It's such a treat to be disconnected in order to connect." – Mimi Ikonn
I have been actively using social media for more than 10 years now—it has helped me grow and scale my businesses, as well as develop my personal brand. I started making YouTube videos for our first business, Luxy Hair, a little over 10 years ago. If it wasn't for YouTube, I'm not sure the business would have ever grown to be what it is today.
Intelligent Change products, such as our Five Minute Journal and Productivity Planner, reach thousands of new people every day due to our followers sharing their experiences and tagging our products on Instagram, Facebook etc. I am, indeed, very grateful for social media. It has become such an intrinsic part of my life and the success I have achieved that sometimes it's hard to imagine life without it. I have made so many friends along the way through the use of social media, people I would have never met otherwise, and connected with thousands of subscribers on a personal level. I still read and respond daily to my direct messages and this, of course, takes time—time on the screen of my phone or laptop.
Last year I was experiencing a bit of a burnout and had to be brutally honest with myself. I asked myself a lot of questions and reflected on my daily habits. I felt like my screen consumption was in check, in fact I was convinced of that. I never had dinner with my phone at the table or looked at my phone when I was around my daughter. Then I checked the screen time records on my phone and learnt the truth. The number staring at me proved I was spending way more time on my phone than I realised. So I decided it was time to make changes, and to be more present in my life. It's something I strongly advocated and yet here I was stuck in the trap myself.
That's when I started the habit of Present Day, taking 24 hours off social media from Friday evening to Saturday evening as a present to myself and those around me. It enables me to give my full presence to my company and fully engage with my family, friends, and colleagues. It's such a treat to be disconnected in order to connect. How often do we truly give our full and complete attention to our loved ones without a constantly vibrating phone and the occasional screen stare to check a message or notification? Most importantly, how often are we fully present with ourselves?
I have been practising this habit for exactly a year and it has profoundly changed my life. It made me deeply reflect on my values, behaviours, actions, dreams, and my life’s mission. It has allowed me to fully rest during those 24 hours, helping me to feel calmer and more empowered. As great as social media is, it's also a huge distraction from creating and living your dream life. I'm in a much better place now mentally and emotionally because of this habit. In fact, all week I look forward to Friday evening and the beginning of my Present Day—it feels like a mini holiday. I have been enjoying it so much that I got brave enough to take a whole week off social media this summer and had an absolute blast, in real life! Well...that's a topic for another day.
Do you feel stressed and anxious? Do you often feel like social media is taking over your life? Are you in a vicious cycle of comparing your life to others? Do you check your phone first thing in the morning? Do you take it with you to the washroom?Be honest, I won't judge. I have been there myself. Do you stare into your screen while your kids are in the same room practically ignoring them, or when your family is around? Do you fall asleep with your phone next to you? If so, it sounds like Present Day may benefit your life as well.
Here is how you can join the movement:
Turn off your phone for 24 hours from 8pm on Friday evening until 8pm Saturday evening. Or you can keep it on airplane mode or simply turn off your 4G and/or Wifi so you can still make a phone call or text a friend or family member if you have to. You can even take a few photos or videos if you really want to and then put the phone away. The idea is to use your phone only as a phone or camera, without the use of the internet. Imagine for a day that the internet doesn't exist and enjoy real life. If this sounds daunting, remember that people lived without internet and social media for thousands of years, so you can certainly manage to do it for one day.
Now, you may ask what you’re going to fill your day with if you can’t spend time on your phone. Trust me, there will be plenty to do. A whole life awaits you away from the screen. Read a book, take a nap, go for a hike, write in your journal, plant seeds in your garden, clean your bedroom or the whole house, cook a meal from scratch, paint, go for a walk or a run, put some music on and dance, play with your kids, organise your closet—the list is endless. In fact, my house has never been so organised, as I often spend a few hours of my Present Day tidying our closets or a different section of a kitchen or bathroom cupboard. The time I might have spent on a screen is productively poured into benefiting my life.
The best part of this weekly social media detox is becoming more aware of your overall screen consumption throughout the week and actively reducing it, allowing you to be more present in the moment.
"After all, the more present you are, the more appreciation you will have for your real life and the less you will want to be distracted from it." – Mimi Ikonn