Going offline…

I think it was in the year 2012.

My grades were piss poor, my social anxiety developed an all time high and my insecurities and lack of confidence went through the roof.

It was also around this time when I would call myself a full blown social media addict. I never assumed I had a problem because I did not really spend a great deal of time reflecting on my weaknesses and strengths. I gave up facebook temporarily for about a month or two. I had a bunch of exams that I had to clear and I did NOT intend to come back to college after course to write these exams. I hated my course and I just wanted to be done with it.

Opening and scrolling facebook was almost a morning routine…. A routine that went on for two hours on certain days. I’d ignore fb messages from my friends, but accept friend requests from people I’ve barely met.

I’d say no to invitations for lunches from a friend, but I’d tag that person in a funny meme….

But in those two months when I decided to be off facebook, I learnt to be more productive and engaging with people. I started maintaining a diary and i practised the art of writing. the only writing I did in years was for my class notes.

For someone who has earned a lot of  appreciation from teachers for her excellent English essays in school, it was surprising that I struggled to even form a sentence that described my inner thoughts and feelings. So i wrote,and I wrote and I wrote each day.

One of the biggest mistakes I did was getting back to social media after I finished all my exams.

The anxiety came back, the insecurities hit me again, a sense of uselessness and gloominess found its way in whatever I decided to do…

It isn’t surprising that the millennial generation is more prone to mental disorders like depression and anxiety.

A study has also revealed that the more number of platforms an individual is engaged in, the more they are likely to get depressed.

This is because establishing yourself in a single social media platform can help build a stronger connection with one particular crowd, it helps you feel like you belong in a community which can eventually lead to a lot of positive effects.

But in order to reduce the number of platforms you actually engage in or atleast the time spent on social media,we need to understand that it is possible to survive without the daily doses of unimportant, idiosyncratic elements that are being promoted in those platforms.

I tried going on a social media cleanse again earlier this year… It was far more successful than my previous attempt because I was well aware of the things that needed my undivided attention. None of them included anything related to social media.

In fact, I decided to go an extra mile by leaving my phone at home when I was going out with family or meeting friends. It really is not a nightmare, guys. I survived the first 18 years of my life without having a smartphone on me all the time. I got pretty confident about staying away from my phone for a few hours, even a few days.

The things that we accomplish in our lives give us true happiness because we know how much hard work has gone into it to make it possible. We reach for our phone with the desire to have that momentary happiness but without the work and the toil. Experts say this is a major contribution to the feeling of emptiness we feel everyday.

I am not labelling that social media and the internet is evil. I wouldn’t be starting this blog if it weren’t for people who I have read about on the internet, mainly on social media pages.

I still use social media, but I know where my priorities lie now. I have uninstalled all the social media apps from my phone except for YouTube and Instagram and I only allow myself to access them on my computer browser. Youtube and Instagram has a lot of content that inspires me and keeps me going everyday. BUT…. I only use them at a particular time for a particular period.

It was not as difficult as I thought I was. When we are stationary for too long, our mind jumps to any opportunity to feel good. You have got to keep moving to prevent yourself from going down the same road.