Here to you I confess: I’m a social media addict. C’mon, I’m a Millennial who loves a great visualisation along with vast information included; plus you can shop around just by touching your screen! For most of us, especially the Gen Y and Post Millennials, social media (and mobile phone) plays a BIG part in our life. Sometimes it feels like our life depends on it. Not an hour will pass away without us checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, you name them all. Believe me, the Internet knows you better than your parents.
I gave up my most used social media account, Instagram, for 40 days during the season of Lent. Cutting off access to social media might give you the same notion as breaking up with half of the world, but I glad I did it. It gave me a fresh and new perspective of life and I also found myself again as I went through this digital detox. So here I share with you the top 5 aspects which I have gained by leaving my socmed life behind:
Increase Productivity / Better Time Management
Within the most unproductive time of my life, I can check up on my Instagram or Facebook account every 10 minutes. As crazy as it sounds, admit it you might have the same problem with me don’t you? When we are taking a break from our mundane activity, we tend to run our fingers and eyes around socmed for brainless activity just by swiping along beautiful images and absorbing simple information. Thinking of 1-2 minute rest, but somehow we got caught on something interesting and procrastinated even longer. Here we are testing the time, but time is the devil and it would not compromise. During this Instagram-less life, I found myself more productive. I realised I had a lot more time to do things I have wanted to do such as baking and more reading. Not to mention, home was tidier and personal appointments / goals got done in time. I found myself more focused in the now rather than the virtual world. This was the time I utilised to plant my goals and dreams to grow a happy life.
Know Who Your True Friends Are / Build Stronger Friendships
I had no idea who were celebrating birthdays and so on but I have a couple of names written on my personal diary, with some I can definitely remember off the top of my head. Here I know that these people are the ones whom I keep close to my heart. In reverse, you would also get to know who does really care for you. I have hidden my birth date offline for quite sometime, not that I am seeking proof but for security reason (FYI, birth date is one of the most sensitive ID information). So there I can found my closest ones greets me on the day with some throwing me a surprise. They are the ones I treasure. Over and above that, I’d say personal message is a much better way of communication rather than online. Likes instead of a direct thank you seem cold to me. And this shows the ones who genuinely make an effort to say hello and truly care on how you are doing.
Less Noise & More Meditation – Feed Your Soul
At night, I find more time for myself. Taking some moment to feed my soul. My daily bread is not Instagram feed anymore but daily Bible readings – the food to my soul. Yes I am a Catholic but most of the time before I go to bed each night I would scroll through my Instagram feed just to wind down, sometimes even in darkness which is not so great for my eyes, but the content is so interesting I could not restrain myself. But having just myself in my quiet bedroom, I can hear my own inner voice and reflect better on my day and life in general.
By having extra free time, I try to exercise more. Not only at the gym but I spend my time less lazying around just looking at my phone. Off socmed makes me never stand still. There is always something to do at home. I cook more, make my own healthy recipe, and redecorate my home with more plants. Besides, do you know that electronics discharge positive ions which is bad for your well-being? (Read here if you care about your health.) So by having less contact to your electronic devices, you will have better mood and energy levels.
It Makes You Feel Happier & Less Self-Conscious
Last but most importantly, I feel happier. I used to think of how these people without social media could live without getting and wanting to know what’s up and hype around them. But now I get it, living in your own bubble is also great and enjoyable. You don’t need to care and worry about others, what world’s perception towards you as you have never proclaimed yourself out there and you can be your own fun. Because admittedly, we often compare our lives towards others. This is the reason why young adults these days are losing their identity. I had a privilege to live only my own life during Lent and I feel so blessed to be reminded again that there’s so much to be grateful about. I only need to focus on ME, not others. This particular period let me rebuild and strengthen myself and also gain my confidence.
My advice to you and my younger self: try to get away from social media once in a while. Please do yourself a favour. It might be difficult at first but after a day or two, you would not even think about it. And during those ‘ME’ time, be kind to yourself, make the time exclusively yours and let the good times roll.
We often forget that life is not a race. Life is a journey. Everyone and everything has their own time. So be yourself and be work in progress