Goals life

Quick Social Media Update

January 15, 2020

First of all, HI if you are a new reader. I think Gillian (this week’s podcast guest!) posted about BOBW on PMG (enormous physician mom’s group on FB; I am not a member because I found it way too tantalizing and addicting and therefore cut myself off in 2016) and I noticed an uptick in follows of the podcast. I have no idea if that will translate to more readers here, but if so, HI and WELCOME TO MY BLOG where I post like it’s 2005, for the most part.

(Although I do use capital letters now! So there has been some progress.)

I un-suspended my Instagram accounts a few days ago. NOT because I was dying to log in, but because when I did the Mom Hour guest episode, they graciously linked to all of my social media (including @shubox_plans) and I didn’t want people to be clicking through and seeing dead links!

planner-only account

That would have been poor form, since I provided those links during the episode as well.

However, the cleanse helped me. I have not felt tempted to mindlessly scroll whatsoever. I don’t know if that’s just January Energy or if it was an effect of the ~10 day period of total abstention, but I’m just not finding it all that compelling. Which is exactly the effect I was looking for.

I don’t hate social media. I just hate that I (more than some other) have a tendency of getting sucked in for FAR longer than I had meant to, I am prone to compulsive checking, and I absolutely use it as an emotional crutch when I am probably better off with other methods.

I also find that it often makes me feel bad. (Though not my planning account feed. That one is pretty soothing.)

I am continuing to do more:

  • reading
  • daily meditation
  • writing here
  • focused work for my (real) job
  • focused time with the kids

I have also generally felt less harried and scattered, even though I have a lot going on right now, task-wise.

If I find myself sinking back into default checking mode . . . I plan to just suspend again. I am glad that these applications have made that a nice easy option. Good move, Facebook conglomerate!

Did anyone else take an IG/FB/TikTok (ha) break in 2020? How is it going so far?


  • Reply Andrea January 15, 2020 at 6:11 am

    I took a permanent Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat break… can’t remember Exact dates but Facebook since at least 2015, Instagram maybe two years? Tried to reactivate Facebook to be part of the Canadian PMG but it didn’t go well (too addicting!). Never looked back – both also are huge time sucks for me and make me feel bad!! The small percentage of accounts that were meaningful / honest were just not cutting it to make it worthwhile.

  • Reply Kaye January 15, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I haven’t suspended any accounts, but have increasingly had same issues you describe with it becoming compulsive and just plain distracting and feeling like it can start to take over my life! So for the last couple of months I have been checking once in the morning and then deleting the apps from my phone. Then I usually allow myself to reinstall the app sometime in the evening for one more check to decompress and “see what I missed”(lol- usually nothing that exciting!) for 5-10 minutes. But then I delete it again until the next day. Has been amazingly helpful to me to just have these very specific, intentional times to use it and then it’s gone!

    • Reply Parita January 15, 2020 at 9:10 am

      I do the same thing! It’s really a ‘best of both worlds’ solution for me 🙂

      • Reply Kaye January 15, 2020 at 9:37 am

        So funny- I almost typed the same thing in my original response, that it feels like the “best of both worlds” to me to do it that way… hahaha! So fitting for this blog 😉

      • Reply Nikki January 15, 2020 at 12:54 pm

        I also do something similar! I delete the apps early in the week and then download them again on the weekends to catch up and share photos – I do live far from family and am grateful for social media helping to keep us all connected, I’m just also prone to spending too much time on it if left to my own devices 🙂

  • Reply Alyssa January 15, 2020 at 9:05 am

    I removed Facebook from my phone a year or two ago and honestly have never felt the need to go back. Even though my account is technically active, it really amazes me how I used to “check” the app through the day but hardly ever open a browser tab to actually look at the site or do something useful with it!
    I’m currently reading Digital Minimalism, which has me doing literal nods and “yes!”-es on the bus! I am toying with the idea of a full instagram break, which is definitely the other form of mindless scrolling that I do. It’s just… sometimes I need to mindlessly scroll. What I would absolutely love (and pay for if it existed!) is some kind of app that can lock me out of other apps after I’ve maxed out. Like suddenly a pop-up would come on and say “ok you’ve had your 20 minutes of insagram! please come back tomorrow!”.
    Either way I have enjoyed the layer of mindfulness that Dig. Min has brought forward for me. I think I’ll write something up soon about how I actually end up implementing a digital strategy!

