If you find yourself squandering several hours on social media, you’re not alone. On average, Indian users spent 2.4 hours on social media every day, according to a survey. Globally, digital consumers spent nearly 2.5 hours every day on social networks, according to Global Web Index’s Social Media Trends 2019 report.
Social media was devised to bring mankind together, but if truth be told, it dwindled the rapport altogether and evolved into an apodictic addiction in all age groups. Here in this write-up I am sharing with you my experience with social media apps and lessons learnt from a 30-day social media detox.
Since my juvenescence I was somehow cognizant of the drawbacks of smartphones. It was because of this that I kept a mobile phone with me only after passing 12th class, in 2018. Back then as everyone was active on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, etc, having a smartphone in my hand I could not stay aloof. I initially created a Facebook account. Later I didn’t limit to Facebook but became active on Instagram and Twitter as well.
From a person who was aware of the cons of social media and prudent about one’s time, I remember how I became habituated with social media apps. I remained glued to my phone most of the time, scrolling the social media feed purposelessly. I began to fitter away precious time on social media. Social media began to create a dopamine-inducing social environment around me. On such smartphone addiction, I penned a few lines:
Smartphone was invented for
But misuse has rendered it a nuisance.
It was devised to bring mankind
But instead it dwindled the rapport
A bonny family comprising of
mom, dad and two juvenile,
Though in a single room, detached
like steps of a stile,
While talking, studying, driving,
or during a walk,
Social media pesters the phone addict round the clock.
Exasperated with social media, on November 20 I took a crucial decision. My exam was approaching and I was scrolling videos on YouTube. A video popped up which explained the advantages of social media detox. The video, coupled with the examination pressure, impelled me to take an oath of staying away for 30 day from social media. I logged out and then uninstalled all social media apps – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – and disabled YouTube. I handed over all the passwords of my social media accounts to Musaib, my nephew, who would manage these social media accounts for the next one month.
Though initially this task seemed very arduous, but as days passed the way cleared for me. The detox began to confer its rewards and blessings. First and foremost, my propensity forlate sleeping and late rising, the reason for which my parents would always keep nagging at me, began to change. When apart from studying I had nothing to do at night, I would hit the sack early, and as a result I would rise in the morning early.
Before the social media detox I felt like time slipping away like sand from my hands. I did not have enough time to do things. But with the detox, the hours spent on social media could now be added to study hours or for spending time with family or for other productive works. It reconnected me with people and increased face-to-face interaction. It made me feel happier and enhanced my mental well-being.
Social media detox puts you in a situation to introspect. In my case, during the detox, I contemplated that the world is a test for all and indeed death is the ultimate reality. This thought shepherded me to perform more religious acts, like offering prayer and recital of Qur’an.
Though the 30-day detox has ended now, I have decided not to log in the social media apps in my smartphone. Rather, I use the PC (personal computer) to log in only when needed. The detox taught me how to be Argus-eyed about the misuse of social media. It enabled me to use social media like a master instead of becoming its slave. Whoever feels he/she is addicted to or obsessed with social media should go for a social media detox. It will surely help to recoup and repair oneself. I exhort everyone out there to plan a detox, execute it, and harvest the benefits, then thank me later.
—The writer is a law student at Kashmir University. He tweets at ummar_jamal