The 30 Day Minimalist Challenge starts off with probably the toughest challenge of the entire 30 days: Stay offline for one day. At least for me, I couldn’t imagine going an entire day without using the internet. I decided to kind of tailor the challenge to at least not use social media until after I was done with work, and see how long I could manage afterwards.
My Experience: The night before I deleted Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and any other social media app I had on my phone right before bed. This way I wasn’t tempted or forgot first thing in the morning when I woke up around 9:45. I usually explore Facebook and Instagram quite a bit while I’m getting ready for work, but one of my roommates was watching a movie in the living room so I was able to distract myself by talking to her instead.
I went to work around 11:15, and didn’t start until 12:30. I’m honestly not sure how I kept myself occupied for nearly 30 minutes without other people around (I had a class to take but thought it started earlier than it actually did). Once the class started, I obviously was occupied until the end when I switched over to the second half of my shift at Tower of Terror. A lot of my friends were working that night so I didn’t even really think to look at social media except for maybe a few times, which of course couldn’t happen because the apps weren’t on my phone.
When I was done with work, instead of browsing the internet during the shuttle back to my car, I read my book instead. It’s really nice getting back into reading for pleasure. When I got home, I decided to try and stay off of social media until 10 pm, which I think is actually a substantial and impressive amount of time for me to not use any kind of social media (just over 12 hours!)
Around 8:45 pm, I caved for the ‘offline’ challenge and started watching Netflix, however I didn’t reinstall any social media applications on my phone until after 10 pm just as promised.
What I Learned: I was actually rather impressed with myself for not giving in and going on Facebook or redownloading Instagram during the day. It definitely helped that I was at work for a big chunk of it, but last time I tried to keep the internet away from me for a day I couldn’t make it past 7 pm (and I was in class for a large portion of that day). Granted, that last challenge was for an assignment and the challenge was to stay off of ALL forms of media for 24 hours, including texting, magazines or books, and television. It was definitely a massive struggle.
What’s funny is I redownloaded Facebook and Twitter on my phone about an hour ago and I still haven’t looked at it to see what’s going on in the digital universe. It’s really satisfying to know that I don’t actually need to be on social media as much as I thought I did. I thought I was hopelessly addicted, but today proved to me otherwise. Granted, doing this a different day when I’m not at work constantly surrounded by people to occupy my time will definitely be more of a challenge, but so far I think this was a good first step to potentially weaning checking social media unnecessarily throughout the day.
Day one, complete!
Up next: Day 2 – Meditate for 15 minutes