This post will go over the short period of one month, where I nearly cut off all my social media habits and what resolutions I have from that time, having been back into social media since.
In the first weeks of February I decided that it’s time to stop and break the circle. I had the nasty habit of falling into the abyss of internet whenever I sat my my pc to do anything. I realized that I was doing it post-factum, but, when I slowly slide into non-work related stuff – I don’t realize it many hours later. I am sure I’m not the only one, who has succumbed to the mighty grip of social media or any sort of internet entertainment (cat videos are basically my middle name), so I’d like to share my experience with you fellow addicts.
So one day I decided to challenge myself – not to lurk or post in social media for a while. I didn’t set a goal time-frame for myself, but it crystallized into “one month” after a few days and it seemed both plausible and long enough to feel “something”. Of course, first thing, that I had to deal with was my work – there was no way how I could just take off for so long without keeping things updated, so rule 1 was that I could check/post my work accounts, but exclusively just those and for as short as a period as possible (literally – checking if there are messages, replying and that’s it). Same went for my e-mail – check/reply – gone.
First week I literally didn’t feel any different aside from being slightly more productive and having more time. I was surprised that I hadn’t had the urge to check my phone at all. It was quite odd.
Another challenge was keeping up with work related things – new releases, overall community news/events. I was used to popping in and checking the community pages, marketplace and certain individuals to keep my hand on the pulse of the community and I had to give that up. What I soon realized is that I had let many things influence and affect me through that and even if it was sort of helpful to know what the community as a whole thought, I realized, that there were many benefits of keeping my mind uncluttered with the ideas of others.
I think it was week 2, when I noticed just how much do people not look at other people in social events. And I’m not talking “omg, it’s so awkward, I better look at my phone”, but with close friends, who feel at ease with me (at least – seemingly). Having denied myself the ability to sit in my phone – I realize just how may people seek sanctuary in the digital World. It feel amusing and hurtful at the same time. The older you get the less time you get to spend with your friends as people get into relationships and form their own tiny communities with children and seeing that the small amount of time you already have being cut in half just because you see the tops of their head rather than their faces.
I think I considered stopping by week 3, but I wanted to keep myself to the month-long challenge. Many people reached out (amusingly enough – on social media) about if everything was ok with me and although I really appreciated their concern, I really did not understand their method.
There was so much more time for self-reflection. I have to admit, I hadn’t used it as wisely as I could have, but I’ve learned to take some “everything”- off time if even for a couple of minutes.
You know what I missed most? As ridiculous as it might sound – scrolling through lace market. I don’t buy much these days, but I love to scroll through as a form of weird entertainment? Sort of window-shopping.
After the month had passed, I questioned if I maybe wanted to keep on doing it, but I ended up setting a challenge for myself – take a look, but don’t delve in too deep. Every time I feel myself slipping into that hole, I either just get up to go and make a coffee or close everything unrelated to work.
It’s hard, yes, but necessary.
So if you see a bit of yourself in this, I would like to challenge YOU to try and take time off of social media and, if possible, internet all together! How long could you stay away? Would you even want to come back?
Please be sure to share your feelings and experiences with internet/social network addiction and if it has ever disturbed your life in any way. Comment away!