What I Learned By Taking A Social Media Break

Because of technology, we have everything we want at our fingertips. You want to know something… just google it. Need some photo inspiration… hop on Instagram. Need something delivered… get on Amazon. Need a craft, home decor, or recipe idea… go to Pinterest. You name it and it’s there. And as nice as it is to have all this, it can quickly hit the point of overload. Which is why I took a social media break during my week at the cabin.

A Week Without Social Media

**The photos in this blog post are from my vacation. If you don’t enjoy seeing fish, I am sorry but I grew up fishing and it is part of my life.**

I grew up going to a “resort” in Dent, Minnesota. Eight cabins right on the lake and for this outdoor loving girl it was a perfect adventure every year.  Growing up before cell phones and major internet access, I learned how to enjoy nature and its beauty without distraction.
 
Words cannot express how thankful I am to have grown up that way. A time where the biggest social media site was MySpace. Which I was not allowed on.  Where the internet opened my eyes to the world but being on it meant the landline didn’t work. Anyone remember those days?
 Vacation brought me back to the memories of life before social media and smartphones. My cell phone had only one bar and would fail to call anyone 90% of the time while at the cabin.
 
So instead of worrying about the outside world, I spent time with family and friends. In the morning I fished and spent time watching the sunrise and listened to the loons.  The lake called my name in the afternoon and I laid on my new duck floaty soaking in the sun. At night I played cards and laughed until my stomach hurt. 
 
I never realized how much I missed life without distraction.  The worries of the world and the pressures of social media faded away. Taking pictures for memories and not for likes. (My pictures actually turned out better because of it.) The depressing stories that plagued my timelines didn’t seem as worrying. Life somehow went back to the simple days that I once lived.  
 
Now that I am home I have taken the memories of my simple life and use them to use social media in a good way. I want to inspire you all to find happiness. To control the things that you can and not worry about the things you can’t.  The are many pluses to social media but there are also many cons. 

What I Learned By Taking A Social Media Break

Now I would like you to think back to a time without your iPhone and internet. Before social media took over or even back to the MySpace days. When life seemed simple.
 
What do you miss?
 
Would you want to go back?
 
How has social media changed your life?
 
Going back up to the cabin, where my cell phone doesn’t work and getting internet access is too much work opened my eyes to the way I used to live. Carefree and unbothered by the problems I can’t control. These are some things I learned during my break.

Remembering  My Purpose

I want to use my online voice to help inspire. Like and views mean nothing to me if what I post doesn’t help someone.

I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say “Because of you, I didn’t give up.”

So my message to you is to stop trying to impress others with the things that you own. Begin inspiring them by the way that you live.

I Cannot Control Everything

I cannot control…

How others treat each other.

How others treat me.

How others feel.

But I can control…

How I treat others.

How I treat myself.

How I think/feel.

There is so much that I cannot control, but there are things that I can. I can decide how I spend my time, who I interact with, who I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat. I can choose how I’m going to handle the unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.

Be Present and Stay in the Moment

 My week without social media and the internet was quite sobering. I had no clue how much I was missing all around me with my nose in my phone all the time.
A week of laughing and having fun without distraction is exactly what I needed. The stress of capturing every moment faded. I felt the pressure of being perfect on social media lift away.  Rather than capturing every moment, I’ve been posting the moments that really move me. I’m finding myself living more of my life rather than documenting/sharing it.

It’s Easy to Loose Yourself

Once again I lost sight of my purpose. (Getting sick of hearing that yet) Instead of posting for myself and my mission, I started to post for others. Forgetting that the people who first found me followed and liked my posts for me.

Ultimately, I need to do this for me. Not for the likes or features. Although they’re fun, those feelings fade quickly. I need to create for me and the inspiration of helping others.

Find Balance

As with anything in life, too much (even of a good thing) is harmful. So the way I approach it will be different.

My notifications are turned off. I’ll  post for me and to inspire others. And I’ll remember to put down the phone, step out of the social media world, and back into my own beautiful, busy (and often crazy) world.

