Around a month back, I very consciously, due to a bugging guilt of not working enough, decided to cut off from all social circles. Although I’m out of the self-imposed isolation now, here are some of the things that I learnt from that experience:
- I saved a LOT of time: This was the main purpose of my action. We don’t realise how much we waste time on social media and in the blink of an eye, the day is gone. And guess what? You aren’t even doing something constructive. I managed an average of 6 hrs self-study on working days which is a huge deal for a person like me who just cannot concentrate, in this one month.
- I used my free time judiciously along with enjoying myself: The worst thing about social media is that you don’t know how time vanishes. I was on a huge reading slump before I went into this social exile. After cutting off, having nothing to do, I started reading and watching good movies. It made me conscious of how I’m using my time and made me feel good and positive about the day.
- I filtered the people around me: In this one month, I had also gone off Whatsapp and cut off from people, even some who I used to chat with every single day. This break has made me realize who are most essential to me and who all I can do without. This has helped me spend my energy in the right direction.
- Social media is unhealthy: I used to be this college student in my t-shirt and swollen belly with hair tied up in a bun staring at gorgeous pictures of other people having the time of their lives and felt sad about it. Social media is made to make you feel jealous and crave for more. With no social media, I became more accepting of the person that I am. Now, I willingly don’t open Facebook unless it’s related to work.
- Followers don’t count: I had become this miserably sick person who used to panic over losing two followers everyday on Instagram and couldn’t deal with the pressure of posting something everyday because how interesting can the life of a student be anyway? Plus, I suck at photography and the pretty feeds of other instagrammers used to make me feel more miserable. So I deactivated my profile for a good one month but now I am back. You can follow me from this page. However, I won’t post every single day and I don’t care two hoots about followers.
I’m not suggesting that you should become a social recluse. That is unhealthy too. And in today’s day and age, it is impossible to even work without having a whatsapp account. However, we may practice some restraint and try. For e.g. I needed to be on Whatsapp to follow my university group updates. But I made sure to switch off the notifications so that I open the app only when I feel it’s important and not because the app is asking me to.
It is necessary to realize that no one matters more than yourself and it is okay to be a bit selfish when it comes to that. It’s okay to not attend some of those calls or messages. It’s okay to sign yourself out from this chaos. Breathe. Explore. Give yourself time. Find out the purpose of your life.