Last weekend I went away to Byron Bay, but before I publish that blog post I wanted to go into something I chose to do while I was away, a little challenge I guess, which was to do a total technology and social media detox for the entire long weekend (over 72 hours). I did it, and I'm super proud of myself, so I wanted to share with you now why I did it, how I did it and what I got out of it.
I hope that through this you will sense from my upcoming blog post about Byron Bay that I really was, truly, entirely in each and every moment, and that it was because of this. If you have been following me for a while over on social media and throughout some of my blog posts you will know that I'm a big advocate for being in the moment, and saying no to screen time regularly. Technology is great, as mentioned in my previous post about how much I love my new Apple Watch (you can read it here - Tech Review: Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS + Cellular), social media is beneficial, but so is switching off every now and again.
I chose to switch off for the recent long weekend for a lot of reasons, but more recently the effect I've realised social media has on my life. I am not one to sit on it for hours, but when you are running an account like I do you can feel like you have to post certain things, you have to share things that should be really just for you, and as much as I love being personal with my community, I also love just doing me sometimes, so for me it's about finding the perfect blend of both. So not sharing things 'in the moment' is my new truth on social media. I'm allowing myself to be in the moment as it's happening and then sharing things hours, days or even weeks later, and I'm allowing myself to be ok with that.
In reference to another previous post of mine about saying goodbye to my larger social media community recently (you can read it here - Let Go to Move Forward), and this is definitely a personal thing as I know some people thrive off having a large community, but right now for me I really feel like I can switch off, for real and not feel guilty about it, and I love that. There aren't any rules out there when you have a large public social media account, but there is that underlying pressure when you know your followers want to see what you get up to, but what about you wanting to really 'see' what you get up to, something that was on my mind regularly, what about me and my moments. I think as well that maybe how I feel about being in your 'own moment' stems a lot from when I spend time with my parents, who don't have mobile phones or the internet, and are two of the happiest people I know. They need me to be in the moment with them, and I've learnt that I need it too, we all do.
So how did I switch off for 72+ hours?
Firstly I let those close to me know that I was doing it so they knew everything was ok.
I decided not to take my laptop with me, because the getaway was not 'work' related.
Once I arrived at our destination in Byron Bay I texted those who needed to know that we arrived safe and sound.
After we had settled in I deleted every app that linked to the internet (Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest).
Then I further deleted the apps that brought up notifications regularly (my email app and Podcasts), which I realise you can turn these off - but it's easier to simply delete them so you don't check them for updates.
I made sure that all alarms were off and placed my phone on the bedside table.
I left my phone in our room for the majority of the weekend as I had my Apple Watch on me, which is cellular so I can still receive texts and phone calls.
I took my camera with me everywhere, which is what I took all of my photos on instead of my phone (probably my biggest tip if you want to do a detox like this is to have an actual camera with you - plus the photos are so much nicer).
Note: I did not put my phone on airplane mode (which I know a lot of people do when they do this kind of detox) so that for me personally I could still be contacted via text and phone calls in case of emergencies.
In all honestly it was hard at first trying to push down that urge to want to post about what I was up to, because everything was so post-worthy, but it got easier after the first night and first day. I started to truly be in the moment, without the expectation of how the moment should look on screen, without the pressure to do anything at all but enjoy every single moment for what it was, a gift.
If you are one to want to have your phone on you, your laptop, or whatever else you like to take with you when you go away, that's totally fine (you do you), but doing even just a few hours detox from it all can be so freeing (even life changing if we want to go there). It truly is incredible the things you notice when you are present with the moment, where you are, with those you love.
If you've ever done a technology and/or social media detox or if you do one in the future I would love to know how you found it in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe to SPARKLE on darling back on the home page to ensure you don't miss my post about my Byron Bay getaway to come.
All my love,