Have You Ever Taken A Social Media Break?

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What I Learned By Taking A Social Media Break

 

103 Comments

  1. Everyone needs a social media break at least once a month, sometimes even twice a month. When my family and I go to our camp on the weekends we have no service and its great! Spending time together and enjoying nature is the best thing ever! 🙂

  2. I have been thinking about this for sometime. I know that I need to have a break but I feel like my business/blog would fail! I take a day here and there away from social media and that seems to help. I think we all need to do it more and let go of social media.. I honestly do, but it’s hard!! thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Beautiful photos. I dont have wifi at my cabin. So I look forward to not having the option to use social media on the weekends. It is so nice and relaxing. It reminds me of the 90’s! The best times 🙂

  4. It makes me so sad when I am out in the world and see everyone sitting around (or even walking around) with their faces buried in their phones rather than talking to the people they are with. I use social media a lot but I wish there was a better balance between online interactions and in person interactions.

  5. I think a social media break would be a GREAT idea for absolutely everyone. We should set aside a time, like one week per season, where we just connect with nature and each other. Remembering those connections and getting back to your roots can – as you said – help us reconnect with our purpose. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Amy

    It is ridiculous how much we lose when we are tethered to our phones and social media accounts. So happy you found your center and reconnected with your purpose. An escape to nature should be a mandatory thing for everyone at least once a year lol

  7. the sophia diaries

    I totally agree with this!!!

    I try to take a social media break when I am with someone important to me i.e. if I’m going on a date with my bf, I’ll take some photos, but I’ll avoid opening any social media apps. Plus, if you turn off notifications for those apps like IG it makes it easier to check it on your own time 😉

  8. I now take a social media break on all my short-haul trips and it’s SO worth it! I remember having the most relaxing time in Iceland because there was no pressure to upload, respond to comments, edit photos, etc. It was so good to be able to spend that time admiring the scenery and spending quality time with my husband instead, so I can totally relate to this post!

    xo Jaime
    Angloyankophile

  9. I always think about taking a break from social media, but it’s so difficult when your part-time job is blogging and social media! 😉 However, it would be a great idea to turn off notifications when on a camping trip or so, because it’s important to break free from technology every once in a while.

  10. Beautiful blog, beautiful photos, and beautiful post. Especially as bloggers, and for me working a career in marketing, I feel that I need to be plugged in and on social media at all times. It would be nice to take a break and see how that affects me. That’s why I like traveling abroad, because I lose my cell phone data and I hardly have time to be on the phone!

  11. Lovely post, As much as I love social media, I definitely need to schedule a break sometime soon! I don’t think I let it interfere with my life too much, but it would be refreshing.
    This post though is great for some of the points you’ve made, particularly about why you’re using social media, and I’ve tweeted that quote, as it did make an impact with me.
    Thanks, Ashley x
    https://meaninglesscommotion.wordpress.com/

  12. Um I LOVE seeing your fish! I love fishing! And I love this! Makes me want to go off social media while I’m on vacation in MN/WI so I can just focus on enjoying the area. Thank you for this!

  13. I love this so much! Most people are so attached to their phones that they miss what’s happening right in front of them. Social Media/ technology breaks are so important not just for quality time with family etc, but for your overall health. Such a great post!

  14. WOW. I love this post, and when you wrote, “I never realized how much I missed life without distraction” it really opened my eyes to the world before social media. Also, “Don’t use social media to impress people. Use it to impact people” is so strong and what I always strive to do with my blogs. This blog is a great eye opener and very inspirational. Thank you for sharing!

  15. I definitely think we could all use a break from social media every now and then. it’s so easy to get an addiction to it since we are all connected to technology 24 /7 and stepping away can be a good remedy to that!

  16. I had to do this two years ago after I found someone talking about me on social media. I really struggled and just got away from social media. I spent quality time with my family and it was the best thing ever. Good on you for enjoying all the quality vacation time. BTW, your dimples are adorable.

