Last week, a friend who went missing from all her social media action, called up to announce that she was on a self-formulated social-media de-addiction program. I immediately turned on my “Agony Aunt” mode and told her that a complete shut down from the social media was like getting into rehab.
Sternly, I warned her that when she got out of her “detox” mode, she would fall right back into the social media addiction. After that, I turned into “adviser of the century” and instructed her to set a specific timing for all her social media requirements and “stick” to it.
Once she appreciated my “brilliant” piece of guidance, and said good-bye, I opened my FB news feed. Ah, well! There you go, I am great with the talk, but not with the walk. When I realized this, and logged out of my FB account, I was thoroughly ashamed of myself.
So, I began to wonder about how to go with the social media deaddiction and “stick” to it. It is during dire times like this that I turn on my Introspection mode.
Why should I de-addict from the social media?
Yeah, why should I?! I was having a lot of fun out there – I was making friends, liking stuff, posting stuff, reading stuff, voicing out over stuff, getting angry over stuff, crying over stuff, laughing over stuff, getting jealous over stuff, arguing over stuff…and…yeah…I am doing a lot of stuff…aren’t I?
When I say “stuff,” it sounds like “snuff’ and feels like “pot,” and when I replace “stuff” with “pot,” then…eeks!
I looked up and away from my mobile phone and what I saw in front of me was a bundle of unwashed clothes, another bundle of unfolded clothes, cobwebs on the ceilings, a table full of random objects, a hungry child, an angry husband and a haggard me. More eeks!!! The more time I made for the social media, the less time I made for me and what is important for me.
I decided to get off the “stuff” while I could.
What should I de-addict from?
First of all, is that even a question – shouldn’t I be deleting my social media accounts and dumping the smart phone off its apps?
Not necessarily. If I did this, I would be moving from one extreme to another, and it would only be a matter of time before I am back to the addiction extreme. This is a natural progression of things, unless I had the strongest of will-powers, which I don’t, since it was so obvious that I was in trouble and announcing it loudly.
Choose what you wanted to de-addict from
First, I made a checklist of what I needed the social-media for. To stay in contact with friends, topped the list. But did I want to stay in contact with 2500 friends? Not that I have that many. It is closer to 150. But when I brought it down to the near and dear, I could list out 25 friends.
That is why I listed out my priorities of whos, whats, and whys on my social media profiles and well, cut out on pretty much everything else, including the plenty of random pages that I had liked, but had no use for.
The answer to the question, what should I de-addict from, on the social media is this – everyone and everything that was not useful or dear to me.
When should I begin my social media de-addiction?
First of all, is that even a question – shouldn’t I be beginning my de-addiction right now, when I have decided that I should?!
True. Although, there was the other time factor that needs to be taken into consideration along with this decision and subsequent action. When should I make time for social media? Should I pick a time, or a place, for logging into my account?
I don’t know what would work for you, but this worked for me.
Make time for social media, when you have absolutely nothing else to do
And everything else includes cooking, cleaning, playing table tennis with the family, writing articles like this, doodling, dancing, talking to friends, giving sagely advice, informing my son about the ways of the world, etc, etc, etc. I make time for social media when I have absolutely nothing else to do.
This means about two minutes in between one activity and another, around five minutes after lunch and dinner, and about a minute in between other interesting “stuff” to do. I don’t go beyond this, because, quite simply, I can’t. I have cut down my “likes” and “groups” so much that the social media is not even ten percent as interesting as writing this article, or getting into an argument with my husband over his addiction to WhatsApp.
So, here I am, having made my peace with the social media. And now that I have turned over a new leaf, I think I should turn back to my role as the “guide” without the guilt factor riding around.
If you are looking for some social media de-addiction fun, here’s what you need to introspect;
- Do you think you are addicted to your social media account?
- Why do you think that way?
- How much time do you spend on social media?
- What do you do on your social media platforms?
- Is what you are doing on your social media platforms helpful for you?
- Who are the people you want to interact with? Why?
- What are the pages that you want to follow? Why?
If your answer to the last two questions is something in the range of – because I like it, because I want to, because I can, and general stuff like that, try to look for more specific answers like – because he/she is a friend, or because I buy things from this store, or because this person makes a lot of sense.
- How much time do you want to spend on the social media?
- When do you want to make time for it?
Good luck with your social media de-addiction.