On my last blog entry, I spoke about how I was trying to make some changes in my routine where I did not mention one of the biggest lifestyle change that I was making, quitting social media.
I have been on social media even before puberty and over the years I’ve literally been signed up for everything from Snapchat, Vine to Twitter and Orkut(90’s kids can relate) and by now I was completely caught up in the virtual dynamics these applications offer and it’s a shame how my entire life revolved around Snapchatting that funny joke my friend made or taking an aesthetically pleasing photo of the fancy food I’m eating. Whenever I’d go out for a vacation or even a simple dinner, I’d think about the content value it offers to my social media platform. I would get up in the morning and check my Instagram or Facebook page and count on my followers and I’d repeat the same process before I go to bed. Without much effort, I’d programmed my body into creating every memory or experience into virtual content to please and be socially accepted by random people I don’t care about and this was affecting my social wellbeing in ways I could not understand.
As a generation obsessed with the maximization of technology, I find it very hard these days to sit down and have a real conversation with someone who is not trying to Instagram it for likes with #deeptalks. I’d be hypocritical if I said I despise social media because I don’t, I love scrolling through my feed aimlessly or the feeling of validation you get when you receive a certain amount of likes you recieve on your picture or a tweet but it’s exhausting and kind of sad, if you think about it. The idea that someone else’s life is better than yours not only depresses you but also you develop feelings of hate, jealousy and bitterness and eventually lead to social media depression .
Initially, I only thought of quitting social media to fulfill my academic commitments and that being an excuse I tried to delete Facebook during my exams and then would immediately re-activate it as soon as I would finish my exams and I made a habit of it, soon I got Instagram which I only got addicted to after I gained more followers and I would carry out the same process of activating and re-activating and by default I had trained my mind that if I wasn’t studying I should be on social media and any chance I got I’d use my phone. If I saw something funny or if I was at a party and I did not Snapchat it, I would be miserable as if I fucked up an interview for my dream job and this is not even an exaggeration. All of this excessive trash I knew from stalking various people from social media made me more bitchy and bitter and I started to analyze this change in my conversations from movies,politics, sex to “what was she wearing in that photo?”
Somewhere towards the end of 2016, I deleted Facebook because I had mid-terms the following month but this time after I had finished my exams I did not re-activate it, which I would consider the tipping point in my whole “quit social media” conquest and that time I did not or understand how dependant I was on it and this was completely a spontaneous decision but I was still supremely addicted to Instagram and I would post four-five times a week and it was only until the beginning of 2017, I was exhausted both physically and emotionally from the excess usage of social media and I would be so annoyed by people or just generally so unhappy. This past year has been incredibly hard on me and I would go through with my day and return home by 9.30 pm completely exhausted and I would waste my entire time On my phone right through dinner and sometimes I’d be on it till mid-night and I’d use my stressful day and hectic routine as an excuse for my addiction but I decided for good that I was going to quit social media recently and it was extremely tough decision to make because all my friends are still on it, I would be the last one to know who’s dating whom and who’s going where but I can finally have conversations, go to a party and actually experience it with my own eyes rather through my phone. At times , I get up in the morning and I reach for my phone but I don’t find anything and it’s a nice feeling. I have been using my phone comparatively less without being excluded from any conversation and it has not affected my social life on bit, I still do the same thing with the same people , attend the same places and sometimes I do feel bad when I’m in a really fancy vacation or a restaurant and I can’t let random people feel jealous about and the only positive is that is you’re not able to feel these emotions about others when they’re posting the same things. Quoting The Breakfast Club “You ought to spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people”
I would not say social media is a terrible thing and should be banned and other pretentious things like that and I know so many people who are on every virtual platform who does not make it the centre of their lives. This detox has had a positive effect for me and since I have been dependant on it for years and years together and It’s time I take a big break from all the bullshit chaos that surrounded it and not knowing where XYZ is having coffee with the cute bearded senior or which Vogue cover Kendall Jenner is on feels so liberated in a weird sense and I will mostly be back on either one of the apps, whatever is cool and trending then, in a few years or right after I join college or maybe never but it’s time I start experiencing things and truly enjoy being in the company of my friends and family without, in the truest of forms.
For anyone giving up social media or feel similarly, try deleting one platfrom at a time and slowly decrease your dependance on it.
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