A few weeks ago, my social media professor suggested an experiment where we go offline for a day or two. By “offline”, he meant no social media, and preferably no mobile usage at all. The rest of my classmates looked at each other incredulously, as if he was a madman.
In the midst of Remembrance Day and the Paris shooting, only one of us followed through with the experiment. Needless to say, I attempted this experiment and failed (this was when I was sick and incredibly lonely at home). However, these last two weeks I’ve been slowly lessening my usage of social media, and finding positive results.
I go out, spend quality time with other people, and return home to do my work. Because I meet my fill of social interaction in real time and in person, I get less tempted to scroll through my social media every few minutes for the rest of the day.
I stopped feeling pressured to take a nice photo to instagram every day or to do something fun and show the world through snapchat. Generally, I began to care less about what kind of a life a stranger thinks I am living, and that acknowledgement was more liberating than I thought it would be.
One of my friends brought up this little piece of news to me: “You haven’t instagrammed anything in over 4 days!” Another friend even asked me why I was being so “mysterious” lately. And while this makes me happy (people actually noticing if I don’t post), it also shone light onto the importance of balance.
Because at the end of the day, I’m not going to have the time to always meet up in person with every person I want to see. I still love social media – I see its benefits and the value it offers to the world, but I also see the damage it can cause if the user becomes too obsessed with it.
One life rule I completely agree with is that with everything, moderation. Too much of anything can be a bad thing.
I am starting to find ways to better manage my usage of social media. Currently, I find decreasing it more beneficial for me, but simply a day or two of going offline can also be a refreshing experience.