It’s been a month since I’ve accessed social media- this has been my longest break ever so far and I feel wonderful. Several celebrities too take their time off from the digital world and let me point out some benefits so that you may also be encouraged to follow suit:
1.Calm Mind- since it’s not worried about timing a post (occupational hazard) or articulating a status update and there are no notifications (reads/ likes on status/pics) that demand it’s attention either. No fear of facing recriminations if I speak my mind, in fact I realize I don’t really need to broadcast my opinion all the time.
2.Free time- We spend an insane amount of time rummaging through news feed on various apps, and then there are those sponsored posts with catchy headers that demand a click only to make us realize later what a waste it was, and then there are ads. Not to mention the videos that autoplay and you just take a moment to check them out but every moment adds up. And then there are those online stores that pop up on facebook seriously devour a big chunk of time and money as well.
3.Realization that the world is bigger and beyond our digital interactions- The flipside of social media is it imparts a false sense of self importance , makes us feel like celebrities. We project a fake image of ourselves hiding the ugly facets of our lives and are encouraged to do so for digital applause.This leads to depression and loneliness because we all know that there’s #l4l #f4f but no genuine love and concern.
4.Some of those virtual friends do care- My online disappearance worried some people and they called up to find out if I was doing fine. Thank you Social media- these people are the best gains from you.
5.Address shallowness and superficiality. Yes, I think I’m beyond “likes” but fact is sometimes it does get to you and then I cringe at my own shallowness, just when I decide to back off- facebook seduces me into posting another status update and I’m back to the trail of garnering likes and comments. Consciously I make an effort to write about issues that matter or stick to professional updates instead of sharing a photoshopped picture for another ego-boost, but every once in a while that ugly need for attention does pop up- perhaps too often in my case. A break liberates one from this vicious cycle. I haven’t posted a single update during my vacation and am busy making cherishable memories than bothering about coiffing and preening for instagram worthy pics and videos.
6.Better focus and increased attention span- the most beautiful outcome of this break. I’m sleeping better than ever before and feel truly energized.
7.Generates positive emotions- Anxiety and its cronies thrive on social media; infact it’s their breeding ground. Irritability, envy, restlessness and even insomnia are the result of displaying our lives to all and sundry while voyeuring into theirs.
8.Eliminates FOMO- The world’s changing rapidly so it’s allright if one’s not aware of who ate what and who partied with whom; there are more important things that need our attention- here and now!
9.Live every moment- The clamour to update status disintegrates us , infact we are only present physically at most places. A break allows you to savour every moment completely without worrying about the right angle and lighting to click that burger.
10.Reconnecting with self- Most of us are so entangled in the sticky web of instagram, facebook, whtsapp, twitter, et al that we have forgotten the joys of reading, hiking or even sleeping soundly. The gadgets were meant to be tools to ease our lives but in reality are governing it instead.
It may seem difficult but breaking away is easier than you think. The next time you feel stressed or depressed- try going offline for just a couple of days to begin with and see for yourself!