1) More “spare” time
I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands. Time that prior to my television and social media detox I had convinced myself I didn’t have. With the television off and no access to social media, I suddenly had hours in the evening with nothing to do.
2) Less tired
Rather than staying up an extra hour to scroll through my Instagram feed and comment under photos, or catch up on my favourite soaps, when it was bedtime I actually went to bed!
3) Reduced levels of anxiety
I’ve always been an “afraid of your own shadow” type of person, always thinking the worst was going to happen. I didn’t realise until after the social media detox how much my anxiety levels had reduced. Now when I’m walking home from the station, I’m not looking back over my shoulder thinking that somebody may try and grab my bag. I attribute this to not consuming bad news. When you open the papers, watch the news, switch on the radio, scroll through Facebook all you hear is bad news, it can be very damaging.
4) Mind my own business
Without 24 hour access to other people’s lives, I was forced to face my own. In doing so I was able to take stock of my life and become more purposeful about the direction I want it to take.
I didn’t realise how many creative ideas had buried away until I gave myself the time to revisit and explore them. Without having other people to reference for ideas and inspiration I was able to think outside of the box and come up with my own ideas.
6) Increased productivity levels
With clear goals and plans for each day I was able to get more out of my days. Although I was never able to get through all the tasks on my to do list, the fact that I had a plan for each day ensured that I had something to work towards meaning I wasn’t whiling away time.
What I achieved during my 21 Day Detox
The Idea for my blog tolufrimpong.com was birthed during my 21 day social media detox. I used my new-found extra time to brainstorm ideas for the blog and figure out the direction I would take it and start building it.
I was able to read two books – not one but two! Given that I had only read a total of 3 books from January to November, reading two books in 21 days was a huge accomplishment for me. The first book I read was ‘How to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie. The second was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
I figured out that I could be of service to the world by aspiring to inspire people (women in particular) to pursue financial freedom while on my own journey to achieve the same.
I learnt a lot about money, business, personal finance and people by listening to and taking notes from a number of different podcasts. I’ll go into more detail about the things I’ve learnt and applied from the various podcasts in future blog posts.
I listened to stories about other successful business people and what they did to achieve their success; their habits, routines and way of thinking. I also used it as a tool to research how to start a blog, generate passive income online, saving and investing and much more.
I started a journal to document the whole experience and it’s something I still do today. I take time out to reflect on my day; my goals, what I achieved, what went well, what didn’t go well, why it didn’t go well, what I learnt. I also write down three things I’m thankful to God for so that I never lose sight of how truly blessed I am.
What I found most challenging about the social media detox
1) FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out
Usually, when a friend gets engaged I know about it even before they’ve reached home from the proposal venue! During my 21 Day Social Media Detox I was missing out on news or hearing about it weeks after the event had happened. For the 21 days I was always the last to know and it sucked!
Also, I did the Social Media Detox over the Christmas period so missed out on all the Merry Christmas messages I would have received. Christmas is that one time of the year that you hear from people that you haven’t heard from all year and feel the love!
2) Actually missing out
I missed a friend’s birthday party as I hadn’t put a reminder in my calendar. Usually, I rely on What’s App messages for cues or happy birthday shout-outs on friends’ What’s App Status’ to trigger the reminder. I also missed a few friends birthday’s as I didn’t have Facebook notifications to remind me.
3) Losing my crutch
During periods of boredom and awkward times, I’d usually bring out my phone and start scrolling. Not having my phone in those instances was more difficult than you’d think.
While all media’s particularly social media have their place, I think it’s important to learn how to consume them in moderation. If you find that you spend a lot of time-consuming different types of media, look for alternative ways to spend your time. Pursue hobbies, read books, spend time with loved ones. Life is for living so let’s actually live it!