Today is the end of my 15-day social media detox. Why 15 days? I’ve done the 30-day version (or was it 21 days only?) last year. This time, I believe 15 days is sufficient. I need to take a break from digital life. I want to take the chance to contemplate and to reset my life.
I chose to be completely offline from social media throughout this period. “Social media” includes Facebook, Instagram & Twitter; where I am most active. I deactivated my Facebook (as logging out did not do the trick), and deleted Instagram and Twitter apps from my phone. I enjoyed the solid 15 days I have for myself. I am completely able to entertain myself without the digital connections. I feel that I have extra time in hand. And most importantly, I enjoy the lack of mental clutter that social network brings.
The experiment ends today. Guess how it turns out! I am still well alive and sane 🙂 But I admit the loneliness starts to creep in (I start to feel the itch to log into Facebook to know what my friends are doing). Today I allow myself to get back into social media. But I’m reluctant to. I’m afraid that I will lose the calmness I felt not knowing what others are doing/discussing/arguing/trolling on the social network. I will miss the clarity of mind I experience for the last 15 days. And I definitely going to need back those extra time in hand when I’m not glued to my screens.
What have I concluded from this experiment? Truth is, I cannot run away from social media. It’s the currency for present-day communication. Everybody is on social media including our parents (and some grandparents). Almost every business has social media presence. At some point in our work life we also had to use them. It has become a part of modern culture. For instance, Facebook has become the largest, worldwide address book. Who keeps physical address book anymore these days? A friend you haven’t seen for 10 or 20 years, or whom lives thousand miles away can be reached by just a few clicks. This proves how powerful social networks actually are (if you use them appropriately).
I promise myself to be more mindful and careful with my time spent on those addictive networks. Though, I’m afraid that I might succumb to the addictive behaviour of being active on social media, again. They are designed to be addictive. And it is easy for us to be hooked on that as it is very entertaining. How many times we plan to check Twitter feed for “only ten minutes”, but ended up scrolling for ONE HOUR!? Nobody wants to admit that.
The fact remains that social media are just tools. We should decide on how we use the tools; not being used by them. Even though it needs lots of willpower to do that. Stay smart. Use social media sensibly. Do not get carried away.
Credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez