Social media has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I connect with loved ones, share opinions and interests, learn something new among others. It helps me in many ways that I can’t imagine the world without it. It makes my life more comfortable and convenient.
Until it took over me.
It becomes my air – I breathe it, I live with it every single day. I grab my phone whenever I get the chance. I aimlessly click, post and share without realizing I’d wasted hours. I get obsessed with numbers – likes, favorites, and followers. I constantly check for updates from friends and later on comparing myself to them. I read and listen to lots of opinions. My mind is filled with figures, images, and words that I am overwhelmed with them and I drown.
I decided to take a break.
Being accustomed to the chaos and noise of the online world, solitude and silence are new to me. It is deafening. I thought I would go crazy. But I didn’t give up because I know it’s what I need. After a few days of adjustment, I got the hang of it. The stillness becomes a part of my new routine.
With lots of free time on my hands, I am able to do a lot. I fill art journal pages. I write stories, blog entries, and articles (and have them published). I read books. I think and reflect. I plan and execute. I experiment with other hobbies. I complained before that I didn’t have enough time for other activities. What I didn’t realize back then is that I’d wasted a big part of it staring at my phone. Now, I can easily carve time from my schedule to improve and grow.
The detox is supposed to last for a week but I decided to extend it for another week. I enjoy the recluse that comes with it. Being left alone in thoughts that are truly my own rejuvenate me.
After two weeks of cutting myself off, I went back. Social media is a part of me and I know I can’t completely remove it from my life. That’s okay. What the break taught me is that it is not evil if I don’t let it control me. I can still reap the benefits of it without succumbing to its monstrosity. The secret lies in responsible management.
With that, I am now more intentional about how I utilize social media. First, I delete most of the apps from my phone to avoid compulsive use. I only sign in 2-3x a week on my laptop computer. This way, I would be able to check on updates without the temptation of scrolling through endless feed. I also continue to spare moments for my books, creative pursuits, and writing passion.
Sticking to this new routine is not an easy feat. I cheat. I make mistakes. I fall to the Internet black hole from time to time. But the important thing is I get back on track and make progress to a more responsible use of social networking sites.
Today, I am not so anxious to reach for my phone first thing in the morning. Numbers of followers don’t bother me like before. Missing out do not faze me anymore. I am happy with who I am now while working on being the best version of myself.
Managing my online habit is one of the best decisions I’d made in my life.
Sherlene has a penchant for words. She reads to feed her mind with lessons and creates poems and stories with her pen. She now writes for publications about career, business, and lifestyle among other subjects. Find out more about Sherlene at sherleneangeles.wordpress.