What Happened The Week After I Quit Social Media - Mika Perry

What Happened The Week After I Quit Social Media

 

 

 

I recently left social media. I signed off Instagram, deleted the app, and said goodbye – and hello to a more quiet, less distracted life.  You can read about the 6 reasons why I left social media here. 

Since then, I have noticed some new things happening.

Many of you shared with me that you have had the same tug in your heart, the same whispers in your ear, that intuitive feeling calling you to make a change by reducing or removing social media from your daily life.  Because of that, I wanted to share with you what happened after I left social media. There can be a lot of trepidation and fear around making a shift like this in your life. So I want to “report back” from the other side, so to speak, to share at least what I have experienced so far!

Here are a few of the things that happened in the week after I left social media :

 

My mornings improved

I’m ALL about a good morning routine (I teach a course on it, after all!) But removing the constant distraction of social media has definitely improved the quality of my mornings.

Here are a few of the things I did on one morning this past week :

  • Reese and I choreographed a dance. We made it to about 12 8-counts and I have to say, it’s pretty good.
  • I baked a lemon loaf and gluten-free banana muffins.
  • I pulled out puzzles and I convinced Maddix to do one with Paige – and she got really into it. Then Maddix and Reese completed another puzzle together.
  • I pulled out blocks and watched Paige create a “fairy house.”
  • I watched Reese read her new Babysitters Club book on the couch.
  • I created a new station on Pandora for our home automation/music system called “morning worship” and put it on.
  • I wrote a page in a notebook of just stream-of-conscious thinking, and had simple moment of clarity around some anxious feelings I had that morning, which I found was based on a need for control. I have never written like that before.
  • I helped Reese come up with her own club – we named it The Helping Club and we brainstormed who would be in it, what everyone’s roles would be, and what they could do.
  • I added to my prayer journal.
  • I read a few chapters of a book.
  • I did some laundry.

This all took place between 8:30 – 10 am. I know without a doubt that I typically would have spent half of that time on my phone. Probably on social media.

Also, I noticed less of hurried feeling and felt more patience with my kids. I looked at the scene of us in the kitchen – Maddix and Paige quietly and cooperatively working on a Disney Princess puzzle together , Reese with her nose in a book, me baking in the kitchen with worship music on in the background, and no screens in sight – and it was beautiful. And also, rare. I couldn’t remember the last time seeing anything like it, and couldn’t help but think “…is this real right now? Is this what I have been missing the whole time??” 

I felt really present and happy.

 

One of my favorite authors wrote about me

In an equally awe-stuck moment, I found out that Cal Newport, author of Deep Work and Digital Minimalism (and one of my favorites) posted an article on his website about my blog post on why I left social media, which he called “an interesting essay.” Ok, so one of my favorite authors, writing about and quoting me by name , and calling my blog post an interesting essay?

My jaw literally dropped!

 

My blog traffic spiked and email subscribers went up

Because of that article and because of the general interest in why I would leave social from my followers, my blog traffic and page views spiked like crazy. My email list also grew by about 1,000 new subscribers in just a few days. Email and blog are my two platforms of content creation now. So it’s great to see that kind of healthy growth.

 

I made a giant to-do list for the home

Here’s something I have been putting off : taking inventory of what in our home needed some deep cleaning and organizing. I walked around one night with a big notebook and wrote down each thing I saw that needed to be cleaned or decluttered or reorganized. For example, ” get pod lid holder, wash window screens and tracks, label the waterbottle shelf, wash the acrylic dividers in my bathroom drawers.” It ended up being a really detailed and thorough list. Having it all written down (instead of swimming around in my head – or completely forgotten!) makes it much less overwhelming and makes me excited to tackle it.

 

I spent time with friends

I went on a walk with one of my best friends. We have been friends for 16 years and we have lived in the same neighborhood for the last 3 years. This was the first time we have ever been on a walk together.

