Another Lame Article about what happens when you get off Social Media
A year ago today I decided to take a break from all Social Media. I remember being at home and mind numbingly scrolling through one app to another. Subsequently, I decided to deactivate and remove my social presence from all channels. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. SM gives you the ability to be whoever you want. Whether you want to be rich, smart, funny, political , or even a different human— you have easy access to create and position yourself as one or all of these things. I’ve learned a lot this year and i’ve listed some of my observations below.
1: The good ones stay. I’ve told numerous people that I have been off the grid and most cannot fathom why I would do such a thing. One person asked me “if I had lost all my friends?” another asked “ how do I communicate with my friends?”. The people that enjoy my company continue to keep in touch. And when we have conversations, I am more curious about their life as they are with mine. The people that matter will stand by you no matter what and it’s a surreal feeling to know that I have really great friends. You know who you aren't.
2: You decrease your phone usage. IOS 9 gave you the ability to check your usage on apps. I was shocked to see I was spending 25+ hours a week on my scrolling and swiping habits. Initially, I remember picking up my phone a lot but since I didn't have much to check, I started to use it less and less. Nowadays my battery lasts longer than yours.
3: You become more present. Whenever I am on the train, I never use my phone unless I am listening to Kanye spit that fire. I started observing people a lot more (most people are on their phones). I started feeling the train vibrate — rather than avoid the dreaded process of going from point a to point b, I wholeheartedly enjoy the experience.
4:It’s hard to make new friends. Dating becomes increasingly difficult. Newcomers in your life do not trust you. Ironically, people think that you have something to hide. Most people require a digital validation when establishing new relationships.
5: You lose touch. I’ve been fortunate to travel to 36+ countries and I have met some amazing people. I don’t know what they are up to and or if they are alive. I hope I didn’t miss them visiting New York this year. Sometimes I wonder if the random girl I met in Romania is still single. I really can’t wait to creep on her profiles(s).
6: Surprisingly you absorb a lot more information. And you have more control over what you want to learn. I am on my 22nd book this year — the most books I have ever read. I discovered Medium and continue to be amazed by the community. I started writing in my notepad and now finally on Medium. I am a shitty writer but I decided to take the plunge and work on it. My mind is more curious than ever. Seek and you shall receive.
7:You stop recording memories. I’ve always enjoyed Instagramming my travels. I rarely take out my phone for pictures as much as I use to. Luckily my friends and I haven’t gone through a major life event in the last year i.e marriage, babies etc. Being able to look back and reminisce is human and SM gives you the ability to do just that.
There are both positive and negatives with my experience. A good healthy balance of SM activity is ideal. Although I will soon get back to being a digital junkie. My greatest realization is that I am stuck with myself. You spend more time in solitude than you might realize. Why not enjoy your company when you're there?
Have you ever disconnected? Comment and let me know your thoughts below.