Social media is an addiction; a chunk of life; an inspiration search engine; a one-stop-procrastination-place; a reason not to get out from bed in the morning; or whatever you wanna call it. I’ve talked about my personal attachment on social media a little while ago. Social media has been this amazing environment to be creative but also a ‘trap’ to avoid the real world.

Recently, an inspirational Ted Talks from Adam Alter about what does screen do to us made me think about my social media binge-ing. Guess what, top leaders of Silicon Valley don’t allow their children to screens! I guess, because they were the ones who made the technologies and realised how bad it is for their children’s.

From his talk, I discovered a new term called ‘white space’. It is a time where we do our hobbies, personal connections that make us human and create a meaningful life. in his opinion, most people now are using their white space for scrolling down the Facebook feed, watching everyone’s life through the Instagram stories or reading some random facts on Twitter. 

Feeling that my day has been unproductive and aware that I pick up my phone so many times in a day, so I did what many people called as the ‘social media detox’, where I signed out my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter for a week. I wanted to better use my white space. Here’s what happened.

My productivity was on point

I instantly realised a change from the very first morning. This is how my morning routine usually looks like: turn off my alarm and check out some updates on Instagram (this is my excuse to get up and open those eyes). On this experiment, I skipped the update checking parts, which sometimes took me up to an hour, gosh, and in the end, I was able to get more stuff done in the morning, like tidying up my room, meal prep, breakfast and even calling my parents!

At work, my social media detox helped me to give 100% of my focus to work on weekdays. To be frank, I used to sneak five or ten minutes on my phone to check my social accounts every couple hours or so. That’s why, without having the privilege to access my accounts, I had nothing except to finish my work, go home and do something more fun.  Another thing that I tried to do – to minimize the times I pick up my phone – is by using my notes more than my phone as my to-do-list tracker and daily notes.

Shifting my attention to non-digital device somehow lead to a more controlled routine. One of the reasons is because the numerous apps and amazing features our phone can help us to get stuff done. All we need to do is double-clicking our home button then switch to another app in no time. This also the big reason why we can spend hours on our phone as if it never ends. 

Another point in my daily routine where I’ll be busy with my phone is when commuting. So I replaced that habit and grab my kindle instead. Yep, more books to tick off from my list! On some days, sometimes I just watch people and enjoy my journey to work. Though the only thing I see is everyone on their earphones and phones all the time.

Being more present

Ever since I started this experiment. My mind keeps questioning, ‘Ok, what am I going to do now?’. Considering that I can spend up to five hours on my phone, which is 20% of my time 😮, no wonder being in a ‘social detox’ left my day kinda empty. This situation left me paying more attention to my mind and body, allowing my thought to

I feel reconnected with the real world. There was this feeling of being aware of every breath and action that I took. 

For example, there was one day on a taxi, I had a random talk with the driver and he was like ‘You’re not going to Wisma BNI 46, mam?’ Wisma BNI 46 is my office building. I was confused for a moment. He continued, ‘I’ve taken your orders for several times’. I mean, look how much I missed what has been happening so much here! 

I love social media and I won’t give it up. However, I’ll try to keep it in a wise amount. Also, doing this a social media detox again in another month or year might be possible 🙂


Alifa is a marketer who ended up in tech. A newbie expat in Singapore. She tries to turn her complaints, struggles and memorable moments being a 20-something millennials into a life 'win & learn'; hoping that maybe others would benefit from it. When she’s not writing, she enjoys beaches, workout and pizza.

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