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Digital Detox Day 1: Why I've Done it & What I've Noticed so Far

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Speaker 1 (00:00):

Hi friend, this is Alex McRobs, founder of the Mindful Life Practice, and you're listening to the Sober Yoga Girl Podcast. I'm a Canadian who moved across the world to the Middle East at age 23, and I never went back. I got sober in 2019 and I now live full-time in Bali. I Indonesia. I've made it my mission to help other women around the world stop drinking, start yoga, and change their lives through my online sober girls yoga community. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.

Speaker 2 (00:35):

Hi friend. Welcome back to another episode of Sober Yoga Girl podcast. Today is day one of my social media detox, my digital detox, and I wanna tell you a little bit about why I decided to do this social media detox and tell you a little bit about what I've experienced so far and talk a little bit about why detoxing from social media is good for you. So let's talk a little bit about why I did this social media detox. So first of all, I think it's really common for like anyone who is a social media influencer or anyone who is using social media a lot like me, I think it's really common to become addicted to it because you know, I use social media to connect to people, to tell people about what I'm offering, to support people in their sober journey to share my message.

Speaker 2 (01:28):

Like I use social media as a power and a force of good, but I'm also someone who has had addictions in the past, right? I've recovered from an addiction to alcohol and I think I have a little bit of an addictive personality in that I will latch onto things that make me feel good and that's what social media does for me. So I've known that it's like, you know, it's a force for good in my life. It's a force for bad in my life at the same time, and I've been thinking about quitting for a while, but getting off of social media, taking a break, quitting from social media absolutely terrifies me because that's what I use to connect to people. And so basically my income hinges on me being active on the internet and connecting to people, right? That's how I meet people who might wanna become yoga teachers.

Speaker 2 (02:13):

That's how I connect with people who might wanna do retreats with me. That's how I get the message out about my retreats and my yoga teacher trainings. And the idea of leaving social media terrifies me because I'm like, how am I gonna get my message out there about who I am and what I have to offer? So this idea of getting off of social media has been floating around in my head a lot. And then a few interesting things happened to me. So first of all, I started going out with this guy who was a really nice guy when I was in Toronto. I actually really liked him and he was off social media completely. He ha was also sober. And he just said, you know, this is like addictive for me. It's negative for me. And the interesting thing that I found about our relationship was, first of all, I couldn't find any information about him online and he didn't find anything about me.

Speaker 2 (02:57):

And so going into our date, it was like truly meeting someone for the first time and getting to know them and asking 'em questions and hearing their story. And it was kind of wholesome and refreshing because every single date that I've been on, it's usually the person has some kind of context for who I am. They've looked me up, they've read a little bit about my story or maybe listened to my podcast or something. And this was one of the first times that I was like getting to know someone the way, probably like our parents' generation did, you know? And it was really beautiful. And so he put this idea in my head that was June. And then, you know, I left Toronto and he left, or sorry, I left. And the relationship kind of fizzled out 'cause he said, you know, I don't think we can do this from a distance, which I appreciated.

Speaker 2 (03:38):

And the, the beautiful thing about it also, this is a side note, is that it like really healthily came to an end because we weren't just like, 'cause we didn't, he didn't have social media, we weren't connected on social media, so there was no like lingering in each other's lives. There was no like following his story, you know, checking his story, seeing what he's up to you. There's no like feeling like, oh, this is shitty, that he hasn't, you know, reached out to me or filled me in on what's going on with him because I literally don't know. He's left my consciousness like he's in the other and I really care about him. Like he's such a sweet and genuine person. But, uh, yeah, we've just had a really healthy, like break from each other. And so then I got down to Mexico and when I was in Mexico, I bought a data package for Mexico and I could not get it to work.

Speaker 2 (04:20):

Like for some reason the data could not work in Mexico. And I spent like all day trying to fix it. I was like, online with the chat bots at the data place, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then I realized once I got to the retreat center, I was like, you know what, this is like really healthy for me. So there was wifi at Yar Yoga, but it wasn't in the, uh, it was, it didn't reach all the way to the cabanas. It was only in like the main areas like the dining space and the um, the yoga shaah. And so I could be in touch with people and I could be in contact, but I wasn't looking at my phone first thing in the morning. Like I had a half hour break before I, you know, I woke up in the morning, I, you know, sort of chilled out, had a lazy start to my day, went for a walk on the beach, taught a yoga class.

Speaker 2 (05:03):

And then I looked at my phone and I was like, wow, what a difference this has made to my life. And so that happened. So this has been in my head, could I quit? Could I quit? Like how could I quit? And then I started to think when I got back to Bali, you know, this is kind of the ideal time for me to quit because I've actually taken on a full-time job here. So I am the lead Vinyasa teacher on at a yoga teacher training school for the next five months. And so I have a stable income for the first time in like two years. So prior to this, I was fully financially supporting myself. And so all of my programs, I would have to have these big launches and marketing and social media, blah, blah, blah to get the message out there. But now it's like, okay, I know that I'm gonna have this consistent paycheck every month, so I don't even feel this stress to market.

