1st Week Social Media Detox

Good morning world!

My first week of a Social Media detox is now almost over. I decided to give the 4-week detox another chance (I failed the first time) as I am still inspired by Cal Newport’s ‘Digital Minimalism’ book. As I am a minimalist (or more like, on the way to becoming one) I want to incorporate minimalism in all areas of my life. It’s not just that though. As I already said in my last blog post, social media is quite detrimental to my mental health. I’ve decided to document my experience and write weekly posts so that I won’t fail this time and finally find a healthy middle/relationship with modern technology (and life). Here are my daily thoughts:

June 2021

26th: I’ve started the 30 days digital detox again and hopefully, this time, I’m gonna do all thirty days. I feel restless today, and keep wanting to check instagram and watch videos on YouTube. I hope it’ll better tomorrow.

27th: today has been better than yesterday. I accidentally opened YouTube to send a video link to a family member, but I immediately closed the tab. However, when I look up certain authors or actors I want to see their social media and follow them there; but it has to wait. 

28th: today I’m not even longing to check social media. It is 2pm and just now has the thought of it even popped up in my mind. To be honest, I have other things to deal with right now, so I might just be distracted.

29th: I had a university lecture and work today. After work I watched a few episodes of ‘Midnight Diner’ on Netflix and noticed how I can now just watch a movie/series without constantly looking at my phone. I distracted myself so easily, always looking at photos on Pinterest, instagram, Tumblr, weheartit, you name it. I still feel a twitching to go to these sides and sometimes check my emails on my iPad. It’ll take some time to get over it.

30th: University lecture was kind of boring so I kept wanting to check Pinterest, but didn’t do it. It’s hard to distract myself with all social media platforms gone. During the day, instead of checking social media I am now constantly checking WhatsApp. 

1st July: Ok, I have to be honest: I am using YouTube to watch ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ videos just like today. I am googling her videos and then click on one with the right length for my mood. Today I woke up, cleaned my flat first thing and then did 20 minutes yoga. I had a few appointments and work so the thought of checking my social media never came up, but again, I check my WhatsApp much more frequent than I used to.

Now, has this week been more productive? This is the hope that many people have. Begone Social Media, Hello more time for Creativity! This is what happened last time, but so far, I sadly have to negate that statement. This is not due to social media though but tiredness and exhaustion. Yes, deleting your social media is not a panacea, unfortunately. There isn’t a simple trick to fix your life. It is a long process and things like staying away from social media, decluttering, going jogging, cleaning your flat, following a plant-based diet, etc. will definitely help but there’s much more to it..more work to do. This, however, is a topic for another time.

I should add: I am still using spotify and netflix. Yes, I need my music and watching some series on netflix (like ‘Midnight Diner’) to calm and inspire me. It’s funny how quickly my mind wants to open pinterest or another picture-based platform when I think of several things; like I’m trying to meditate again and become more spiritual again and immediately I want to look at some buddhist quotes and photos on pinterest. I think at this point my brain has gotten so used to looking at photos and pictures which is kind of..weird. When I look back, for a long time in my youth (up to the age of 19 or 20) I was obsessed with tumblr. I would come home after school and scroll through tumblr, liking and reblogging photos, pictures, and gifs. I spent hours, days, I don’t even want to know how much time I wasted on looking at other people’s photos. Of course, at that time, it gave me something. A distraction. But in retrospect, I think what a waste it has been. Though, to be honest, at that time and at that place I didn’t know what else to do. The world was out there but it wasn’t my kind of world. I wanted to take the next plane to Korea or Japan, not loiter around my parents’ boring neighbourhood. This desire to look at photos and pictures has manifested in me. I am also taking photos now, because I always want to do the things myself rather than watching other people do them, and it’s in times when my camera looks all forlorn on my shelf that I am more on pinterest, tumblr, instagram than doing something with my life. So what is the point I’m trying to make? Do the things. It’s much more rewarding. Instead of looking at other lives and feeling depressed, it’s better to put the phone away and do things you like. Of course, that is easily said and somehow a no-brainer, but why so often do we find ourselves glued to our phones and neglect the things that actually make us happy?

Social media is a bad drug. We don’t stop eating or get a high like from drugs (though it does mess our hormones up, making us long for a kick of that happy hormone. We compare our lives to a photoshopped snippet of the lives of other people. We see and hear things that make us angry or sad. Of course, it also has advantages. You can talk with anyone around the world, everyone can educate themselves, if the Internet was rightfully used, it could be a haven for humanity. But just like with everything else, we make a huge mess of it. I think that’s partly okay. We’re not perfect beings. Everyone messes up, and we should be kinder to each other and ourselves instead of ‘cancel’ an entire person for one remark they said. What is not okay is how we are being manipulated by big companies, how psychological tricks are enforced on us while using Social Media, and how algorithms are already out of the developers’ control. There is no control anymore. Anyone can start a fire and it will spread and spread.

So, it’s important to think about how we use social media and how we could use it better. When I was a kid I was always told by adults that it’s rude to put your phone on the table. Well, 10-20 years later and everyone’s doing it. Now it’s considered normal. I still think it’s rude and there should be an etiquette for how to behave on Social Media just like in real life (which is also declining drastically..). What matters are real connections, when you meet a person face to face. It’s sad how some people meet and they spend more time looking on their phones instead of looking at each other. What a lonely world, in which people can’t even make a little time for real-life interactions. Our lives happen in the ‘real world’ (which now has a totally different meaning. People no longer wonder what is the real world or if it even exists, but now it’s about how can we spend more time in it; i.e. offline time.) not on our devices. Our phones, laptops, and tablets have become our biggest attachment. People who have no smartphone or don’t use the Internet as much as everyone else are looked at as if they’re aliens. It has become as essential as the watch; in fact, it has replaced it.

There are a few fears I have: that nothing will change once the four weeks are over. that i just can’t control myself and spend too much time on social media again. i don’t know the answer to that right now. perhaps it’ll happen, perhaps not. perhaps, i’ll delete it all, or at least the social media platforms i’m most addicted to (aka. instagram). i haven’t missed anything. it’s weird how we always think we need to check instagram stories when the app is on our phone, but once it’s gone, nothing is missing. the people who are close to me; i talk to them anyway. how can i miss people to whom i’m not talking to? i don’t have many friends. i have many people i like, but it has become difficult for me to stay in touch with many people as i’m always moving from one place to the next. i have one best friend whom i tell everything. honestly, this one friend, who i see more like a sister than a friend, is worth more than 10-100 friends. how many people do we think of as friends until we realise they don’t really know us all that well, and sometimes, they don’t even care enough to find out. i let go off these people. as i said, minimalism in all areas. life is too short, time is too precious to run after friends or be with people who have a negative impact on you.

This blogpost feels kind of messy (the next ones are going to be better, promise!). I just have a lot of thoughts in my head and it’s better to end it now before I can’t control myself and write a long essay. One last thing I want to say: I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot this week. I’ve always written blogposts but never really seriously, or I attempted to write weekly blogposts but then always stopped. I am once again trying to write weekly posts and this time i just want to be honest. I can’t tell you what you’ll get but if you stick around you’ll see. I just want to be honest here and talk about the things that matter most to me. Some of these things are: mental health (/depression), books, philosophy, films, and perhaps every now and then music? most importantly, i want to focus on simple living. taking things slow and enjoying life. i think that’s what i’m most ‘passionate’ about; finding happiness. and damn, it feels like it’s getting harder as the years go by.

i hope that you somehow enjoyed reading this blogpost. i am by no means an expert and just try to figure things out. life is nothing but a big experiment, isn’t it? So, here’s to trying!

mel

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