What started as a quick trip to the Apple store, transformed into my impromptu break from social media. And now, one month later, I’m back on the grid with a renewed sense of self, clarity around my vision and purpose, and revitalized inspiration – not to mention a completely redesigned website and a new Instagram handle.

While the phrase “social media detox” has been trending for quite some time now, it’s about much more than reducing screen time to lower that weekly screen time average. (Don’t tell me you’re not tracking your progress – with Apple’s latest features, it’s hard not to monitor your week-over-week average.)

It’s about silencing the noise of endless comparisons that stifle your unique voice and creative energy flow. It’s about focusing inward and letting your own magic energize you more than the fleeting release of dopamine that strikes your system with every like, comment, and follow.

It’s about reflecting on what ignites you, what relaxes you, and what makes you who you are. The real you – not the carefully curated version of you that’s Insta-worthy or Pinterest-perfect. I’m talking about the authentic you that’s exactly where you’re meant to be, on your own perfectly imperfect journey.

And me? I’m excited to share my biggest takeaways from my social media detox – and how one holiday hassle gave me the space I needed to find the voice I’d lost.

HOW THE SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX STARTED

Exactly one week before Christmas, I ventured to the Apple store, confident my iPhone would quickly be replaced in-store given its inability to make or receive phone calls. (Kind of metaphorical, right?)

Much to my dismay, I was told Apple support had overlooked one small detail—my expired warranty—and that I’d be given an old loaner phone while mine was shipped for repairs. Since the loaner phone had significantly less storage space and any new backups would be rendered useless, I was told to only download the apps I needed and to limit taking new photos over the next few weeks.  

Determined to find the silver lining, I chose to turn this inconvenience into an opportunity to consciously take a step back and unplug from social media. Little did I know how deeply this one little decision would impact my path ahead.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM TAKING A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

What first surprised me was how frequently – and how mindlessly – I would reach for my phone, only to find no social media apps for scrolling or unconscious consumption of beliefs. As the days morphed into weeks, I felt lighter, almost as if a heavy burden had lifted along the way. 

What I realized was that without a constant barrage of content and implicit perspectives, I learned to turn inward and delve deeper for my own point of view that had gotten buried under all the others. And as I shook off all the misplaced beliefs that made me doubt my vision and purpose, I re-connected with my inner strength and re-ignited my passion.

Filled with clarity, inspiration, and a desire to run with confidence down my own path, I got to work. Instead of focusing on what everyone else was saying or doing, I started concentrating on what I wanted to say and do. I committed to working with an amazing mentor who has held me accountable to my vision and goals, and I redesigned my website and rebranded my online presence in record time.

And I believe this passage is only the beginning of a new chapter in my journey.

WHAT I’LL TAKE WITH ME FROM THE DETOX

As I reflect on this providential experience, I want to highlight a few other lessons I learned that I’ll take with me as I continue down my path – and that might serve you also, wherever you are in your journey.  

  • Always observe the world around you with fresh eyes
  • Avoid comparison; look instead for inspiration
  • Allow yourself to dream big and ponder what ignites you
  • Spend less time worrying about image; shift your energy to truly being present
  • Nourish the mind with education, insight, and compelling content
  • Focus on building relationships and making meaningful connections
  • Stay on your path and recognize that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be

Most importantly, I discovered that introspection is the key to truly finding your inner strength and empowering you to speak confidently with your own unique voice.

And I couldn’t feel more empowered to have mine back.

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Laura Hanson
Laura Hanson is a writer, mentor, and yoga teacher with a background in the therapeutic applications of yoga. She uses breathwork, meditation, and reflection to empower others to find their inner strength. Her mission is to enable practical wellness and help others create more productive, fulfilled lives by nurturing the mind, body, and spirit through mindful living. In addition to group classes and workshops, Laura enjoys teaching private yoga sessions as well as corporate audiences.