Speaker 2 (05:48):

And so that was kind of flowing around in my head of like, this might be the ideal time to quit. And I actually was talking about it with my, my yoga teacher training students night. I think it was last night I ran this session on the sacral chakra and it was all about letting go. And I had this writing prompt for them, you know, I would be lighter if I let go of blah, blah, blah. And I was talking about letting go of social media and how much it would help me to, to kind of, you know, let go and focus on my dreams and, and how it would have a real positive impact in my life. I still wasn't ready to let go. Okay? Then I wanna tell you what's happened next, which is I started dating someone. So around the same time that I met that guy that I really liked in Toronto <laugh>, I also was like talking to this other guy that I met online.

Speaker 2 (06:34):

And we've been kind of talking for a long time now, like it's probably been about three months. And we, so we've been talking for a while. We had our first date like a month ago and like, you know, we had some Zoom calls and we've had like a few dates since like we've been back in Bali and I've spent a lot of time with him. And last night I got a message from him saying that he wanted to break off the relationship. And it was like, you know, rejection is so fucking painful. <laugh>, I don't swear very often, but my God, I just wanna side note, which is like, I'm doing this thing where I'm doing 50 dates in 2023 and I am getting so much fucking rejection <laugh>, like, it's like I'm setting myself up to have my heart broken over and over again.

Speaker 2 (07:20):

Anyway, he sent me this, this voice note saying, you know, whatever, I wanna end, I wanna end this thing. I don't think we're really compatible. And it was like a gut wrenching thing. And my first instinct was to go to Instagram. Like my first instinct was to numb myself from this gut feeling of like, I'm in pain, this hurts. I'm gonna check on Instagram, I'm gonna check my Instagram feeds. Which I had just been checking on a minute, like maybe 10 minutes before. And then I was like, holy shit, I need to quit social media because I am not giving myself the mental space to process what I'm going through right now. And instead I'm numbing out and this is what I did with alcohol, right? I had this realization that this is my new coping and numbing mechanism. And it was an instantaneous moment of like, wow, I need to delete.

Speaker 2 (08:09):

And so I removed, I did my, like my Instagram farewell post, which I knew that I had to do something like that just because I'm so active and so connected to people that I just need to let people know. And I did this post, I stayed on for an hour. And then the funny thing is that actually my, the electricity went out at my house last night, which like, this is the fun of living in Bali is like, you're just like, what the F is going on here? So the electricity fully went out, it's been out for 24 hours at my house and I didn't have data on my phone because I forgot to like refill it and it was over, like the month was over. And so I literally just had to detox from social media. Like I didn't have a choice <laugh> because everything just like went off.

Speaker 2 (08:48):

All of a sudden I was like, well I guess I have to go to bed now, <laugh>. So what have I found in the 24 hours since I've been, first of all, it was like a relief for me. Like it was honestly like a relief to let it go. And that's probably the same thing when I got sober from alcohol. On the one hand it was scary, but it was also a relief. And what I noticed in my one day off of social media, first of all, I leave my phone around <laugh>, I leave it around in more places, I forget where it is. And previously because I was so addicted to my phone, I would have to have it within reaching distance at all times. And I would know if it was done in reaching distance Today I left the yoga, I left work at like 1130 and I went down to the gym for a PT session.

Speaker 2 (09:29):

PT session was from 12 to one at 1:00 PM I left the gym. Where did I go next? Did I go all the way to the bank before I looked for my phone? I think I came all the way back to my house. It was 1:30 PM it had literally been two hours. And I was like, I haven't seen my phone in two hours. My god, I wonder where it is and I'm searching my backpack. Anyway, it ended up falling into like the computer little slip. So it was there, but this happened, this was a full two hours where I didn't even know where my phone was. And then later on in the day at 5:00 PM I was like, I'm gonna stop in Bali Buddha and get some like kombucha and some snacks for, you know, when I get home tonight when I'm doing some work. And I literally just left my phone on my AirPods in the cup holder of my motorbike while I went shopping in the store.

Speaker 2 (10:13):

Like very dangerous. But um, I came out of the store and was like, oh my God, my phone's just been sitting there. And that's something that I previously would never do because I would be so addicted that my phone would always have to be like attached to my wrist. You know, I'm not saying that's a good thing, um, because uh, you definitely want to, um, not leave your phone in like random motorbikes in town. But I definitely just saw that I was less mentally attached to it. Second thing is that I ended up finishing an audiobook and I did that much faster than I would normally because my attention span these days is so short that I might be listening or reading something, but I get distracted by social media. Like I'll, I'm just like, oh, I'll check social media and then I'll, and then I'll just start looking at it.

