The Cleanse

It’s the 21st day of my social media cleanse, and to be honest, I don’t recognize it as a cleanse anymore. My daily routines have changed. I’ve changed the way I do things and the way I spend my time. I’m not perfect, and there have been days when I’ve checked Twitter or Facebook maybe once or twice, but the amount of time I now spend on the apps compared to the amount of time I spend on them now is almost paradoxical. After the first week or first few days, I went through this period of boredom in which I felt as if I needed to be back on social media because without it, my daily activities were much less exciting. There was this idea in my mind that if certain life moments didn’t gain approval from others, the moment would pass be without excitement. This wasn’t something I wanted to admit to myself, but it was definitely how I thought. I soon realized I was confused and that my deep-rooted assumptions of fun were completely untrue. Since I’ve been home with my friends, I haven’t needed any of it. Even if there has been something extremely important that I needed to know about, one of my friends from school would automatically text me about it.


Why did I do this?


I’m spontaneous. I often decide randomly to do things without any idea about how they’ll turn out in the long run.


I decided to do this during finals week. There was something I saw on Instagram that made me start comparing myself to someone else, and I deleted the apps from my phone instantly. It was somewhat drastic, but I felt much better afterwards. I still have all of the accounts, and I’ll return to them once the month is over.


What have I learned?


Scrolling through feeds every moment of the day is a weird thing. Every moment we spend idle time analyzing the photos and captions of those that briefly pass through our lives, we allow them to invade our personal space. Most of us have people we follow but barely know. If we didn’t have the connection of social media, many of the people we see would never make appearances in our daily lives. Through this process, I’ve learned how important my space is, and how easily it can be tainted when I spend time dwelling on the glorious moments people decide to show rather than remembering that everyone around me also experiences days that are pretty ordinary.


When this process is over, I won’t do something as dire as deleting all of my social media accounts; however, I do plan on continuing a routine that includes more moments of being present with those around me and less moments connected to my cell phone. So many things are happening around us, and it seems like such a shame that we miss even the simplest of things.


During this process, I have had a takeaway from each day.

Today’s Takeaway: Always be okay with being different.

Idalis French