Community//

Disconnected

Those that have tried a digital detox reveal how ‘i-ddiction’ is very real, and how switching off makes you see what you’re missing out on.

I was addicted to Instagram

Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp on my smartphone

    And I couldn’t ignore likes and comments

    Of my friends and followers.

    It was a drug for me.

    After all, it was not illegal.

    You couldn’t overdose on it.

I was addicted to my list of status updates.

    When I waked up was the firts thing to see

    When I went to bed was last thing I did before sleep.

I was addicted to the rush I got

From a like, a comment, a retweet

On my personal photos.

    I’d never ate my meal before snapping

    And sharing it on Instagram and Facebook.

    I thought that my private moments

    Were always good content for my followers.

    I believed that the photographing

    And sharing of a cool time

    Was more important than

    Actually appreciating it in my real life.

I was addicted to having all the information

Right there at my fingertips.

    I never had to know the answers

    Google told me everything that exists.

I was addicted to keeping the world

Up to date with my travel status.

    After all everyone needed to know

    That my life was just so amazing.

I was addicted to the barriers

And the easy connection they provided.

    However it was so cool to have relationships online

    And then without reason removing those friends by one click.

I was addicted to the growth I gained

As my fans went from hundreds to thousands.

    And when my numbers went up it meant

    That I must be worth something.

So, I was so addicted with my virtual world

That I was disconnected with my real life

Out there.

    That’s the bitter truth.

    All the “likes” in the world couldn’t inspire me.

    And a million instagram followers

    couldn’t complete me.

    No matter how full was my inbox,

    I always felt empty.

    I had a serious problem

    And I had to find a solution

    To take my life back.

    I joked about my addiction

    To social media,

    I rarely thought of it as this,

    As something that can seriously affected my health.

    So I went to clean. I took them all off my phone.

    I still use social media on computers,

    But I want to make sure they are not always with me

    Every second and everywhere.

    Only when I reduced my social media habit

    I realised how enveloping

    They are designed to be.

    The way I was using Facebook and Instagram

    I gradually realised, was downright masochistic.

    When I was feeling bad about my life,

    I looked at pictures of other people’s “perfect” lives

    And felt even worse.

    They take social pressures and conventions

    And amplifies them a million times.

    Comparing other people’s timelines with my own

    Made me start to worry about the need to conform in a way That I never had before.

    Reducing my social media habit

    Didn’t make me more productive

    However, it did make me see

    How little value they added to my life.

    So, choosing to opt out of the constant noise,

    To reclaim my attention, was a massive relief.

    And it also reduced my anxiety levels.

    I finally stopped comparing myself with others so much.

    My thoughts and conversations are becomed more succinct as I’ m not constantly interrupted

    By the sound of a text message or push notification.

    Anyway after years of intense co-dependence with my Smartphone I am eager to see

    How I can enrich my brain and my life

    Without the constant need to have a phone in my hand.

    Perhaps I can finally learn to ballroom dance,

    I can finally enjoy a meal without first snapping a picture Of my food,

    I can finally travel without constantly checking in on Facebook,

    I can finally be truly present in the company of my friends And family,

    I can finally reading a book without stopping to look

    At my phone every few chapters,

    Or simply

    I can finally sit quietly and be comfortable and satisfied

    With my own thoughts and ideas.

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Courtesy of meiwphotographer / Shutterstock
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