Why I needed a social media detox

It’s been 2 MONTHS since I last blogged. Still alive. Ha ha. The reason for my silence is this –> SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX.

One of the BEST things I’ve ever done for myself.

I can prolly write a book about the wonderful things this social media detox has done for me, but I plan to break it up into a series of posts instead.

Today, I’m just going to focus on WHY I needed a social media detox.

#1. I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings.

My hands and eyes were constantly glued to my mobile phone. Even when I eat, am in the midst of conversations, walk, commute, cross roads. I found myself constantly scrolling through my feed, checking for notifications, catching up on EVERYONE ELSE’S LIVES but my own.

I asked myself:

When I’m eating, am I TASTING my food, or merely WOLFING IT ALL DOWN?

When I’m with my friends, am I interacting MEANINGFULLY, or simply nodding and smiling WITHOUT LISTENING, then asking them to REPEAT themselves for the 5th time?

When I’m walking, do I SEE where I’m going, or am I too busy REPLYING TO COMMENTS?

When I’m crossing the road, am I WATCHING OUT for cars? Do I notice the SPEEDING BIKE heading towards me?

Am I MINDFUL, or have I become a PHONE ZOMBIE?

Until the social media detox, I was a PHONE ZOMBIE.

#2. Social media made me unhappy.

What you see on Facebook and Instagram has been carefully curated. By your acquaintances. Your bestest friends. Your family. Your colleagues. Everyone else. Everything else.

Sometimes, it takes some convincing to realise that they are NOT what they POST.

The sides they choose to show to you are NOT their entire lives. Someone could be constantly posting about how fabulous his life is, how he’s travelled far and wide, how he’s got the perfect job, perfect family, perfect relationship, perfect everything. But all this “perfection”, EVEN IF true, does not mean that he is free from problems.

Everybody has their own issues to sort out and struggles to face. We don’t know anything about those battles because not everybody announces their problems to the whole world.

I asked myself:

Am I inclined to BELIEVE that what I see paints an accurate and complete picture of someone’s life?

Do I COMPARE? Do I JUDGE?

How does scrolling through my feed make me FEEL? Happier? Sadder? More positive? More negative?

Have I become ENVIOUS, JEALOUS, or even ANGRY at myself for not having an equally “awesome” life?

I’d been BLINDED. Until the social media detox, I’d been trapped in a SOCIAL MEDIA PRISON.

#3. I was only living in the virtual world.

Constantly scrolling and checking, stealing glances at my phone to see if there were new notifications. I never let my phone out of my sight, nor let its battery dip below 80%.

When I was out, I always carried a power bank with me so I could charge my phone whenever.

When I awoke in the middle of the night, I would instinctively reach for my phone – not to check the time, but to check if there were new notifications.

I asked myself:

What’s the POINT of constantly scrolling and checking and being so attached to my phone? Am I REALLY LIVING?

Had I NEGLECTED other areas of my life? Had I instead LOST TOUCH with people around me?

Why was I only “catching up” with my friends virtually, and not meeting them FACE-TO-FACE instead?

Why is it that, even when someone is RIGHT NEXT TO ME, we still communicate through FACEBOOK comments only?

Clearly, something needed to change. And that something, was my BEHAVIOUR. I needed to change the way I used social media. I was ABUSING it. 

#4. I felt obliged to post stuff.

Keeping a blog meant creating engaging content, constantly. Even my passion for writing sometimes fizzles out – there are days when I feel unmotivated too. But that’s OK, because everybody experiences that, I’m quite sure.

Blogging also meant I could share stuff with the world – my thoughts, musings, everything else – which could benefit some. That’s good! 

However, I confess – there’s a part of me that felt OBLIGED to keep writing, keep posting, keep sharing stuff, even when it may not be interesting or useful.

I asked myself:

WHY do I feel the need to keep sharing details of my life with the world, when it’s not necessary?

What do I want to achieve from these posts?

Why do I even CARE if everybody else knows what’s going on in my life?

What is this SELF-IMPOSED OBLIGATION to share? Do I feel BURDENED instead?

I decided to release myself from this set of unrealistic standards.

#5. I was constantly affected by the opinions of others.

Exposing details of my life to the world also invited comments – some unwarranted – from others. People who know me, don’t know me, strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, followers, EVERYBODY.

I allowed myself to feel upset over rude or unwarranted remarks. 

I asked myself:

WHY do I VALUE the opinions of others, who know nothing about me? 

WHY do I let myself feel NEGATIVE just because someone said something stupid?

Would it even MATTER 3, 5, 10 years from now?

Am I living my life FOR OTHERS, or for MYSELF?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; it’s I who give meaning to the words they say. This is true, online and offline.

It’s something I need to learn – to read these comments and not be affected regardless of their content; to know that what others are saying isn’t always the truth; to ignore unconstructive, spiteful, malicious words. 

MY AIM:

Ultimately, to use social media in a SMART, BALANCED manner.

To NOT BE A SLAVE to social media.

It’s currently my 9th week of social media detox. I’m going to write more about the stuff I DID whilst on the detox (I spent Christmas in BANGKOK!).

But later. ;)

Let this be a start. xx J 

4 thoughts on “Why I needed a social media detox

  1. Awesome post jade . Thank you but I have to tell you I miss reading your daily Facebook status . I really do . :( . You are awesome and so are your words . So inspiring .

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