I also went to a social-distanced “courtyard night” with my 4 immediate neighbors. It’s something we do periodically after we put the kids down for bed and we just hang out and talk in one of our courtyards or backyards. We hadn’t done this for a while now, and finally got together.

One of my 6 reasons why I quit social media was to use that time to nurture more of my in-person, real life relationships – many which I have let fall to the wayside as motherhood, work, and busyness took its place instead.

 

My phone use changed

After logging off of social media, my time “screen time” data totally changed. I went down about 75% in usage in hours. And the categories went from mostly “social media” to (yesterday’s data) : “reading & reference” 1.5 hrs,  “creativity”45 min and “games” 32 min (that was Paige 😉 )

 

We went swimming. A lot.

Our community pool opened up, so we went swimming for about 10 hours total in a week! What I noticed most about this was not how much we were swimming as a family – but what I was doing while the kids were swimming. I wasn’t scrolling on my phone, I only took about 3 photos (one of them being the one above) and I was in the pool with them. This made me think not only from a presence perspective – but from a safety perspective having small kids.

There was a time when Paige struggling in the deeper end while she was playing with Reese and I jumped in to grab her. I saw it because I was watching them swim – not just passively watching, but WATCHING watching. Had I been on my phone, I don’t know if I would have seen that (because it happened quietly.)

Being off of social media as a parent could have a significant role in the safety of our kids.

 

 

I recognize that this is probably the “honeymoon stage” of this social media exit experience. It’s when you are acutely aware of all the good and wonderful things and it’s super exciting.

In a marriage, the honeymoon stage is a celebration of a great decision. Which is then followed by the deepening and strengthening of the relationship – through the ups and downs, the thrilling and mudane days, the challenges and the joys.

Similarly, my hope is that removing social media’s distraction will give me the space to create a deeper and stronger relationship with my life.

 

xo

Mika

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19 Responses
  • Alison
    May 29, 2020

    I’m so happy to read your writing. I do miss your posts on Instagram. They were always refreshing in a sea of sometimes not-so-refreshing. But I’ll take this blog for your posts any day!

  • Meehline
    May 29, 2020

    My IG feed has never been the same since you left. Seeing your email today is glorious.

  • Monique
    May 29, 2020

    I was really hoping you would write about your experience so far. You did!!! This is wonderful to hear. So happy for you. I’m older 50 but I always think back and think I’m so glad during the time of raising my 3 children I didn’t have cell phones and social media and Pinterest. Hahahhaha I was content and more confident in what I was doing. I was present and I see how it’s affecting families now with such distractions. So happy for you MIKA!!!! I do miss you though.

  • Annette
    May 29, 2020

    I have to admit I initially was sad to hear you were leaving social media (even though I understand and respect the decision), as I’ve learned so much from you. Your Instagram account was one of my favorites to follow. I had just signed up for your organizing course, and I was so excited about being in the private Facebook group to learn more from you and your community. However, I’m also so impressed (and relieved) that you are still sharing your wisdom in a way that works better for you and your family! You are reminding us all that we can still get the information or entertainment we are looking for in ways that are not tied to the time suck that is social media. You truly are giving your readers a gift by method you have chosen to share your insights. I look forward to continuing to read your blog posts and emails. Thank you!

  • Julie
    May 29, 2020

    I have not felt this way about Instagram but definitely about Facebook. I finally made the leap and got off of it after your post and my quality of life has improved dramatically. I was able to think more clearly and make some really good decisions about my mental health management. I’m grateful that you have decided to use your gifts to influence in such positive ways. I initially came to you for organization help (hello ADD!) but I have been pleasantly surprised to find so much more depth and a kindred spirit of sorts. Thanks for your openness and willingness to share.

  • Malley
    May 29, 2020

    I love everything about this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lulú
    May 29, 2020

    That’s your community pool. So beautiful. I’ve been on the edge if my seat for your weekly newsletter. Thank yuh

  • Christina Tetreault
    May 31, 2020

    This makes me so happy to read! I love getting your emails in my inbox. Sending love!