    • Reply Sara January 15, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      You can set limits for social media use on your iPhone. I set mine for 15 min a day, although you can pretty easily “ignore” the limit and access the app again. It is a good reminder if you are prone to scrolling mindlessly, although it doesn’t always prevent me from spending too much time on social media 😉

      • Reply Lisa January 20, 2020 at 8:51 pm

        I do this too, and it helps. Being forced to enter the passcode to get more time means it’s a conscious decision and I know I can’t scroll thoughtlessly for longer than 20 minutes/day.

  • Reply A. January 15, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Yes! January 1st, I removed FB from my phone and decided to not go on IG. I wanted to explore the effects of this detox. The results are incredible, more than anticipated. I feel so… free. And I have to say, FB and IG are positive for me, inspiring even… But time-consuming and weirdly energy-consuming. I feel better, more aware in general of their side-effects. I can go back now, but I know I won’t scroll one hour a day.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 15, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      Yes! It’s amazing how even a shorter cleanse can help!!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 15, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    I took a break from IG from Nov 1 – Christmas’ish. I had a miscarriage in October and was having a really hard time with pregnancy posts and things of that nature (even though I am of course super happy for people sharing good news). So I decided to take the comparison game away for a bit, and I think it helped. I also always give up social media for Lent, which is just around the corner! I find it’s really good for me to take a total break as I am more of an abstainer, not a moderator.

  • Reply Zulema January 15, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    I really enjoy your planner posts. They’ve been inspiring me while I’m re-discovering my love for paper. Thank you!

  • Reply Amanda January 15, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    I have not needed to take a social media break from my phone because…I strategically never put the social media apps on my phone! So I never had the temptation or convenience of mindless scrolling. 🙂 The only email on my phone is my work email (for obvious reasons). If I want to check personal, I need to login via the web. I’m an app minimalist, so I am probably below average with phone screen time usage, and I am okay with that!

  • Reply Catherine January 15, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Starting right after the new year, I deactivated my FB account and haven’t really missed it. I was never in as deep on Insta, so I still have that on my phone and check it occasionally. I may deactivate that one as well.

  • Reply Sara January 15, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    In early January I installed the FB News Feed Eradicator for Chrome on my computer and it has been amaaazing. I also made a point of logging out of FB on my phone and have hardly gone on via my phone since then. I took the Instagram app off my phone in early January too but occasionally look at Insta on my computer, which keeps me off the Explore page and is also way less appealing for looking at Stories. I’ve been very happy with all of these changes and plan to keep them up!

    Oh, and a tip I picked up recently that might of interest to some of your readers: Facebook has an app called Local that lets you access your FB events without doing ANYTHING else on FB. So if you want to stay off FB but stay in the loop for events, download it and sign in.

  • Reply Gillian January 15, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    I limit the times of day when I can be on Instagram and Facebook. I only look at facebook in the morning before I get dressed for work or after my kids are in bed. I usually limit the time to a 10 minutes or so. To get the word out about the podcast, I lifted my restrictions yesterday and I have been hearing the siren call of social media all day today. It doesn’t help that today is my admin day, so I am at home doing so many of my least favorite parts of my job instead of in the office actually seeing patients. Tomorrow back to the usual routine!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 16, 2020 at 5:02 am

      well selfishly I appreciate you spreading the word. thank you <3!! You were great!!

      • Reply Gillian January 16, 2020 at 10:28 am

        It was so fun!

  • Reply Liv January 15, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I deleted Facebook app from my phone in 2014ish and never looked back. Now I logged in once in a while to see updates or ask a question. I still have Instagram but was never addicted to it either.

    You might find Cal Newport’s blog interesting – he wrote “digital minimalism” and has written extensively on this topic.


  • Reply Leslie T McGuire January 16, 2020 at 10:51 am

    For Android phones the AppBlock app will let you block apps and websites for whatever period of time you select. You can “lock” your time selection which prevents you from deciding to “unlock” the apps until the time period has passed. The Chrome extension Strict Workflow will block websites for the period of time you select. You can customize the websites blocked and the amount of time you want to block the sites. I use them both a lot.

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