It’s being almost 2 years that I have distanced from social media. I thought today I might talk about how I feel about it.
In a nutshell, life without social media feels surprisingly liberating.
My day used to start with checking my Facebook messages, followed by Instagram, YouTube comments and finally email. Each morning I had about 50 enquiries. I used to sip my cup of tea and rush through these so I can get on with my day. As soon as I finish with them I feel relieved. Then immediately I feel empty.
If someone said something negative about my work or if I found out something is broken I get mortified. Instead of focusing on fixing the problem or learn from negative criticism, my head starts to get filled with thoughts like…
1) Why it’s happening to me.
2) I should have done it differently.
3) Who’s that idiot to talk shit about my work.
4) I can’t be this unfortunate.
At least a half-day would go like this. Then the rest of the day I would try and get some work done. In between that work I would constantly check news feeds. I would eventually come across someone, who is living the life I want to live.
Then ‘The great episode of zero self-worthiness’ starts again. It took me a while to notice. Instead of doing work that matters, I was paying attention to other people who don’t matter.
With great difficulty, I deleted most of the social media apps and stop checking them during the day. This is how I did it.
Turn off notifications
Sounds like a no brainer but this is the starting point. Most people don’t know they can turn off notifications. I was one of them. Now I don’t get any notifications for any app.
Make it silent
My phone never makes a sound. Yes, I don’t even have a ringtone. It’s always on silent mode. Do I miss calls? Yes, all the time. Did I ever miss an urgent call? Not once, in the last 5 years. It gave me long periods of undivided attention. If you ever need to do get important things done you need attention.
Deleting apps won’t help
I have deleted the Facebook app many times. I couldn’t even last a week. I reinstalled them and went back on to see the “latest” (Which is not much different from last week anyway). What you need do is, replace your social media habits with new healthier habits. Now I read books. Kindle is one of my most-used apps. Last two years I read 33 books. Each book taught me a new skill. Reading non-fictional books is less fun to do but it always more rewarding. Trust me.
Adopt your ignored hobbies
I think one of the reason social media has power on us because we don’t have anything in our lives that fulfil us. No, I don’t mean your partner, kids, career, house or your car. I mean that “thing” you stopped doing because it won’t help you make money. Yep, that thing. It won’t make money, your dad might be right there but it will soothe your soul, protect you from all evil and let you sleep peacefully at night. It might even make you busy. So busy that you forget to check Facebook.
I started making music, writing, reading and cooking. I am still a very bad musician, a boring writer and a hopeless cook. However, each moment I spend doing these I feel a little excited, uplifted and worthy.
It’s good enough for me.