Ok, it was only for twenty five days. And no, I didn’t give it all up. I kept Facebook because I never check it and who cares about Facebook anymore.
Instagram and Twitter though… I deactivated them because I had developed an unhealthy compulsion of checking them throughout the day. Whenever I was bored or found a pause in my thoughts, I’d suddenly reach for my phone. And as a person who struggles with an addictive personality (smiley wink emoji), I am the first to recognize addiction when I
see have it!
So, I went on a social media hiatus. And it was the right call because in the time that I was free of my vices, I managed to accomplish the following:
- Explored my surroundings. I went on lots of hikes and enjoyed being in nature, breathing and simply being present.
- Lavished more attention on my family and friends. I had more time to consider calling or visiting people in my life versus trolling random strangers online.
- Focused on real photography. As opposed to taking photos only for the purpose of posting them online and garnering likes. I even took out my DSLR and took photos of scenes and people simply because I found them interesting.
- Hablo español. I started taking Spanish lessons from a tutor. Podemos ver las olas desde nuestra casa!
- Got my learn on. Speaking of lessons, I’ve also been taking courses that interest me, both online and IRL.
- Finished ‘The Castle’ by Franz Kafka. One of the dreamiest and intellectually abstract books I’ve read in a while. Actually, I was reading a lot of in-depth magazine articles (hello New Yorker) and short stories this past month. I noticed that my speed and attention span for reading has dramatically improved. Probably because I wasn’t constantly being distracted by the itch to check my phone.
- Got serious about fitness again. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. I’m not what you call serious serious about fitness. But I’ve been more committed to doing frequent workouts. I’ve also made progress with yoga and can hold headstands for like, ten seconds.
During these past twenty five days, I realized that the time I spend on social media means losing many things. It means losing lots of time, yes. But it also means allowing the deterioration of my focus and attention.
And more importantly, it means losing precious moments of stillness. The type of stillness that brings forth creative ideas, funny thoughts or at least a brief respite for my information-addled brain.
Now that I have reactivated my Instagram and Twitter accounts, I’m not worried about falling into the same patterns of compulsive checking as before.
I’m much more motivated by the clarity and focus that I developed during my hiatus.
What about you? Has social media taken over your life? And have you ever gone on such a hiatus?