So I finally mustered up the courage to conduct an experiment I’ve been thinking of doing for a while now. Social media has started to occupy my time too much and I started noticing that I have been alienating myself from the real world.
I came to a conclusion and decided to do something about it, an experiment if you will. I decided to quit social media! Before doing so I did some added research on social networks. I tried finding other similar cases like mine and tried to see how people coped with it. I came up with so many interesting details. I really didn’t know that some social media websites pay their users to stay active and add or delete content.
If I was to do this I was going to do it properly, quitting everything cold turkey. None of that 12 step program for me, I decided to delete everything in one day and just go with the flow. I was not really sure about the time period.
At first, I thought it would be best to try and last for as long as possible. But then I started having second thoughts. I even thought of not doing it at all because social media has such a big impact on my life. Finally, I settled on doing it for a month and just seeing what will come out of it eventually.
So I deleted it all. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the whole nine yards.
On day 1 I felt really confident when I deleted everything from my phone and computer. At first, I was like “This feels good! I can do this! No problem.” But then I got on the bus to work and it took foreeeeeeever to get there! Things didn’t get any better even when I got to work.
I usually check my accounts through my phone during work. I kept reaching for it from time to time and every time I would realize that there was nothing there. My colleagues were not of much help. They kept showing me videos and funny content to see. Some of them even asked, “Why haven’t you liked my post?” All in all, the first day was a nightmare to get through. When I got home I decided to occupy myself with various activities in order not to think about social media.
After having a miserable first day, things got a lot smoother. But let me tell you, it was no joy ride. I think I started getting withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes I got hyperventilated and felt stressed.
But I quickly learned that if I get as many healthy activities during the day I would forget about social media. And it really helped. I did more research and found out that some people compare social media to a casino. They said that it is like going there and investing your time (money) in order to get some kind of a reward (likes) out of it. If you fail to get some, you just say to yourself “Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be today. I’ll just go back in tomorrow and see what comes of it.” So you go back again to the casino to check if you got any likes during the time you were away. After a while, you start coming back more often. Days turn into hours and hours turn into minutes and you constantly come back to that wretched casino to see if somebody liked your pic. Sounds like an addiction to me.
I was still on the right path. After a week or so I started feeling the benefits. I got through the initial stages of anxiety and started feeling a lot better without social media. I realized that I felt a lot more rested. The occasional headaches were gone. I felt like I had more energy and managed to fit much more work during the day. My productivity at work skyrocketed.
I am used to spending 8 hours in front of a computer screen at work, but it does not boast well if you keep spending added hours on it after you get home, which is exactly what social media gets you to do. I also managed to get more work done around the house and concentrated on my hobbies. I got more reading done. I focused on sketching and even got to learn some new skills during this time. As far as my physical condition goes, well let’s just say that I can run up the stairs now without getting gasped.
Exercising got a lot easier and I found out that my conditioning peaked as now I have a lot more time to fit in more quality exercises. So after two weeks, I started feeling both rested and energized and a lot happier since I had so many new things going in my life.
A month passed and I was feeling great. In fact, I didn’t even realize that the whole month went so quickly. I actually realized it two days after the whole month had passed, so I decided to keep pushing through and see how much more I can hold on. I made this choice as I because of the benefits that I was feeling. It is as if my brain and body had gotten lazy and I forgot how to think and function on my own.
Now when I am off the drug, my body started reverting back to its primordial form and started gaining back all of its original functions. It is absolutely amazing how I felt and the results speak for itself.
It has been almost three months now and I’ve still to check my Facebook or Instagram account. These lines may sound like something a recovering drug addict would say but these are the lines of a normal social media (ab)user. Social media has given us a lot and helped us advance our society and social norms. But it also took back a lot from us. We can’t let social media control our lives so much and I urge everyone to try getting off of social media for a while and see how refreshing it actually feels.