The Social Media Detox

Saturday, 11 February 2017

social media detox

While having access to an abundant of information at the drop of a hat should be greatly enriching my life, I’m spending far too much time on Buzzfeed doing stupid quizzes and aimlessly scrolling through meme after meme on Facebook. Being one of the many millions of people who owns a smartphone and a tablet has resulted in me wasting valuable time doing absolutely nothing.

Social media used to be a great way to spend my time as a teenager. I would constantly design new skins on Bebo, chat with friends I’d seen all day at school on MSN and sometimes I would occasionally try to understand MySpace. Back then, I don’t think any of us viewed it as a waste of time but now that I’m an adult with a large amount of adult-like tasks to do, scrolling through Twitter isn’t exactly the best use of my evenings.

Lurking on social media so often makes me feel obligated to update regularly so I’ve noticed I’m posting more and more stupid things. Twitter is the platform I use consistently but when I scroll through my own tweets I’m often left wondering what compelled me to tweet such random thoughts. I’m not exactly trying to provide any beneficial information via my tweets but I also don’t think it’s necessary for people to know the mundane moments of my life.

I’m not one of those people who feel the need to check in everywhere they go or insist on taking pictures and uploading them to Instagram straight away but I do worry about my need to be on social media. I do my best to ensure I’m not looking at my phone when having dinner or engaged in a conversation with someone but if I hear a notification, I have the overwhelming urge to look at it. Even if I’m in the middle of doing something genuinely worthwhile, I’ll still stop to look.

Due to my growing worry over my aimless use of social media as well as the thumb injury I’ve sustained from excessive scrolling, I’m putting limits on my usage. Once 9 pm rolls around, I have to put my phone down and be productive. Usually, I pick up a book and demolish 100 pages each night or I’ll do a task that I’ve been meaning to do for ages but have never found the time for because of social media.

It’s not been easy but so long as I don’t look at my phone, I can pretty much make it from 9 pm to bedtime without scrolling through various social media platforms. I’ve slipped up a few times and if there is any excuse to go on my phone (i.e. setting the alarm for the next morning) then chances are, I’ll let myself go on Twitter.

Despite the challenge of avoiding the internet, I’ve started to really appreciate the benefits of not wasting my time staring at a screen. I can fall asleep faster and my quality of sleep is so much better, I don’t feel the need to check my phone as soon as I wake up and I’m whizzing through my latest reading challenge (just ignore my lack of reading for the last few days).

I’m a little disheartened by how much time I have wasted on social media and I’m also disappointed in myself for feeling like I need to be present on it at all times but I’m doing my best to fix that. I love social media and I love how it goes hand in hand with blogging but I don’t really need to know if someone is having a “cheeky” Nandos or what they thought of a film I have zero interest in seeing. I’m still around on the internet but for limited times only because this thumb injury seriously sucks.

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