August. It’s fast becoming my favorite month of the year. Not because of the sunshine (although I do love that!) but because I take a break from social media.
I can imagine you gasping! When I first tried this back in 2020, I thought my freelance business would tank and book sales would plummet.
Neither of those things happened.
That gave me the courage last year to quit social media for a full month. Let me tell you, it was so refreshing that I decided to make it an annual tradition.
That’s why you won’t see any posts from me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter this month. Before I bugged out, I decided to blog about why unplugging from social channels for a month is essential for my creative soul.
It all started during the crazy early days of the pandemic in 2020. By that first week of May, I couldn’t even scroll Facebook without feeling enraged, outraged, disgusted, or discouraged.
So I turned off my notifications.
Then I started taking a “social media sabbath” every Sunday.
Sundays became my favorite day of the week. I’d like to say it was because of my morning church attendance, but I know the lack of input from social media played Goliath’s role.
In 2021, I took a couple short breaks. A week or two here and there.
And I didn’t miss it. Not even a little bit.
Until I started wondering about friends and family. I love keeping up with them on Facebook. I scrolled Instagram to see the pictures but didn’t stop to read the text.
You see, social media taps into the same dopamine rush that fuels other addictive behaviors. It’s designed to make us crave that fool-good chemical hit.
That’s why so many people immediately check social media first thing in the morning. Or way my husband mindlessly scrolls every night, watching videos on the couch.
I never turned my notifications back on after that first break in 2020. I have to manually open apps now to see if there is anything new. And I’m good about leaving the social media feeding frenzy behind in the evenings and on weekends.
So why take a full month off when I’m already avoiding it sometimes?
Because, even with these limits in place, I still spend three or more hours every Monday preparing graphics and posts for the pages and groups I manage. I switch between profiles to schedule two or three weeks out but I always post a Sunday sermon recap and video link on the church page.
I used to be able to schedule my groups six weeks out, but Meta recently changed that to twenty-nine days and twenty-three hours. Why?
I believe it’s because they knew people would schedule things and walk away. If they didn’t come back and scroll their feeds, they wouldn’t click on ads.
Have you noticed how many ads and recommended groups clog your Facebook feed now? It’s frustrating. I’ve almost stopped scrolling because of it.
Almost being the key word…
Usually if I close and restart the browser or app, it resets the algorithm, so I see actual posts from friends and family rather than a string of ads.
We want to be social. To interact. Not to get suckered into clicking on ads that never deliver what they promise.
Anyway, my mind craves less screen time. A full month off provides a complete sensory reset for my brain.
There’s also no getting sucked into the prolific, nonstop drama and ranting.
Do you ever take social media breaks? If not, I highly recommend it! You might be surprised how refreshing it is.