After my successful 12 day break from social media during the Holidays, I spent the first few months of 2019 in a complete state of messiness because of my thesis deadline and a couple of other issues. So my resolution to maintain social media free weekends basically didn’t happen. I was so anxious and exhausted that scrolling through my Instagram feed was a way to not think about the things that were troubling me.
It’s weird because social media scrolling was helping me but, at the same time, it was also adding additional noise and confusion to my mind. Not to mention the twitch. Grabbing my phone for no reason every couple of minutes and scrolling the feed even if I’ve already done it and there were no new posts. Not being able to concentrate on a movie or TV show for more than 5 minutes without grabbing my phone.
You know, the problem wasn’t social media in general (because I use Twitter only from the browser and I left Facebook years ago), it was Instagram the problem. That Explore feed so carefully tailored to show my interests (mostly memes, puppies and LOTR). My obsession with Stories and me, compulsively sharing them. I knew it was too much, I knew it was messing things up with my brain chemicals, I knew I had to change my behavior, I knew that I needed a break. But I kept delaying it.
The truth is that I was afraid to feel lonely without the “noise” or the private messaging exchange with my internet friends. I kept telling myself I would take a month off in August because it’s when people go on vacation (mostly here in Italy) and it’s also when I’m usually dying because of heat waves and all I can do it watch Netflix all day slowly melting on the sofa.
But they were all excuses.
I thought about starting my Instagram break in June because I’ve missed May 1st and I had to do the perfect 30-day experience as everyone does. But then, on a whim, I said myself they were only b***s and I logged off the app on a Sunday afternoon. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I wanted to truly disappear for a while, I also didn’t want to look like I was following a trend or something like that. Finally, I didn’t want to set a specific due date to myself. I was aiming for 30 days but it could also be 20 or 17, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t about a number of days for me. It was about paying attention and noticing how I felt.
I decided to keep a sort of journal of the experiment and call it The Nosedive Project since Nosedive is the title of an episode of Black Mirror that deeply impacted my life (and that I highly recommend to everyone).
The journal was a little failure because I didn’t keep up with it but I still managed to write seven entries.