Has a feeling of confusion and overwhelming “comparison syndrome” been lurking around you as of late? Do you feel as though you spend a bit too much time on social media? Do you find yourself aimlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed when you know you should be doing productive things? Have no fear, for you’re not alone.
Two weeks ago, I decided to go on a short journey away from the social media craze for a bit. I did it because there was so much going on in my head, and I believed that if I go on a social media “detox” for a bit, then maybe I’d come to more clarity. This “detox” consisted of Instagram and Facebook. I kept using Whatsapp for the sole purpose of keeping in contact with my close friends and family. Here are a few things I’ve learnt over the last two weeks.
- It’s easier than you think. The first two days or so was a bit difficult, since the amount of self-discipline needed was much higher in these first few days. After the first 2-3 days, however, it increasingly became easier to stay away from social media without even thinking too much about it.
- It’s not enough to simply stay away from social media. I’ve realized that, without having social media as a time-pass, I had a lot more time on my hands. However, this newly found time will only be useful to you if you use it to your advantage. Just having the extra time is not enough. Sufficient intention needs to be put into using this time to work toward aims and goals. I’ve also realized that, with proper time management, one can be equally as productive – even when not staying away from social media on a continuous basis. It all comes down to time management and balance.
- It may be an inconvenience at times. Social media has become so integrated into our daily lives, that you find yourself having to be creative in getting things done alternatively – things that social media would have made easier, due to ease of communication and easy access to your peers. This made me realize that we should not discredit the positive parts social media plays in our daily lives.
- I feel more at ease. Social media can constantly bombard us with stimuli – and even though this has been shown to dramatically increase the speed at which we process information, it can also have a negative effect on our attention spans and ability to focus on one task at hand for a prolonged period. Staying away from social media has brought me back to the present moment in time, and to my immediate surroundings in space. It has brought me back to here and now. And it felt as though there is not a reason good enough to warrant worrying about anything but that which I have control over, here and now. Everything seemed more manageable because I feel more at ease.
- No comparisons, no problem. We may not like to admit it, but we all are guilty of comparing ourselves to others – at least to some degree. This has to be one of the biggest benefits of staying away from social media. It ties in greatly with the point I made above. Being present in the here and now, coupled with no stimuli for triggering comparisons, and you have yourself the ultimate feel-good potion – with a generous dose of productivity.
- Life seems more beautiful. It may sound cliche, or maybe it is…but it doesn’t take away from the fact that life beyond the screens is as beautiful as the observer allows it to be. This doesn’t mean that one must stay away from social media in order to experience life’s beauty. However, one must take time to unplug, look away from the screen, and take in all the richness of color, sounds, smells, and tastes that the human body can experience from the world around us. I do admit that I did spend a lot more time on social media than was necessary, and this two weeks has definitely taught me how to balance my “social media” time with my “real social experiences” time. I now need to maintain this balance.
Well, there you go….some simple things I’ve learnt from staying away from social media for a two weeks. It is, by no means, an exhaustive list…and I may update this post as I continue to sort through my thoughts, or I may even do a second part to this post. In conclusion, social media has its rightful place in our lives, and we must now learn to keep it in its rightful place. We are the masters of our time here on earth. Let’s be good masters and take care of our time. I hope that this article has shed some light with respect to social media “detoxing”. If you want, give it a try and let me know your own experiences in the comments below.
As always, let’s go forth together.