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In today’s day and age, detoxing from social media, ever so often has become necessary. But does it mean social media is bad? Read on to see if you agree.
When was the last time you went a full day, without checking social media? If sites like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram disappeared tomorrow, would you feel like the world has ended?
With these thoughts in mind, I decided to detox from social media for a day, you know, for better mental health and more social interaction? But it only took a few hours for me to realise I had no social interaction “options,” no contact with people out there in the world. I missed talking, discussing with my friends. Instead, I had a new companion I did not need- “depression.”
‘Twenty four hours to do what?’ I asked myself. Read, finish the housework, go out and meet people. You can argue that I could do something productive perhaps. Well I always do that anyway, so please someone explain to me- is detoxing only steering away from toxic discussions and people on social media? Or is it just disconnecting with everyone and everything on social media?
I am confused because I enjoy the freely flowing information and debates which make me react without realising it, and what is wrong with that? Aha, you mean what I said about better mental health? Does that mean when I scroll on my social media, I must only read things I agree with and that which resonates with me while ignoring everything else?
Well, that can’t really happen- social media doesn’t really filter your feed in a manner that you only engage only with people and topics of your interest. It doesn’t let you only participate in debates that appeal to you, your sensibilities and beliefs. While you have an opinion, so do other people. So it is about you filtering out the content for yourself without letting it affect you too much.
Twitter helps you become more aware of people and their opinions. Whether it is right or wrong depends on how we perceive it. At the end of the day, you can either go into a troll mode (quite honestly, unadvisable) or you could just share your thoughts in a positive and constructive manner.
On the other hand, Instagram lets you see through pictures the next big thing in the world. It is a depiction of people from different shapes and sizes from all over the world in things from fashion to food to events.
But what can I say about my favourite personal photo album and sharing board, Facebook. This allows me to relive my memories too while letting me showcase my work. Nothing makes me happier than when a year old photo pops up and makes me relive the moment all over again. These moments, for me, are stress busters. But more importantly, this allows me to communicate via live videos and messages with friends and close ones whom I am unable to meet in person.
Then there is that flip side that people worry about. Instagram for some becomes is a source of anxiety and pressure. Facebook is too frivolous. Tik Tok makes you cringe. And Twitter stresses you out when someone does not agree with what you say.
That is not all, we obsess over and check to see if anyone has liked or responded on what you’ve written or posted. Social media influences us and there is no two ways about it.
People often post just to compete with other people on social media and draw attention to their ‘happening’ lives. Perhaps their lives are truly happening, but when we scroll there is that wee tinge of not having a similar life. On some level, what we see on social media does make an impact. For me, it is just a fun connect so like me, if you are okay with that, social media is the place for you.
The biggest problem with social media, is that it can have a serious impact on your self-esteem and behaviours. This is what I ask you to reflect upon. Have you not noticed that everything around us always affect our behaviour, self esteem and even our thought processes?
The daily grind of life disturbs us and everyone is busy working towards a life that they want for themselves. Then, why blame social media? Why blame it and detox from it as it affects you mentally and physically? Is social media responsible for all those thoughts and atrocities that you see around you and have no control over?
Coming to the affecting the physical part, everywhere you go, people are focussing on their mobiles. Even the children are fastest finger first on their mobiles. I read somewhere that social media brings out your competitive side and it can cause anxiety and depression.
It is also said you can lose your communication and social skills. But then, you either have the skills or you don’t. We always find a way to blame others for our ineffectiveness. Health figures that show social media is a big cause of depression are true and alarming. Yet everything is not black and white.
There is a shade of grey that some of us have and how we deal with it is important rather than generalising and spreading the panic. There is a big source of information and inspiration too out there. Go to Twitter and see. You will find loads of people reaching out to each other to understand things like saving the environment, dealing with depression, abuse, and more.
Of course, we all need some in-person human contact. However, I am just a big believer that the friendships I make on the social media lead me to a face-to-face interaction. I have realised it is not just about making friends or meeting people these days- the whole world is remote, whether it is marketing, socialising, connecting or even friendship.
You don’t need to “be there” but then you are “there,” social media does that for you. That is why I don’t understand how people feel lonely and isolated in real life. I believe in the power of both – meeting face-to-face and the social media.
Do you connect online but find yourself never connecting in person? I have found many an event to attend from social media and it is all about what you personally enjoy doing. You will agree that sometimes it is difficult to find things to do, but the live feeds on social media get you there don’t they.
What is wrong with going live on Facebook or Instagram while each activity, event or life event is actually happening in your life? I love living through the lens of my camera though some claim that when you are recording an event live, you are missing out on the moment. Well, that is perhaps true for those who hold the camera up and keep staring at the screen recording it. Not me because all I do is hold it up, check if I have got the angle right, let it record, and continue to enjoy the event. After a point I stop recording and none of the events I recorded have ever been less memorable… in fact I get to relive them over and over again.
I do not for one second believe that people do not have time for anything else in their lives if they are spend most of their time on social media. We all find time to do what we want, love or have to do.
If someone believes that the society is on social media 24×7 and that it causes social issues or cuts you off from the world, it is a strange statement to make. Disconnection from society, depression and anxiety can stem from a number of things such as abuse, death or loss, illness, losing interest too.
Excessive dependence on anything is bad. And as long as you set a few rules for your own sanity and are living life, it will work for you. Simply remember to take care of other important tasks in your life and definitely never put anything on the back burner.
Ignoring the power of social media in the digital age isn’t just difficult, but kind of impractical and foolish. And yet you can’t Google all of life’s answers. No one can be on the mobile all the, because you have to sleep, go to school or work, get into a train to work, get off the train after work.
Then there is shopping, cooking, talking to people around you, working at office or in the kitchen and so many mundane things of life to do. You do the maths.
You can decide to stay in touch with the real world in person or through the virtual world. Both will help you be it connecting, learning or updating your skills. Detoxing from social media is a choice you need to make.
Picture credits: Pexels
Effective administrator, coordinator & communicator,retired with 38 yrs of experience as Manager,Corp.Commn,
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