  • Jana
    May 31, 2020

    I’m following Cal Newport for a while now and read the post about you quitting social media. I followed his link to your post and realky liked what I saw and read. So I joined yiur mailing list. Happy to be here all the way from Nelson Mandela’s country – South Africa

  • Aleesa
    May 31, 2020

    You inspired me to deactivate social media as well! Tomorrow will be a week and I really haven’t missed it. I’ve found myself spending less time taking pictures of random things and being more present in the moment. I really was doing so many things just so I could post about them. Makes me sad to thing about but so happy I’m noticing and being a more present mom, wife and friend!

  • Jill
    June 1, 2020

    I am thrilled to keep up with you via your emails and blog. The increase in email subscriptions shows how wonderful your content was and how contagious your positive outlook on life in general was to witness. It is wonderful to see that, in your followers’ case, the “quick scroll” isn’t everything. I had only started following you probably for the last year, and I find your social media exit to be inspiring and I look forward to any content that comes out on these channels-however frequent or infrequent they may be!

  • Alex
    June 3, 2020

    Hi Mika, earlier this year I had a feeling that I needed to give up alcohol and came across your podcast regarding sobriety and I had messaged you that I was going to attend my first AA meeting. I too was walking the line of alcoholism and needed to stop before it became a problem. I have had a feeling inside for years now that I need to give up social media, I regularly took breaks but I was really wanting to completely unplug. I was afraid that, like with alcohol, I would lose friendships miss out. In reality, life’s best moments are not on our screens, it’s right in front of us. I am on day 2 of deleting my social media accounts. Thank you for daring to go against the norm, you are touching so many lives. God bless you!

  • Cammi
    June 9, 2020

    I am one of the 1,000! Never followed you on social media but happy to be a new subscruber!!

  • Lisa Bezzina
    June 10, 2020

    Thank you for sharing this update. I’d love to hear more updates as your time off of social media expands. I’ve been off of Instagram since Monday and it feels incredible… And, my goodness, did you choose to get off at just the right time, or what?! It is an abyss of virtue signaling and negativity. Thank you again for being the light that you are. Be well.

  • Lori Murphree
    June 23, 2020

    I’m a relatively new blog follower after seeing your “quitting social media post” show up on a Friday list of good things for an author I follow. I started listening to your podcast archive and especially like that you did them with your husband. My daughter is married to a tech entrepreneur (which, I admit, makes me nervous as I’m someone who values security). Your podcasts with Russ give me insight into what makes entrepreneurs tick — and I love that you have a faith and sobriety perspective to add to the conversation. I’ve recommended them to my daughter and her husband. Thank you, Mika, for being brave and using your influence for GOOD.

  • Fatima
    June 24, 2020

    I love you I love getting your emails , I’m from Bahrain

  • Rebecca Clark
    June 27, 2020

    Standing on the same side as you, Mika. I logged out of Instagram 2 months ago after about 8 years of posting photos on the app. I miss very little about IG. I honestly feel more peace and contentment in my life and I feel a redirection and rediscovery of the real things in life that are important to me. I am grateful to still read your articles and gather the inspiration that you offer and apply it where I can. I am in the valley also and if I happen to be lucky enough to see you around town I am going to say hello and give you a squeeze. Cheers to you! xx

  • Nicole Deschênes
    July 5, 2020

    So happy to read this. So refreshing! Lots of love…

  • Mindy
    July 5, 2020

    Hi Mika,
    Three things came to mind when I saw you were leaving IG. 1)I was inspired to do the same 2) I imagined your website traffic would increase because people still want to be a part of your life, and 3)I wondered if I could do the same since I don’t have a large following and only about 340 subscribers to my site.

    Also, and this is important, I have a 21 year old daughter. I was a single mom and recently wondered how I did it all; military, going to college part-time, and raising her. I realized that I had zero distractions. We didn’t have social media when I was raising her and our time was precious.

    I want to ask, do you believe someone can build a business or for me, I’m getting ready to submit my book proposal, without social media?

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