21 Day Social Media Detox.


They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Although I'm not totally sure who "they" are, I find this to be completely true. I experienced it when I tried the 21-Day Vegan Challenge with my good friend Beyonce back in 2013. I learned about it on her blog one day in December, and immediately began the challenge with little preparation. Though it was hard at times, I made it through the 21 days without cheating once (big accomplishment for me). In addition to being in the best shape of my life, I established a new healthy habit that I couldn't have been prouder of. I stayed vegan for 6 months, finally breaking my streak for some BBQ in Kentucky during a cross country road trip. (Totally worth it, btw.) Since then, I haven't really embarked on another 21-day challenge...well, except maybe the occasional 21-day "eat only unhealthy foods" challenge. I nail those. But truth is, I couldn't think of any new habits I needed to make. I'm totally fine the way I am!

Well, apparently that's not totally true.

If you know me at all, you know that I'm a social media addict. Back in March 2009, I discovered Twitter and spent the entire night out live-tweeting my experience at the club to all zero of my followers. Years later, I got a job at a digital marketing agency, where even my colleagues and bosses found it astounding (read: pitiful) that I'd racked up over 120k tweets in three years. In my defense, I spent the first 5 months in NYC unemployed and tweeting became my favorite pastime.

But its addicting qualities aside, social media has many upsides. One of my closest friends and former colleagues is someone I met on Twitter. After following her from some time, I saw her tweet that she wanted to move to NYC but needed a job and I direct messaged her about an opening we had. One month later, she moved to the Big Apple. I made this thing into a career, running the social media accounts for one of the largest non-profits in the world with the help of my aforementioned friend. Social media has become my life, and now as a business owner, I still do social media consulting. It's my entertainment, my news, my inspiration, my networking tool...everything.

It's also the source of frustration for my loved ones.

I spend entirely too much time on my phone, flipping back and forth from Instagram to Snapchat, and Facebook to Twitter, getting lost in discussions and comments sections that get me worked up. And quite frankly, people are sick of it. My boyfriend constantly points out how often I pick up my phone.  My mom, while she laughs at the videos I send her from Facebook and Instagram, finds it quite ridiculous that I scroll through Instagram while I stretch and Snapchat my time in the sauna. I even get exhausted by how often I close an app and reopen it minutes later, forgetting that I just closed it and not much has changed in 3 minutes. It's a habit, and one that I've spent years forming.

Today, my mom made the ultimate bet with me. After sending her what I thought to be a hilarious video from YouTube, she replied, "You NEED to fast from social media for 3 days to a month!!!"

A month without social media? That sounded ridiculous, especially considering I'd deleted all the social media off my phone on Monday night and they'd somehow found their way back on my phone by Tuesday evening. A month?! No way.

But then, she brought money into it. If I could refrain from using social media for 21 days, I'd get $1,000.

Okay, game on. As tough as it will be for me, I want the money. I need the money! So, I'm preparing myself for my start date. Initially I said I'd start Monday, but based on Derrick's reaction to this challenge and to my admitting yet again that I had a problem, I figured I'd start tomorrow.

*sigh* Wish me luck, guys.

My and my mom's hope for this challenge is that I'll learn to be present, learn to separate the need for social media for my career from social media in my personal life, and most importantly, to get inspired. I've been feeling unmotivated to write lately, and I do believe it stems from seeing so much of other people's thoughts and projects that it's hard to create my own. So since I am allowed access to my blog, I plan on blogging my progress, thoughts, and grievances these next few weeks.

I'm currently writing down a list of things I can be doing instead of being on social media. So far it includes crying in the mirror, drawing mock Facebook news feeds, and crying in the mirror some more.

Just kidding.

But I'm excited to put my phone down and be present, building memories with my family, friends, and my man. So, if you follow me on social media, see you in 21 days!


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