Youtube recommended a video by a lady I wasn’t familiar with but the title of the video grabbed my attention: ‘I STOPPED watching TV and Listening to music for 21 days and THIS happened….’. In the video, she went on to talk about how the 21 day break changed her life for the better. I was inspired – well for a few minutes anyway – before I returned to binging on other Youtube content.
Fast forward a few days and my husband suggested that I complete a 21 day ‘develop a new habit challenge’ with him. For a while, we’d both been trying to develop new habits such as waking up at 4 and 5am and were both failing miserably. The challenge was to set specific goals that needed to be completed every single day for 21 consecutive days. Examples of things on my list were reading, journaling and cleaning (if you read my last post you’ll know why this was on my list!).
The timing of his proposal was perfect as the following day would mark 21 days to the New Year and I wanted a productive start to 2019.
Recalling the video I had seen earlier that week, I decided to challenge myself to do the unthinkable – unplug from all forms of media for 21 days. Literally No Facebook, No Instagram, No What’s app, No Television and No music (besides gospel) for 21 days!
Why I completed the 21-day social media detox
1) Declutter my mind
I needed me time, space to think. It’s crazy how life just seems to happen to us and we don’t take the time to take stock of it all.
2) It’s actually depressing
Between all the sad news stories in the newspapers and on Facebook, to the picture-perfect couples on my Instagram feed – it was exhausting! There’s no point focussing on things that are not within my control, my effort would be far better spent investing in my own personal development. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
3) Stick to a goal
I’m the type of person to decide to become a Vegan on Monday and return to being a carnivore by Friday! The idea of committing to something and following it through to the end was an exciting prospect.
4) Get organised
In addition to quitting social media for 21 days, I also set six goals to complete, if I had any chance of achieving these goals I had to get organised and manage my time effectively.
5) Change my life
A bit dramatic, I know. But it’s literally where my head was at the time. They say doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity, so I had to try something new.
6) Get closer to God
I really wanted to build a relationship with God like never before and be still enough to hear his still small voice speak. I wanted clarity and direction for my life and I knew he held the key.
7) Build character
Will Smith made a profound statement, ‘Self-discipline is self-love’. To love yourself you have to discipline yourself. It’s actually a lot easier said than done (at least for me anyway!). Saying NO to that second slice of cake, saying NO those shoes that I need, saying NO to that snooze button on my alarm clock. Imagine getting to that place where you can just say no to yourself? What a dream.
8) Spend quality time with my family
I have a young family and I know the boys will not be young forever. I don’t want to miss out on spending quality time with them I want to be present in each moment. It’s one thing being there, it’s another thing being there. The constant notifications and pull for our attention shifts our focus from the things that really matter.
9) Increase productivity
Time is the most valuable currency God has given me, so I wanted to learn how to spend it wisely. What would happen if I gave my time to more important things? We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us to decide how to spend it.
If you can relate to any of my reasons for unplugging from all types of media then I’d encourage you to consider a social media detox. Maybe not for 21 days, but maybe start with 3 days. It really is a life changing experience! I intend to continue to have intermittent breaks throughout this year to give my brain that much-needed respite. Have you ever taken a break from social media? I’d love to hear about your experience.
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