Can one survive – A Social Media Detox??
Our whole life orbits around social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat or Instagram. We all are busy building a social footprint and keeping in touch with the world, aren’t we? There isn’t a holiday we’ve been on that we didn’t rely on social media, whether it was just a picture of a meal that we couldn’t stop our self from sharing it on Snapchat or our Insta story…
I equate all these social handles to a Hula Hoop, coz Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn are correspondingly easy to join but can be much more challenging to master.
Every minute of mindless scrolling on social media could be a minute of productivity…
I’ve never really given social media detoxing much thought. It’s something I’ve seen lots of people posting about online, paradoxically, but I never felt particularly concerned about it myself. Going offline for X amount of days just seemed… Absurd.
Brooding on this new inclination of Social Media Detox that I kept querying myself with this question – Would one not inexorably fall back into old habits once the detox came to an end?
Make sense right, it’s just like all sort of diets that’s flashed on all social handles to drop off a certain amount of pounds by starving, but you simply can’t be doing this all your life, there comes a point where you are either bored or literally wanna binge eat whatever is presented front of you. Rather, it would make more sense to just condense the time spent online overall.
I’m by no means a social media junkie to the extent of addiction (Now that’s something I think 😉– I pretty much only use Facebook for tagging friends in memes or scrolling through some mouthwatering recipes. Gone are the days of cringe statuses and selfies that rear their unsolicited but tolerated reminders in “On This Day” memories. Sure, I tweet about various things I care about (that often happens once in a blue moon), and of course, I’ve been known to post a lot of photos of food and so on and so forth on Instagram. By and large, though, my problem with social media and the online world is not the content – It’s the scrolling that goddamn endless, glassy-eyed scrolling.
I’m pretty much sure by know you’d know exactly what I’m getting at???
That sluggish flick opens of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, whatever your weapon of choice is, all that we do is just… scroll… Construing or looking for nothing, just passing through small snippets of information or equivocally interesting photos or memes.
Sometimes I’ll be pleasurably watching Television or reading a book and subconsciously I’ll just pause, pick my phone and open an app with no actual purpose, in all honesty, it’s just some odd ease found in distraction in consuming a random torrent of information. Suddenly, a few minutes later I’m two years deep into an Instagram feed of either an ongoing absurd fashion trend of dresses all ruffled up looking like the most expensive chocolates stacked in that one particular store on the most expensive floor of the mall, that I wouldn’t even dream of wearing it, or those cute puppy photos that would make anyone go Awwwwwww or simply stare at different food pics like I plan to apply for Master chef Australia … Lol ….
One fine day as I was sitting in my balcony like every usual evening ritual sipping my hot black coffee with a slice of lime in it, the bells began ringing in my head and at that moment I did notice something that I did without the intent of doing it – half-heartedly scrolling through newsfeeds with no real sense of why I started or how long I’d been doing it that I thought I should maybe cut back on my social media use. I didn’t though.
In the past couple of months when the so-called connected digital world started to be a real trigger for my anxiety, I did consider A social media detox might not be such a bad shout. As it was a place I turned to for funny memes, inspirational content and news had morphed into a place where I felt disbursed with apprehension, self-doubt and eventually feeling incredibly deterred, inadequate and lacking in confidence.
That’s when I said to myself – A Social Media Detox here I come … and of course it did come with a few abortive attempts. But I was determined to master it as it has haunted millennials like me for years. The contest with myself indeed was real – I’m aware of my involuntary urge to grab my phone every few minutes and open Twitter or Instagram. And it’s much worse during significant current events (in this case coronavirus just an excuse to pat my inner guilt 😉).
I declare, I am on the path to Social Media Addiction — Like everybody else, it pulls me too into the so called “Digital Black Hole.”
That very moment when I decided and allegorically made up my mind for – A Social Media Detox (I’m sure my inner self must have laughed its guts off 😉 knowing the person that I am) but … hey, I didn’t give up.. P.E.R.I.O.D – I brainstormed, journaled, and deeply contemplated the outlook of the dreaded Social Media Detox. The only thing I needed to figure out was when the inevitable urge to look at my phone comes, what would I do? Lol …
I tentatively planned on picking up a book instead, but I wanted a contingency plan in case I felt the need to do something on my phone. Well, there’s always email, I thought to myself. Or I could read some of the hundreds of articles I have saved. Then I had an epiphany and formulated a ploy to survive the urge to post something: Just write it down in my journal instead! Yaaay, indeed a very good idea ..
A major apprehension that prowled in my head was, that I wouldn’t be hyper-aware of what was going on in the world or in the lives of my friends and family members as there are plenty of sources of information I have access to aside from social media, just a small reassurance to myself.
Inner guilt – No one wants to confess how much time they waste on social media or how much it means to them to share the diminutive attainments of their daily lives. And who can blame them? We all want to be adored and desire the attention that we feel we deserve, regardless the platform (be it social media or in-person)
Coming to think of it, it’s everything about social media, right from its perpetual scrolling to the pesky Snapchat streaks, trust me it’s all niftily made to be so gratifying that we never realize that it has been premeditated to keep us hooked.
So, this is a little backstory to the depth of each one’s social media usage and dependence, and the extent of the time that we all spend on it (Including me 😉).
After years of substantial social media use, I decided that it was time for a long-overdue break, yeah hats off to me …. hahaha. I decided to take baby steps and only opt for a week of social media detox challenge and completely quit all the possible social media that I was on. Don’t you even bother asking me the initial feeling that erupted in just like Twenty minutes of the decision taken, I felt like I had been unplugged from the matrix, and during the first hour, it felt like there was a huge hole in my life. I was reaching for my phone and wanting to tweet, send a snap and upload throwback selfies on Instagram. ….
I knew deep within that this ain’t gonna be easy, however, I didn’t anticipate just how difficult it would be. After a few hours’ things did get easier, not because I wasn’t missing it, but because I was occupying myself with other things.
I found myself with more time to read the books I bought many moons back, call my friends to simply Tattle – Tale, parked myself in my balcony admiring the bird building a nest with so much intricacy and precision while enjoying the wind playing with my hair, …Just witnessing a caterpillar turn into a butterfly, this very sight is inestimable and irreplaceable and I simply can’t put in words the love and contentment it conveys to me. That very moment I realized Mother Nature and its Beauty. We must stop this droning routine that we have positioned ourselves in and have actually convinced our mind to be liking this so-called digital comfort zone that we have built for ourselves and convinced our mind that this is what we like, rather break this circle that surrounds us and find the key that opens new horizons.…..
Ever since the social detox was implemented in my routine, it got easier and easier … naaah just kidding … the next few days were a blast. I stopped checking my social feeds before bed and as a result, I was going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier. I felt much more reinvigorated and motivated. I did miss social media as a channel for sharing my opinion about things I’m passionate about.
Over the week that I spent away from social media, I realized what a huge impact it can have. It gives us the supremacy of speech in a world full of opinions and it can make us feel like we have a bigger part of the world we live in. This was a revelation at least for me as I had distant myself from the toxicity of social media for it to disturb my inner peace or invade my mind. It felt unequivocally good.
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