My One-Week Break from Social Media

Frustrated with her habit of mindlessly scrolling through her social media feeds, Gurbani decided to make some changes.

It’s no secret that young adults spend a lot of time on social media. Social media undoubtedly has been a one-stop-shop for me. It is where I can connect with anyone across the globe and, at the same time, a place where I can learn about what’s happening in the world and what’s trending in fashion, and read some inspirational quotes. Social media is an amazing tool, but at the same time it can be addictive!

I had been apprehensive about the amount of time I was spending on social media. Two weeks into the fall semester I was struggling with time management. I would make a schedule and manage my tasks for the entire week using the app, but I still could not complete anything on time. When I looked at my Screen Time stats, I realized that I was spending almost a quarter of my day on social media!

I was appalled to find out that I was scrolling through my Instagram feed almost every couple of hours! There were also times when I would feel completely worn out after using my social media for a straight hour, after what started as taking a five-minute break from studying. I really wanted to get rid of my dependence on social media, and so I decided to take a one-week vacation from social media to investigate what my life would look like without social media.

So, this is how my one-week vacation from social media went:

Before going on a break, I decided to put up a story on Instagram and Facebook to inform the people who I connect with on these apps about my vacation from social media! I did not want to suddenly vanish, because I wanted my friends and family to know that I am okay, and that I am still there for them. This does sound a bit dramatic, but isn’t one of the main reasons we use social media is to connect with our family and friends?

Day 1 and 2 — “Someone take me back”

The first couple of days were the most difficult ones for me to adjust to the absence of social media. Honestly, it felt like something was missing from life. I felt disconnected from the world. My hands occasionally reached out to my phone reflexively, wanting to scroll Instagram. I missed checking out what was happening on social media and reading motivational quotes. I also missed exchanging memes with my friends, or just randomly scrolling through Instagram. However, within just a couple of days away from social media, I discovered where a large portion of my time was going.

Day 3 and 4 — It is not too bad, I like this!

Day 3 and 4 were quite normal. My hands would rarely reach out to my phone. I started to realize that I was being more productive during the absence of social media. I started putting my time into more productive tasks than just scrolling on Instagram, and I would get so much done during the day and feel accomplished!

Day 5 and 6 — It is so peaceful; do I need to go back?

Just like we do not feel like going back home when our vacation is coming to an end, I did not feel like returning to social media during the latter part of my break. However, part of me also wanted to go back to connect with my friends. I decided to make a “My Social Media Usage Plan” on Day 7, so that I can connect with my friends and at the same time enjoy less time on social media.

Day 7 — Preparing to go back with “My Social Media Usage Plan”

I wrapped up my vacation from social media by making a screen time plan, keeping in mind all the closures I had during my time off from social media.

No Usage!
During my vacation from social media, I realized that I spent most part of my mornings on scrolling through Instagram. Thus, no social media usage during my mornings helped me jumpstart my mornings and stay productive during the initial part of the day. This also helped me stay motivated throughout the rest of the day to stay productive!

After Lunch Social Media Time!
Most people take a break for lunch between lectures and I figured that using social media after having my lunch could be the best time of the day to connect with friends and see what’s trending! However, I would limit my time on social media to a maximum of 30 minutes, so that I do not get carried away!

After Supper Social Media Time!
I would spend some time connecting with family after supper through social media. This also helped me avoid using social media before going to bed, which in turn helped me sleep well!


After my one-week break from social media and having a new screen time plan in place, I was confident that I would be able to significantly reduce the number of hours I spent on social media in a day. Things went as planned for a couple of weeks, then I observed an increased use of social media. The following week I had to strictly follow my usage plan to get back on track. After a few deviations from the plan, I was then able to reliably stick to my usage plan. I now spend only a couple of hours on social media a day, compared to the 5–6 hours I was spending on social media prior to my break.

Reducing my social media usage has not only increased my productivity but has also increased my ability to focus on my tasks. I now feel accomplished at the end of the day as I save so much time by not randomly scrolling on social media. Instead, I use my newfound time to complete my plans for the day.