Social Media Hiatus

Towards the end of 2021, I decided I was going to start the new year with a social media break for up to 30 days. In retrospect, the decision was not driven by anything deep and would probably just qualify as an experiment. I had become accustomed to spending a ‘few’ hours daily on social media especially on Instagram and Twitter and wanted to test how I would fare without them. So in typical ‘extra’ Nifemi style, as soon as the clock hit 12 o’clock on 1st January 2022 ( I didn’t wait an extra minute), I deleted the social media apps I had on my phone – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat except WhatsApp which could arguably be considered as an essential messaging app.

The first two days were the hardest 😩; I cannot find the words to describe how hard those days were – I would catch myself at several times unconsciously looking for the apps on my phone and had to remind myself they no longer existed. I typically immediately found something else to distract me from the ‘craving’ – work, a book, a podcast, a conversation – anything to take my mind off the need to be on social media. By the end of the third day I surprisingly realized that for the first time, I hadn’t tried to look for any of the apps on my phone for 24 hours and interestingly never did again. 

Two things I found interesting during this time:

  • Significantly Reduced Screen Time : This was really the highlight of the last 30 days for me. If I harboured any desire to break the cycle and return to social media earlier, seeing my screen time analysis after the first week did a damn good job of evaporating it. By 2nd January, 2022, my screen time had reduced drastically from 10+ hours to 3+ hours. I have since maintained an average of 3-4 hours daily. Whilst the stats feel good and can be considered a win in and of itself, I think the bigger win is being conscious about what fills the extra time. I tried to make conscious efforts to do things I considered productive or fun.

  • Living in oblivion

I loved and hated this part in equal measure. Whilst I loved that I was able to disconnect from a lot of what was going on in the world, it kinda also sucked that for the most part I literally had no idea what was going on except I heard from conversations with other people. I was late to the party on everything and was so out of touch! 

For example, I didn’t know for days that Davido and Wizkid had hugged it out earlier this year and I was so gutted that I found out late 🙂 … that’s the type of gist you want to know ‘as e dey hot’ to be able to catch up on all the social media analysis in real time – lol. This example is probably one of the trivial ones but I wasn’t up to date on more important stuff as well. Overall, it just goes to show how reliant I was on social media for news and how easy it is to disconnect from the world by just deleting your apps.

There’s however a lot of peace that comes with not knowing what is going on and being able to shut out a lot of negativity that comes with tabloid news. You get to avoid a lot of toxicity and be more present. 

Overall, it was a very positive experiment for me and one I intend to embrace ongoing, howbeit in smaller doses; as while I think it is very important to be able to disconnect from time to time, I think social media definitely plays a huge role in helping me in stay in touch with the world and the key thing would be to be able to find a balance. I definitely think with being away for so long, it would be easier to find that balance going forward. 

For you it may not be 30 days, it could be just a few days or weeks but I definitely recommend taking some time off from time to time. 


What I am currently listening to: Why the Highest Paying Jobs So Rarely Go to Women. This HBR IdeaCast episode was an interesting conversation about the concept of “greedy work” as a reason why the pay gap between men and women persists, the silver lining that the pandemic may have provided and the role that men can play in bridging the gap. 

What I am currently reading: I just picked up ‘A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle’ and I am looking forward to dive in. As mentioned in last week’s post about dealing with worry, I found a lot of Eckhart’s teaching helpful and I couldn’t wait to get some of his books. Would definitely be sharing some learnings.


Wishing you a great week ❤️❤️