle changes that happened. I’m looking forward to reporting on what 60 days without social media looks like.
Thanks for reading. Feel welcome to leave a comment below to let me know what you think!
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About the Author
Hi there, I’m Connor — I’m the author of this website and millennial guinea pig to a yearlong social media cleanse. From September 17th, 2019 to September 17th 2020, I will be experimenting and blogging about what life is like without social media. This site will be periodically edited and updated as the experiment continues. If you’d like to read more head over to the About page.