Trying to cut down on my social media use (and mostly failing)
Monarch Airlines are currently working on a campaign to make Brits aware of just how much time they waste on social media, vegging out in front of the telly or commuting when they could be travelling – which as you may know is one of my FAVOURITE things to do.
I used their tool to work out how much time I actually waste on social media and I figured 90 minutes a day was probably a good jumping off point. First thing on a morning I wake up by scrolling through my Twitter feed and watching IG stories, then I regularly refresh my feeds throughout the day whilst I’m sat on my desk. When I get home I watch Youtube whilst I wait for my bath to run and I’m constantly having to ask Jody what’s going on in a film because I’ve been to engrossed in what my phone has to offer.
Across seven days, I roughly spend 10 hours 30 minutes on my iPhone idly scrolling which was actually pretty shocking but is the average for us Brits. In this time I could have travelled to Venice to see the gondolas in real life, got my Game of Thrones on in Dubrovnik or caught some sun in Tenerife.
The calculator (which you can try for yourself here) actually put some things in to perspective so I decided that maybe it was time to put the phone down and spend a bit less time on social media. I still did my usual morning scroll but on a night I tried to put the phone down and focus on other things instead.
So how did I get on?
I was off work on Monday so I went out for dinner with my Mum and Nannie instead of lounging around the house all day. We went to the Tiger Inn in Coneythorpe and I had chicken liver pate followed by a ham hock gratin – It was bloody delicious. I checked my phone a couple of times sure but I wasn’t obsessively scrolling through Facebook like I usually do when I’m out and about. When husband got home from work we watched the latest GoT episode aswell as the final three episodes of Top of the Lake S1 (INTENSE!!). I kept my social media scrolling to a minimum and I tell you what, it’s amazing how much you miss when your on your phone. It was nice to be fully engrossed in a tv show instead of half watching.
Instead of scrolling through social media and banging something quick and easy in the oven I took the time to make Buzzfeed’s one pot chicken fajita pasta with heaps more garlic and chilli than the recipe suggests. I’ve made this a few times before but it turned out really well this time as I didn’t rush it like I usually do. I spent some time on social media later on (whilst husband had a bath) but when he came back downstairs I put my phone away we could get some tv time in.
On Wednesday I worked till 7pm as there was a serious back log of work as I had three days off and the place totally went to the dogs without me (I’m half kidding). This meant no social media for me anyways as you don’t get paid to sit on your phone when you are doing over time do ya? As I worked an eleven hour shift I couldn’t really be arsed cooking something decent so we opted for a greasy (i.e delicious) takeaway instead. Once we had eaten there was only a few hours of the day left to chill out, shower and get into bed so social media was low on the agenda.
Erm, so Thursday was a major fail. Everton were playing so I had big plans to get stuck into my book whilst Jody watched it on the telly but I was that tired I couldn’t concentrate and ended up dicking around on my phone for 90 minutes instead. Oh well.
Friday was yet another fail as I just spent the night chilling on the sofa, catching up on my Sky recordings and eating plenty of biscuits. As it was the start of the weekend I wasn’t too harsh on myself for being on my phone as I’d had a busy week at work and just want to relax.
Saturday was an up and at em kind of day due to their being a big parade in our city – Usually we go out for a day sesh with our friends but this year we decided to avoid it and went over to Leeds instead. First stop was White Rose shopping centre then we went over to Birstall shopping park to watch Dunkirk at the Showcase cinema (they have massive leather recliners that are oh so comfy). The cinema was followed by a quick trip to Ikea (aka a cactus shop) then home for some crap Saturday night telly. Social media didn’t really get a look in as I was busy for the large majority of the day.
Sunday was ok I suppose but I was probably on my phone a fair whack as I spent most of the day at home, half watching re runs of tv shows that I’ve seen a million times before (The Inbetweeners mostly). I didn’t feel amazing Sunday so I’m not gunna beat myself up for being wrapped up in a blanket absorbed in my phone.
So what did I learn and how do I feel?
Giving up (or even cutting down on) social media is hard.
It seems that when I have things to occupy me I can put the phone down but if I’m chilling out or bored? I’m always checking social media. At the end of the week I was even more aware of just how addicted to social media I am so I think I need to work a little bit harder on focusing on the here and now instead of the online world.
Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to continue trying to cut down on social media use (If that means husband hiding my phone from me then so be it) and I’m going to start using my evenings more wisely. Last week I mentioned that I wanted to schedule more weeknight activities – meals out, catch up with friends – but I’m also going to use my time to get more active and more creative.
To start me off on my journey I’ve just uninstalled my Twitter app and I’ve deactivated Facebook (I’m not ready to give up Instagram just yet) – Wish me luck!
What do you think to social media breaks? Are you a fan or are you quite happy in your techno bubble?
P.s you can follow me on Instagram here or Twitter here.
This post was written in collaboration with Monarch Airlines but all thoughts, opinions and love for Instagram are my own.