I Took a Break from Social Media :: Here’s What I Learned

I Took a Break from Social Media :: Here’s What I Learned

I just made my return to social media after a period of Lenten abstinence.

As the minutes ticked by in the evening hours of Mardi Gras Day, I made my final Carnival season post, a nod to the friends and family and fun and joy that mark the weeks between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday.

Then I deleted the apps off my phone. Goodbye (for now) Facebook. Catch ya later, Instagram. See ya maybe never again, X or Twitter or whatever you are now. I was nervous about how this separation from social media would go, but overall, I am pleased with what I learned. I only logged in once – to post for New Orleans Mom no less! And as I reflect back on my time away, there are a few things that stick out to me.


  1. What I Missed

As much as I enjoyed my break, there were certainly aspects of social media I missed. And those things were reflective of what drew me to social media in the first place – connection. I live states away from family and childhood friends, so the internet is often the quickest means to catch up on milestone events. I missed birthday posts, pregnancy announcements and even an engagement announcement from one of my favorites! I missed my cousin’s gardening and homesteading content. I missed my weekly red beans roundup from Devin @holdthemayo. I missed recipes from my friend Shannon and and so many other fun foodie follows. I missed my insta-couragement from voices who speak to me regularly through the apps.

  1. What I Didn’t Miss

I didn’t miss the drama. I didn’t miss the arguing, the finger-pointing, the name calling. And mostly, I didn’t miss the ads. The ads take up so much space on my screen and in my feed that I have found it hard to actually  find the content I’m interested in (the baby pics, the recipes, the contemplative questions for consideration). It turns out, I don’t actually enjoy being accosted with the idea that a need this new thing to be some kind of way that I’m supposed to be. I thoroughly enjoyed living my life for these past seven weeks without feeling like I was “less than” or that my life would be better if I just spent money on some product or followed some influencer to find my best life.

  1. What I’ll Do Now

Now that I’m finding my way back into the realm of social media, I’m still figuring out my new relationship with the apps and online spaces. For now, I think I’ll leave some apps on my phone, but off the beaten path, hidden on a back screen somewhere. I’ve found new rhythms so I no longer reach for my phone first thing in the morning. I’m thinking a couple times a week is enough to check in on most apps. I’ll be able to catch the good stuff without getting sucked in to a hole of wasted time and energy. I’m sure it will be an evolving process, but I’ve gotta start somewhere.

I have tried fasting from social media before, and in all my past experiences, it was a painful separation, marked with panic and FOMO. But this time, I think, I was ready. I really didn’t struggle. I enjoyed the break from my phone and the constant noise, and I think I’ll do it again sooner than later. Social media is what we, as users and consumers and creators, make it. It can be a place for collaboration and creation and connection, but it is also ultimately a subscription tool, so we in order to enjoy the benefits, we have to put up with the pitfalls – namely ads and bots and curated content we didn’t ask to se.

What about you? Have you ever taken a break from social media? What were your biggest takeaways?

Sarah Brichetto
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Sarah moved to New Orleans in 2009 after graduating from the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!) and is proud to call New Orleans home. She is a CPA and the Finance Director at a local real estate development company. Sarah lives in the Freret neighborhood with her husband, Matt, and their three kids: Elizabeth, Paul and Isaac. You can often find them roaming the neighborhood streets, taking streetcar rides, or enjoying one of the many local parks. In her non-existent free time, Sarah loves to try the newest local restaurants, cook, read, and write.


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