Friday, May 27, 2016

5 ways to simplify your life by avoiding social media

social media addiction, facebook, twiiter, how to quit social media, cold turkey, social media problems
Are you becoming a social media zombie? [Source]
Most of the time I'm just talking to myself here, okay? Because I am as addicted to social media as any millennial but after spending so many hours in  a day in these networked platforms more than I talk to real people, it feels strangely draining. But now we can't live without social media, just as we can't live without mobile phones. Social media was made for us to check it every few minutes. But those few minutes will eventually add up to hours wasted in your life. It is useful, but like all tools we must learn to use it in moderation.

Think of other things to do! How many hours have you wasted in front of the computer? You could have written a novel, sang a song, took a walk around the neighborhood, learned Chinese, had a 10-minute meditation session.

Think about this: can you think of anything very memorable from all the hours you spent browsing social media and comparing your lives to others? Me neither. I realized I wasted hundreds of hours consuming pictures and status updates but I really can't recall anything of importance. I remember books and movies better, so I think its better if we entertain ourselves with brain food than with social media. Of course if that's your jam I'm not stopping you but my point is if we're feeling drained from social media, let's help ourselves get over the addiction. I started questioning my life and my waste of time when I only felt like a loser compared to my friends who were posting happy pictures of their boyfriends.

So mostly these are tips and suggestions for myself. I'll try it out and report my progress.

    1.    Seriously think before signing up. You don't need to sign up for every new service that's become popular just because everyone is using it. 'Just because' is not a good reason. Will it just eat up your time? Then don't.

    2.    If it doesn't give you pleasure, get rid of it. One of the advice by tidying guru Marie Kondo is get rid of the extra stuff that you keep 'just because' - just keep what gives you pleasure. I love connecting with faraway friends and siblings using Facebook, and keeping up with fandom in Tumblr. But Instagram? Nah. I realized I spent far more time choosing the right filter, uploading, waiting for likes. Then I realized that most people who follow you then disappear only want follow backs. I don't really need extra information about the lives of celebrities I follow. I don't get Snapchat either and I don't think I'm going to use them. Only use what feels useful for you.

    3.    Minimize checking the site to once a day, gradually slowing down to once-a-week, etc. This might be the hardest if you have a constant internet connection. But just be aware of how many times you are checking and consciously try to stop if you're already realizing... "Hey I've checked Facebook for the 10th time today." Happens to me often.

    4.    Have an internet-free and gadget-free day every week. Our gadgets also need rest. We must respect them! When you treat things better, they last longer. If God made Sundays our rest day, then assign that day for church, meditation, or reading scriptures. Enjoy a day with your friends without constantly updating about it. Try to live in the moment instead of doing things for the sake of posting about it.

    5.    Take yourself out to a date... without a gadget. Go to a coffee shop just to have a different environment. Bring a book and read. Bring your journal and jot down your thoughts to yourself without having to broadcast it to everyone else. Having some time alone is healthy for your well-being.

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