  17. This is really beautiful. I’m from the UK and worked at summer camps in the USA for 4 years. I was forced every summer to take a break from social media, and I LOVED it. Everyone was in the same situation, I didn’t miss it one bit. x

  18. Jenn, I love that you wrote about your experience without social media and that you found so much meaning in your week without it. Social media can be so addicting. Especially as a blogger, I am on social media daily. I recently wrote about being intentional with the time I spend on social media. My daughter is at the age where she watches me and copies me and I don’t want her to feel that having a phone in my hand at all times is normal. I need to plan a week for myself without social media- just to reflect as you did on the impact it has on my life.

  19. I think staying in the moment is so hard for me when I have my phone nearby. I find myself reaching for it even when I’m playing with my kids and have to consciously leave it in another room so I can focus on them sometimes.

  20. Kiara

    This was such a beautiful reminder and I love your quote on using social media to impact people and not impress people. So well said. Loved hearing this because I believe in taking frequent social media breaks!

  21. Liz

    I think it’s great you took a week off. I feel like I need to do that too. I think social media can be a little too much, we rely on it too much and I think my whole family could benefit from taking some time off.

  22. LeeAnn Fox

    It is so important to take ME time and disconnect from everything. We too often get so caught up in work, but all work and no play can cause so many problems.

  23. I love this so much! I both love and hate social media, and as a fellow blogger, it can be really hard sometimes to take a break. But ultimately, I’m doing it for me – yes likes/views/etc. for my blog as well, but I blog because I enjoy blogging, not just because I like getting likes!

  24. I feel like I take a major social media break when I am on a work trip. I barely have time to check it. Which is actually amazing because of all the work and living you can get done!

  25. Your time by the lake sounds incredible! 🙂 I did a technology and social media break a while ago, part of a challenge by my church It was eye-opening as to how much I used technology, even just for a weekend I was amazed how much I went to rely on it. It definitely shaped the way I use the internet and social media now, trying not to use it so much and making better use of the time I do have on it – your statement about choosing what you follow and absorb online is so true!

  26. I haven’t really taken a social media break… Sometimes when I’m on vacation, I won’t use my phone, but I usually just dramatically decrease my phone usage. I think with social media, it’s one of those things that we need to balance. We can’t let it take over our lives. I love social media and the internet, because it has given me opportunities that I never would’ve ever had if those things didn’t exist.

  27. Hi, great post it is indeed about a healthy balance in life. I am online sometimes a little too much. I had a holiday last year with no phone access most of the time. Instead I had lots of fun with friends.

  28. I enjoy social media and it’s a big part of my business, but I make it routine to take throughout the month. In fact, except for contact with my kids and husband I take regular technology breaks. It’s heavenly!

  29. Stepping back is a gift, knowing what is important means taking time to shut things down and walking away. I took a break as well, not by choice and it really made me think about everything I was doing. One day I will have to try fishing.

  30. Fishing is such a great activity for relaxation and it teaches patience. I couldn’t believe how taking that short break opened my eyes to everything that I was doing online. It really made me rediscover my purpose.

    Thanks for reading,
    Jenn

  31. I am happy that you have a balance with life and social media. That is something that I have started implementing in my everyday life. Finding a balance is important.

    Thanks for reading,
    Jenn

  32. I find myself online too much too. It is hard when my work life is now all online. Trying to find a healthy balance is something that I am working hard on.

    Thanks for reading,
    Jenn

  33. I myself am very fortunate to live life both ways as well. It was until I was twenty until I had my first mobile phone which all you could do was texted and call. Its funny though, now I just cant imagine me without a phone in my hand or pocket.

  34. I am thankful for social media and the internet too. It has brought me more blessings than I ever imagined but I also need to find a healthy balance of work and life. Which is why I ended up taking the break. Plus not having cell phone service made it an unintentional but helpful break.

    Thanks for reading,
    Jenn

  35. I swear that blogging becomes a great excuse to be on our phones! I love it all but it has made me more attached to my phone than I was previously.

