I’m taking a short break from social media this summer (from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). I’m on pause through the month of July and already enjoying it immensely. My plan is to take a social media sabbatical for a month.

Why I decided to do it:

  • I’ve collected a bad habit of reading and scrolling—the endless scroll—late at night, and it’s been keeping me up an hour later than I want to go to bed.
  • It doesn’t feel like my work on each of these platforms is adding up: I’m not organized in my thinking, my work is not living up to the standards I want it to live up to (would all of my Facebook posts become a bound book? I’m not so certain).
  • I stopped reading as much and just spent time in search of the scroll.
  • There are other things I want to spend time on!
  • The final trigger for me was that I started thinking of “clever” one-liners for social media posts while I was out walking around town, and realizing that my very ability to be present in the forest, on the street, in the coffee shop was being clouded by my attempt to filter, edit, and share what was happening in my alternate virtual universe.

What I’ve observed so far:

  • I want to check social media when I’m tired. I’ve noticed that at 2pm or 3pm is really the prime spot for wanting to zone out, take a break, and goof off on the internet for a while.
  • I’ve replaced the endless scroll with other types of reading. I’m not sure if it’s “better” (I’ll admit to once going down the rabbit hole of some very vapid online magazines).
  • I’m reading more books! So many more books. I think I’ve finished 4-5 books already and I’m only halfway through the month.
  • I’m starting to pay more attention to being tired, and instead of filling that up with stuff and content, getting more curious about it. It’s really interesting how “tired” and “social media” seem to go hand-in-hand.
  • I feel less social angst about what I’m not doing or not keeping up with. (And it’s great.)

What I miss so far:

  • I miss easily searching and connecting with people. I love staying in touch with people and I feel a little more disconnected.
  • I’m launching a few big things in August (my podcast, for example!) and I miss having the space to tell people about what I’m doing and share my work.

Looking forward to reporting back more after the experiment ends.

Have you ever done a social sabbatical? How did yours go? What did you learn?