I took a three-week vacation. Bali? Nope. Paris? Nope.
My vacation was three weeks off social media, and it was bloody lovely. I’m talking no Instagram, no Facebook, no Twitter for three weeks total. Apps deleted and all.
You're probably thinking “Sam, that isn’t that long”. Well, it was long (kind of), and it was tough (relatively). With the average adult now checking their phone 221 times per day, it’s more the habit of "checking" which was hardest to break.
Here is why it feels like we have no spare time.
I’d highly recommend watching NYU Psychologist Adam Alter’s TED talk (warning: he has a great Australian accent) but here is my quick summation of his talk. Screens have literally taken up every spare second we have. Below is a chart which looks at how we’ve spent our day over the past decade. The red space represents our time around screens, as you can see nowadays the faint yellow and white slivers are all that remain of “you/me time”.
What I experienced on my “vacation”:
1. I felt less distracted
I have zero scientific evidence to back this up, but I genuinely felt less distracted. Maybe it was because I didn’t check my phone before I got out of bed, which allowed my brain to switch on at its own pace or the fact that I just had more time on my hands to think.
2. Had more time for real people
Sounds odd I know, but as the chart above shows, I had some of that “you/me time” back, whether that was planning out my day or just having more in-depth conversations with my fiancee Marlee. It was nice, but Marlee would probably prefer more time to herself (love you, darling).
3. Spent quality time doing other things
Reading a book, writing in my Greenwood, actually exercising - hell I even managed to launch The Greenwood Journal in that time. It was productive. FYI - I’m currently reading Waking Up by Sam Harris, it’s a mind-altering book for those keen (review to come).
It wasn’t all sweet sweet roses, in the first week the old mobile Safari browser got pulled up a few times and Facebook got checked. But overall it was bliss. My next aim is to give it a crack for one whole month (crazy I know!).
Have you had a social media vacation or a similar experience? I want to know about it, you can send me an email directly.