    Thanks for reading,
    Jenn

  36. Love that your church did a challenge like that. I have tried to give up my phone for Lent and failed. This break opened my eyes on how I use social media. I also learned that I mainly use it for work which means that I also have been working too much and need to find a schedule that works for me and my business.
    The lake turned out to be a beautiful break from the world. I wish I could live by the water.

    Thanks for reading,
    Jenn

  37. I love it when you said you take pictures for memories and not for likes. . more often than not, what we see in social media is not the way it really is.Mostly people would think you are your instagram account, you are measured by how much engagement you gain in facebook. Its time we realize that best things happen offline.

  38. Teresa

    Wow, this is so insightful! Taking a social media break is something I have been thinking a lot about lately.

  39. I absolutely love the stillness of not having service/being off my phone. Blogging has made me be on my social media more than I used to be, but I’m trying to be more intentional about how much time I spend on it so I can enjoy quality time with my family and friends. I’m glad you enjoyed your little vacay 🙂

  40. Love your tips and your pictures. Personally I realize that while I cannot take a whole week off social media (it’s my job) I surely need a weekend away from all screens. I also use social media for few designated hours in the day and not before or after.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  41. Such great lessons! Social Media really does affect us so much and make it hard for us to be present in the moment. Having 2 kids, I know that that’s the most important thing – to always be present whenever I’m with them.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  42. I do a social media cleanse at least once a year for a week – usually around Christmas. And it makes a HUGE difference. I find it lets me come back more driven and purposeful with my content and it also helps me find the areas in which I have become negatively attached. I think everyone should do one at least yearly. – Katy

  43. I am part of Generation X and am not hooked on social media, but I do take a break now and then. I cannot wait for a weekend break. My daughter just graduated high school and I am learning to leave my phone in my car for parties. Even little breaks like that are a God send!

    BTW – love the fish pictures, my youngest is a Junior Bassmaster and we go all over to tournaments. Minnesota would be a dream to him!

  44. I have been considering taking a social media break lately or even just unplugging for a few hours every day. There are so many things I want to do but I get so distracted scrolling through social media again and again. Thanks for your inspiration, I think I’m actually going to do this!

  45. This is a really great post Jenn. I’ve had to step back from social media, and the internet in general. It really can get to be overwhelming.

    I love what you said about not being able to control everything. This really hit home for me. I’m actually going to print that part out. It’s a great reminder that I can only control my feelings, thoughts, and actions.

  46. I’m thinking of taking a social media break soon. It’s healthy to take some time and step away. I loved the quote you shared about how social media is intended to IMPACT people, not IMPRESS people. This is a super empowering quote for new bloggers like myself!

  47. Sanja Loshik`

    Great article! We shall all practice this one or two weeks with no social media,that way we won`t get loss in the virtual reality.

  48. I LOVE this post and I love how you talked about being easy to loose yourself. I think we can easily lose who we are and our goals when we see other people online.

  49. I love your post. As someone who is starting out as a new blogger, I’m definitely reaching the point of figuring out if I’m being dedicated to what I want to accomplish, or if I’m just “addicted” like every other millennial. Thanks for your perspective!

  50. I grew up in a similar summer lakeside situation and wow do I miss it. I just hope I can make sure my kids have the same kind of experience. I miss the utter freedom from being able to run anywhere outside bear feet and nothing could stop me. I’m planning 5 days up north this summer with my family and I hope I take a major break as well. Thanks for keeping it real!

  51. Ro

    I’ve taken a couple social media breaks to reconnect with God (spiritual fasts) and to take a break from the negativity on my newsfeed. I remember around election time taking a break because of how much hate was being spread and encouraged. I think breaks are healthy and definitely worth it, but balance as you said is SO important!

  52. Love this! I have taken a social media break but haven’t in a long time. I remember it being so refreshing! I am currently finding the balance. Being social media is a much for me but doing it at scheduled times.