Speaker 2 (10:55):

And I found that I was able to actually, I finished a book that I normally wouldn't because I get so distracted and so I just have a longer attention span. I started journaling again, now I do a lot of journaling within my mindful life practice sessions, but I haven't really had a consistent solo journaling practice and I'm using the app notion to journal. My friend Ryan exposed me to this in the spring and I decided to give it a go and I'm actually really enjoying it 'cause it's organizing different things like gratitude and intentions and like all of that stuff. I also then spent some time this afternoon reorganizing my phone and it, and, and I had this epiphany of like, wow, this feels like sobriety. This feels like addiction recovery, you know, when I got sober it had this ripple effect through my life.

Speaker 2 (11:44):

And there's been a lot of things that I've been putting off because I've been so addicted to social media. Like my phone, my phone so chaotic. I started organizing it at one point, but then I didn't follow through. There's just like apps everywhere. There's random apps I don't use and I've been putting it off for like, literally at least two years. And I remember my ex who I dated earlier this year, who was a wonderful person in Third Man <laugh>. I'm doing 50 dates in 2023. So this is a different guy than Toronto guy. And, uh, the, the guy that just broke up with me, but this guy, he would look at my phone and be like, that drives me crazy. The the way your apps are disorganized just drives me crazy <laugh>. And I knew they were disorganized, but I just couldn't get my shit together and do it.

Speaker 2 (12:26):

And today I just had like the, the free time to just be like, okay, I'm gonna sit down and figure out what's going on with my phone. And I deleted a bunch of stuff. I reorganized stuff. I actually deleted this old United Arab Emirates WhatsApp that I still had even though I literally moved to Bali two years ago and I just finally got rid of it. And uh, the other thing that I did is I organized my, my bottom bar to be like, okay, what are my priorities? Like? 'cause it used to be, you know, like whatever it was like Instagram, Facebook, Gmail, like all these things across the bottom cell phone. Now I've put the Mindful Life Practice, which is my app. I've put the audiobook, audible audiobook app. I've put insight timer and notion all across the bottom of my phone. 'cause these are the top things that I wanna do every single day.

Speaker 2 (13:13):

And I wanna be reminded of that every single day. I wanna be reminded to listen to a meditation, to do some journaling, to do a yoga practice and to listen to a book. And so I feel like I'm setting myself up for success by having these things across the bottom as being the main things I reach for each day, not WhatsApp and Instagram and Facebook. And I feel like I'm just on a roll of like getting my life together, which like honestly feels like the sobriety journey in some ways. So tomorrow I'm gonna go through these emails and clean those up and reply to what needs to be replied to. And you know, there's a bunch of bills unpaid that I need to sort out and organize. And I just feel like I've been so swept up in like my social media addiction that I just haven't gotten on top of this stuff.

Speaker 2 (13:59):

So what are some of the benefits of a social media detox? Like these are some of the first improvements that I've noticed and I wanna share some of the other things that can benefit you. So we don't realize how much our phones stress us out. And content exposure to social media can just be like information overload. It can be comparison. We can have fear of missing out. Fomo and taking a break from social media can just allow us to disconnect from these pressures. It gives our mind a chance to relax and recharge. This can lead to decreased stress and anxiety and we can focus more on the positive aspects of life. It can help us improve our focus and productivity. Social media can be so distracting and it can be difficult to concentrate on tasks and responsibilities. And by cutting out social media, we can remove a major source of interruptions and that can allow us to be more present and more focused on work studies or hobbies and we can be more productive and have a greater sense of accomplishment.

Speaker 2 (14:53):

And it can also help us sleep better. So the blue light that we get from screens, the constant stimulation from social media can disrupt our sleep patterns and engaging with social media before bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep and can negatively impact our quality of sleep. So a social media detox before bedtime can help us establish healthier sleep habits and lead to improved overall sleep quality and better rest. So I've been thinking a lot, a lot about actually organizing a digital detox retreat. I think that's gonna be probably the next thing that I organize. Just an opportunity for people to decompress and release from. And I, I wanna say like a social media detox rather than digital detox. 'cause I was thinking like if I went on a digital detox retreat, I would probably want to have my computer there so that I could write.

Speaker 2 (15:41):

Um, 'cause that's my biggest thing is like writing and journaling. And so, um, maybe it would just be like a social media detox or like a wifi detox, you know, so you can still write and, and create. 'cause a lot of people use their tech to create these days now where you can connect with me while I'm social media detoxing. So I'm still online. I'm just not on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. So you can catch me on Zoom and I'm gonna be teaching the regular Zoom yoga classes on Saturday and Sunday this weekend and Zoom Sober Girls Club on the weekend. So I'll see you there. I also still have my Zoom Yoga teacher training, so you can meet up with me there. And I'm also still active on Slack. For anyone who's a member of the Mindful Life Practice and wants to chat with me there, just message me on Slack.

Speaker 2 (16:30):

Or you can send me an email. My email is Alex at the mindful life Let me know if you've ever done a social media detox and what was that like for you. All right, thanks for listening. Thanks for checking in. I'm probably gonna do some more regular podcast episodes, I think because it's like my opportunity to connect with you guys and share and tell my stories. And so just make sure you're subscribed and tune in so you can catch the episodes when I put them out there. All right, let's connect soon everyone and talk soon. Bye. <silence>.

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