How to Get Away from Stress: Social Media Detox
Most of us can't live without an internet connection. Technology—like what our grade-school teachers taught us—made our lives easier. Your phone had already everything in it, from a camera to a messenger, to a compass, to a calculator. You can also read the news and listen to music in just one click. All you needed was inside that one gadget you carry everywhere. It made our jobs simpler, true. But at what cost?
Social Media and Personal Life
Like a true Gen Z, my waking hours used to revolve on social media. Right after opening my eyes in the morning, I would automatically check my Facebook or Twitter accounts to see if I missed anything. Next thing I know? I'm already uploading my breakfast meal on Instagram with an extensive amount of #EatYourBreakfast.
My social media accounts were always active, whatever I did, wherever I went, even whoever I was with, everything was there.
At first, it was fun. You get to share your experience with the world. You get to brag about your new shoes or your new dress, you're contented and happy for some time, and then... Nothing.
I used to say that I posted all those things for my own satisfaction but we all knew that it was a lie. I wanted validation. I wanted people to say that I'm doing well. I wanted to show that I was content with my life but in reality, I wasn't. Behind all the branded make-up and branded shoes, was an insecure little girl who craved attention.
I boosted my confidence with all the praise from those who only mattered when my life was smooth. I relied on sweet words behind screens that were insincere. But when I had nothing else to offer, they were nowhere to be found.
Eventually, I reduced posting about my personal life on social media. Sometimes, I would visit places and take pictures without posting. I realized that sharing my life with strangers wasn’t actually for me. As long as I was happy and I had mementos for myself that I could go back to and reminisce was more than enough.
Personal Opinion on Social Media
Nowadays, it was so easy to go on a rant on social media no matter how skewed your opinions were. It was effortless to air out somebody else’s dirty laundry for everyone to see. But with this kind of freedom, in the midst of our tantrums, we forgot that there were other people involved who could be drastically affected. And most of the time, these issues were just results of miscommunications that escalated further than was necessary.
Everyone seemed to be right, even if they were not. And when you call them out of their toxic behaviors, suddenly you are the villain.
Freedom of speech is a right but we all seem to abuse. There were more pressing matters to be tackled but we fought over insignificant ones just to prove that we were right. And honestly? It was exhausting. It was draining.
It became too easy to pretend like you were righteous behind printed words. You get to see hypocrites in action at times like this.
Personally, I lessened my time sharing my opinions on social media and instead, I went back to my trusty old journal. Some thoughts were not for public consumption. I also wrote blog posts with an extensive amount of research and carefully crafted presentation of facts.
Just like what we say on Twitter, we need receipts.
Getting Away From Toxicity
I finished my Bachelor's Degree not just with a diploma, personal growth and experience, but also with anxiety and depression. After graduating, people were asking themselves on what to do next and I just followed them.
One night, while stressing out about finding a job and panicking about how the hell was I going to jump-start my career, I sat down, breathed, and cleared my head. I realized that I kept comparing my progress to my batch mates. I wasn't moving forward because the path they decided to take was different from what I wanted to do. Also, relatives who only seem to remember me now that I graduated kept popping out.
After months of wallowing in self-pity, I decided to detoxify. And I started it by deactivating my social media accounts.
Friends who I've been through thick and thin will do anything to reach me but people who only befriended me because of what I can offer will never look for me, or make an effort. I went from knowing the whole batch to having only a handful of real friends—and I regret nothing.
I recognized that the source of my stress during the past couple of years was all attributed to other people's problems. I was an emotional dumpster. Just hearing other people's tirade made me feel for them and it stresses me out thinking about it. Even if I didn’t have anything to do with it.
I also realized that face-to-face interactions were better for establishing relationships than swiping left or right on Tinder.
After ghosting all my social media buddies, life has become calmer and simpler. I was also able to go back to writing and read my favorite books while on a break.
I only opened social media for work purposes. I also diligently use the block, mute, and report functions for a cleaner and safer space.
Being aware of the latest trends will help in our development but these trends will be visible in other platforms. Just like what I said before, technology now made our lives easier. So if you wanted to be updated there were various ways to do so.
If living under a rock meant having a healthy mental and emotional state then, I'll gladly live it. Your life doesn't have to be broadcasted to everyone to gain satisfaction. Public validation is only temporary, having a reason and purpose in life is more viable.
© 2020 Mich Camcam