  53. Being present is so important! It’s so easy to get sucked into social media and miss out something really cute that our kids just did. Those moments will never come back. Thank you for this! Putting my phone down is something that I have intentionally been working on lately.

  54. I took a mini social media break this weekend when my husband and I went hiking up in the mountains. It was super nice and so needed! We had no service whatsoever so it was impossible to check social media. It is tough that social media is so ingrained into our everyday lives because it is hard to make a more permanent change.

  55. This sounds like an awesome place to go! With it being summer, I’ve been trying to take more social media breaks, especially on the weekends. It’s so nice to unplug and enjoy life.

  56. Social media breaks are so necessary sometimes! It’s so easy to get caught up in scrolling constantly that we forget to be present in what’s going on! I’ve been trying to cut off any social media during the day when I’m at work. Sometimes I spend half my work day on Instagram!

  57. Such beautiful photos! I am headed out on vacation soon and there is no wifi and I am secretly thrilled about this 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  58. It’s always a good idea to take a break now and again. Life starts to fly by when your nose is constantly in the phone. Great article! Keep me coming.

  59. I definitely agree with trying to impact rather than impress people! Posting to social media should be about genuinely sharing your life rather than a “look what I have” sort of thing!

  60. It’s amazing what we can experience when we just “live” without distractions. Looks like you had a beautiful vacation!

  61. I think what I really miss about the pre-social media era (PSME) is that we just have so many choices, it makes a commitment to one thing rather hard. I think there is a severe debt of focus, because of the information overwhelm. There are tons of pictures to compare ourselves with. In the PSME we only had to compare ourselves with the people we saw in real life, like real actual people, not perfect angle shot, picked the best pic out of 300 photos, but real people. Not saying we should be comparing ourselves with others in the first place, but do you feel what I am saying?
    Katie Lyn | Beauty and the Beaker | gotchaguys.com

  62. I love social media. I think some people can get overwhelmed but I feel like my life is better with it. The main reason is because we just moved away from all family and friends and it’s been the best way to keep in touch with people and watch each other’s kids grow up. then, of course, we’ve built three family businesses using social media and without that I have no idea what we’d be doing. Ahh MySpace. I do miss those days when social media was simpler and you didn’t have to strategize to interact with others.

  63. I think it is important to re-center yourself every once and a while. To not here the tumultuous background noise that the internet provides. Good on you, looks like you had a lot of fun taking your break.

  64. I think it’s awesome that you took a break from social media! I think everyone needs to do that every once in a while to just live in the moment and be present.

  65. A week without social media sounds like a dream! I have one or two days entirely off my phone a month, but while I am at home and working/studying there’s just no way to take a week. Definitely going to do this on my next vacay, though!

  66. People get so caught up in social media and getting likes and followers for the wrong reasons. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it from a blogger perspective or brand perspective. But it is easy to get caught up in social media in order to seek fulfillment. It is always a good idea to take a break from looking down at the phone and look at what is right in front of you.

  67. Life nefore social media was so simple and personal. If we wanted to meet friends, we would have to visit tjeir homes or have a meeting spot. Now froends are more distant, even though they are easily accessed through social media.

  68. My husband and I aren’t big on social media – our friends always ask us when we’re going to become friends on Facebook. Sorry guys, I’ve known him eleven years, it’s not going to happen. But since I started blogging it’s become part of the daily grind being “social.” I might have to get up to a cabin soon too so I’m forced to break!

  69. Tomislav Djukic

    I had already two times social media break and it changed how i started to look different on everything! 🙂

  70. These past weekends I’ve been taking breaks from social media. Or more like… not thinking about strategies or promote my blog. And has been amazing! for me is going back before I was a blogger. Enjoying the good parts of “being social”

  71. Hi Jenn,

    Your photos look so cool. I’m glad you enjoyed your holiday. Since I started blogging, I never take a break from social media. I was in the hospital last month for 10 days and I was still active on social media using the internet data on my phone. I keep in touch with my clients on Facebook and email and even when I am not working I want to reply to their queries fast.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Minuca

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