My Story: Why I Went on a Social Media Fast

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The average Malaysian spends three hours and one minute a day on social media, equating to 46 days a year. Suffice to say, I do not fall into this category as I have not logged into any of my social media accounts for over a year and counting.

2020 was a tough year for everyone. Then came 2021, and we thought we were in the clear…but who were we kidding? Everyone I knew lost at least one family member to Covid-19, unemployment rates reached an all-time high, and good news was almost unheard of.

A lot was going on in the world, but I was also fighting off demons. I got into a minor accident, went for multiple surgeries, had to go through lockdowns alone, and got retrenched. The pandemic slowly started taking a toll on me, both physically and mentally.

The comparison game

I turned to Instagram every time I needed a quick escape. I would scroll and find stay-at-home mums with spotless homes and not a single hair out of place (or their hijab still on-point). Me? I had Nutella fingerprints all over my sofa, and my roots were begging for a touch-up. I obediently noted down an influencer’s 10-step glass skincare routine when in reality, I prayed to God that my pathetic 3-step routine would make my acne disappear.

I wondered if people truly practiced what they preached outside of their feed, or was it ‘just for the ‘Gram’. I started feeling pressured and envious sometimes of what people were posting. Was I the only one without a Thermomix? How did their child eat without dropping a single grain of rice onto their carpets? Should I buy that ridiculously expensive top, just because someone on my feed is wearing it?

Source: Scoop Empire

Cutting ties with social media

It got to a point where being on social media impacted my mental health, and I knew I had to do something before things got worse. I decided to take matters into my own hands and stopped all forms of social media, cold turkey. You heard that right: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and everything in between. I disabled and logged out of all platforms, and told myself that this detox would only be for a week.

The first 15 minutes felt like pure torture. I kept reaching for my phone, but how much did the world change from the last time I scrolled two minutes ago? Before I knew it, the hours turned into days, days turned into weeks, and lo and behold, it’s now been over a year since I last logged into any of my accounts.

How did I keep up with the world?

Everyone thought I’d be left behind, now that I’m literally in the dark. But you’d be surprised to know that there are plenty more ways to stay updated.

I keep up with the latest happenings by reading newspapers online. I subscribe to my favourite stores’ e-mail newsletters, so I don’t miss out on new releases. My siblings share memes, tweets, and Instagram reels that I can easily view in a browser, without needing an account.

My friends constantly keep tabs by contacting me frequently, ensuring I’ve not lost my mind. Catching up brings a whole new meaning, now that nobody knows what I’ve been up to.

The writer on one of her many trips.

All is not lost

My phone has a better battery life now, since I only whip it out for calls or texts. I rarely take photos nowadays, because I like to keep memories where they belong – in my mind. Even if I do, it’s because I appreciate the beauty of the place and the presence of the people around me.

I visit places with purpose, not because they are aesthetically beautiful or ‘Instagram-worthy’. I soak in the sights and sounds of my surroundings, and I am fully present. The first thing I did when my son made a silly dance was to join him and not take a recording of it.

Previously, whenever I felt anxious, I would head straight to Instagram and rant. Now I have learned to deal with difficult emotions by grounding myself. I’ve managed to gain inner peace, I have control over what people know about me, and there is no pressure to edit my photos and think of captions.

Source: Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

Take a break

This Ramadan will be the perfect time for a social media fast. Aim for a couple of hours first, then slowly move to a few more days. If that is too much, try taking timed breaks from social media. Look up from your phone once in a while and observe Ramadan with intent. A month without social media might cause you to fidget slightly, but I promise that it will do you good.

The big question on everyone’s mind is: will I be back? Definitely, but with a clearer conscience on how I shall navigate my way around social media. Until then, I’m content with the handful of friends who remember my birthday, and not because Facebook reminded them so.

Don’t get me wrong – social media is a powerful tool, if you know how to use it wisely. Just know when to put a limit before it starts taking over your life.


Mariam* is your typical boy mum, but everything changed when she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the height of the pandemic. Abstaining from social media has preserved her sanity, and she is now on the road to recovery. She is currently living in the moment, with no fear of missing out.

[*Names have been changed to protect privacy.]

From our team of purposeful, multi-faceted mummies. For editorial or general enquiries, email to us at hello@makchic.com.