No need to panic! I’m only deleting social media for one week while we go to Croatia for our half-term family holiday. But this is a big deal for me. For someone who makes an income from using social media apps and from blogging, the decision to have a digital detox hasn’t come lightly…
So why am I deleting social media apps?
I truly believe by quitting social media even for a short period will recharge my batteries, give me a renewed sense of being me, and ultimately, allow me to enjoy my family break without any interruptions. And the only way I can do that is to remove the social apps entirely from my phone.
I’m often guilty of being too busy looking at my smartphone to enjoy my surroundings or the people I am with. Perhaps you’ve been in the same position, scrolling through social media rather than concentrating on your children or what’s right in front of you at the time?
Of course, my reasons are justified. I am a travel blogger and when we go away I am working, whether I’ve partnered with a tourist board, on a press trip or doing a review stay, it’s pretty impossible to switch off completely.
So why no social media on this trip? Our holiday to Dubrovnik in Croatia is being funded by ourselves, and while this has been the case in the past for many other trips including South Africa, I’ve never needed the break as much as I do now. I see this as an amazing opportunity to have a digital detox.
I’ve also drawn the conclusion that our Croatia trip isn’t time sensitive, and while I will still be eager to share everything we see and do with readers and followers, will it really hurt if I do it seven days later? No – I don’t think so.
The benefits of quitting social media
Astonishingly, teenagers can spend anywhere up to nine hours (yes nine hours!!) on social platforms including online and gaming. While the average person can spend over two hours on social media every day… and that figure is rising.
Too much of anything is bad for you, right? I wouldn’t dream of eating five bags of crisps daily, would you? There has to be a point when you give your brain a break. And deleting social media even just for a short while can only be a good thing. Better sleep, better conversation, and no time spent comparing yourself to others – it sounds the dream. I cannot wait!
But don’t just take my word for it – I’ve asked other travel bloggers why they think it’s a good idea to have a break from social media, too.
Susanna from A Modern Mother
“Lots of Silicon Valley execs are raising their kids’ tech-free elevating the notion that we need to pay attention to how much we use it. Our generation has been the social media guinea pigs – tasked to raise children in an unprecedented era. Taking a break every once a while will help you get a bigger perspective, not just the narrow view you often get fed via social.”
Cathy from Mummy Travels
“I’m very aware of how much my daughter sees me using my phone – when it’s essential for work, it’s impossible to refuse to use a smartphone or social media these days (and it’s something she’ll eventually need to learn to navigate, too). So being able to stop entirely at times, to go somewhere where there’s no WiFi or plugs (as we did glamping in Wales recently) is perfect – it lets me focus all my attention on her, and it’s a great reminder of what else we could be doing: playing Scrabble, frisbee, going for walks, not to mention helping break the habit of constantly refreshing Facebook.”
Monika from Inspireroo
“We have a partial digital detox each summer as we sail or take our campervan into more remote areas. This time really helps us focus on each other, reconnect and build stronger bonds. Not having gadgets helps us notice more in our environment. We can marvel at a sunset, play at the edge of a river, throwing stones for ages. We laugh more and are definitely calmer without the distractions. At the end of each summer, I notice that the kids have a longer attention span, that then gradually decreased as we get into the school year and our attention is pulled in many directions.”
Kaz from Ickle Pickles Life
“With two teens glued to their phones, I make the most of a social media break when we can. I plan at least one family walk a week where phones are not allowed – and we talk about what we have all been up to. It is met with some resistance, but they do grudgingly take part. It is really important to connect with each other – especially in a busy home where we are all in and out at different times.”
Nell from The Pigeon Pair and Me
“It’s funny, but when I’m on social media a lot, I forget to pay attention to the important people in my life. I don’t just mean ignoring the kids when I’m on the phone. It’s all the old friends from uni and family members who are too busy living their lives to have time to interact on social media. So when I switch off, I naturally seem to end up being more in touch with my ‘real-life’ friends – and ironically, I feel a lot more connected.”
Jenny from TraveLynn Family
“Being a blogger, I’m constantly on my phone documenting our lives, publishing posts, reading and replying to emails. Sometimes when we go out for a hike in the hills around our home, hubby nudges me to leave my phone at home. Whenever I do, I feel so much better for it. More engaged in nature. More appreciative of my surroundings. More connected with my family. This is only for a few hours. Imagine if I did it for an entire week?!”
So there you have it, it’s pretty evident that deleting social media apps, even for a short period of time, is good for the mind and soul. And if you think a week might be too much, then perhaps try it for a few days, and feel the benefits of not being glued to your phone constantly. You may even discover a new hobby…
Let me know if you decide to delete your social apps for a short while – and how you coped without them – in the comments below.