Last first week of August after I posted my previous blog about my recent anxiety attack, I decided to leave social media in two weeks. I temporarily left social media by deleting all social media apps on my phone; Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and even my Messenger app that I use all the time to communicate with my friends and co-workers. I also turned off my phone data and wifi connection so that I won’t be tempted to google ideas that usually pop up into my mind out of nowhere. I also limit the time of texting and scrolling on my phone.
I’ve been aching to disconnect from social media for quite a while, but it took so long for me to get the determination and to realize how much I needed to fast from social media. The social media fast went successfully though I occasionally download and check Messenger because I notified no one that I’ll be off on social media *and the fact that it’s the only way most of your friends can reach you out.
When I started to fast from social media, I see lots of changes in me psychologically and spiritually, for me, it means that fast is really helping me. So, I became determined to continue the fast and scheduled the “weekend”
as the time to take a glimpse of other people’s lives, I mean social media since I didn’t completely shut it off.
But why am I fasting from social media? I come up with three main reasons.
1. It’s addictive.
I realized that scrolling on my phone, spending hours upon hours on social media has become an alarming habit of mine that I need to address. I often find myself scrolling on my phone, watching videos, reading worldly articles, stalking people for hours and disregarding things that really matter. It has been my constant routine before I go to bed; after I woke up; before and after I eat; on my idle time; and when I’m traveling. It’s so sad to think that it keeps me occupied all the time that I forget I should be spending my time and energy on more important things.
Social media helps me stay connected to other people and things around me, sometimes it is where I get inspiration from, but wrong intention and excessive use of social media are not helping me live my life the way I should. I need a break to realize the things that I often overlook when I’m busy in the digital world. I need to learn how to balance life and technology.
2. It increases my anxiety and stress.
Living a life like a sponge in a very noisy place like social media is not a piece of cake.
Spending time on Facebook and Instagram feels like soaking in all the noise, negative vibes, problems, and letting them become a part of me.
I have this kind of personality where I feel forced to feel other’s emotions and to worry what other’s are going through. And with that in the digital world, seeing or reading things/feeds on Facebook or Instagram feels like torturing my mental health.
Sometimes it’s a pain to absorb all the emotions around you it is also the reason why I permanently abandon Twitter and why I left Facebook three years ago.
Therefore, if there is a reason why I often find myself irritated, distracted, and anxious — it is mainly because of using social media — it is because of what I allow my eyes to see and what kind of truth I feed on my mind.
3. My heart is wrong.
I’m not as active as some people in terms of updating social media accounts. You won’t see me sharing random thoughts on Facebook and you even barely see me on my blog and Instagram. But I later realized that whenever I do post a picture or a little life update on the internet — I have this very stressful internal monologue that focuses on people’s opinion and approval. Little did I notice that my heart is no longer to inspire others but to get validation. You won’t realize it until you examine your heart’s motives and intentions.
I want to lose the wrong mindset that people who aren’t posting photos of themselves at a restaurant, events or vacation are not living a better life than those who do, and the thought that your attendance on social media is compulsory so that people think that you are still living.
I do not need to prove to people that I’m doing well and I do not need to see my friends’ vacation photos just to know that they’re living a beautiful life.
I’m considering quitting social media completely. I wonder how quiet my life would be away from it. But I’m quite unsure if that kind of life is still possible in today’s society where social media has become necessary to stay in touch with everyone. Meanwhile, I’m fasting from social media and will do it as often as possible.
I just want to share this video about how social media affects our mental health. A beautiful piece of wisdom from Bailey Parnell.
Have you also considered quitting/leaving social media?