Social Media Detox

Wake up with the sound of my alarm on my iPhone. Grab my smartphone to stop the alarm. Automatically, my thumb taps Gmail while in bed. No urgent emails this morning. Then my thumb taps Instagram. Oh boy, there are so many notifications. Yes! I got another 10 followers. Oh this person is traveling to this place. Wow she is working at this company. Where is that Matcha Latte from? Oh thank god, there is Geotag.

Are you laughing? Do you recognize this storyline?

I lived in different countries in my life. I’m forever grateful for the Internet. Without it, I would’ve lost touch with most of my friends whom I met on the road. With the internet, the world feels like it is getting smaller by the second. However at the same time, we are losing our focus, and mostly importantly, human connections.

I believe it’s fair for me to write about digital detox since I’ve done it three or four times in the past few months. I noticed that my anxiety was creeping in on me and I was developing a FOMO while watching Insta-stories. There was a little voice in my head saying “Ah I wish I could do that” and “I wish I was traveling like last year”. So I enforced a 24h to 48h social media detox during my days off.

My initial reaction was “oh my god, I can’t open Instagram!? I’m bored. How can I kill time?”. I was surprised by how much time got liberated. Whenever I had a break or felt bored, I reached for my phone. Since social media was no longer an option, I reached for books instead. I wrote in my journal. I played with my Moon Deck. I went to the gym. I meditated twice a day. I used to complain often that I didn’t have enough time. Suddenly, I had so much time for myself. And most importantly, I felt calm. I felt calm and less anxious.

I was living my life and the lives of others through the screen on my phone. I felt the need to share what I was doing every day. I felt that I was connected to other people because I knew what they were doing without having to talk or write to them directly. I was connected to this device in order to upkeep my identity and relationships.

As a bosslady, I use social media to reach out and help spread my ideas. However, I need to learn not to overuse this medium. I probably spent more than 30 minutes a day on social media browsing. I probably still follow the people I wish to cut ties with. I probably still feel that I’m missing out on “something” out there on the worldwideweb. And I need to ask myself again and again “am I really missing out?” and “is this person inspiring me?”. Most importantly “am I inspiring others with the actions and words that I display on social media? Or am I just following a trend?”

This past weekend was our anniversary, so I wanted to take a break from social media. After 48h of detox, I reinstalled it again (yes, I initially uninstalled it so that I can’t see it on my phone!). I opened it for 5 minutes and I uninstalled it again. I wasn’t ready to go back to my daily browsing.

How can we live more mindfully with the presence of technology? Can we spend each moment fully with one another and with ourselves? These are the questions I will be asking often.