Hello, peeps. I hope to be back blogging on a regular basis but that’s my word …. against myself.. It’s never easy to be back “blogging” per se. My social media platforms have been my usual outlet to share my personal stuff but hardly on my blog. You know, sometimes, it’s difficult to actually blog since I’m bogged down with work on my blog. It is still possible to blog as long as I set a time or a schedule. Blogging is definitely therapeutic for me so I will put this on my priority list. My head is full of thoughts and one way to make it lighter is to blog. So this will be my commitment for 2019.
So how does it feel after the social media purge? A lot of my friends have been wondering what were the impacts or side effects of detoxing myself. Frankly speaking, I have many thoughts about this, about blogging my “post social media purge.” Because for me, it has been open up a whole new level of mindset in terms of how I post on social media. The 12 day challenge saw a difference in how I handle social media for the current moment but it’s still early days to see if these changes will be consistent.
So what have changed?
• Spending less time with my addiction – the phone. I can’t say that has entirely changed. I have been spending less time on social media. From the screen time report, it stated that my habit has decreased by 1 hour LOL. That’s not a huge improvement but still good progress nonetheless. This is perhaps the hardest thing to do – to completely cut off social media in a long run. I have pledged to cut at least one hour of social media a day. Current fact: Did you know I spend at an average of 8-9 hours a day on social media? Basically that’s almost like 70% of my waking hours. It’s about time you check on how much you have spend on social media and you will realize how productive you are when you are awake.
• Being more present. This means if there’s someone in front of me or during a conversation, I will be less likely to play with my phone, scrolling or replying Whatsapp messages and I will give my full attention to the other party. This issue is quite common among us that we tend to be distracted by our gadgets and not giving enough respect to the person we are conversing with. Now, I become agitated when I become the victim. It’s like – “Yea, Rano, you deserve this for the countless time for not being present in front of the people you are communicating with.” My awareness level is very on medium alert and I am aiming it to be on high alert because I still have the tendency to check my phone quickly for 3-5 seconds LOL. My friends have told me that I spend less time on my phone when I’m around them.
• I feel way lighter. I don’t feel being bogged down with information which is always accessible through my finger tips. The more I know, the deeper I dwell into. That alone can be really draining when you have too much information to handle because your thoughts keep spinning in your head with all the questions, answers and opinions. Sometimes my friends will alert me of my name being featured on Reddit (maybe the most sought for news in Brunei nowadays) and I would be curious to know what is mentioned of me on any topic. Now, I don’t have the tendency to check on it even though my friends deliberately forward to me a screenshot from Reddit and that alone has made me feel way, way lighter and it’s a nice feeling to have.
• Phone tendency to be in pocket. Usually when I walk, either hand will be holding the phone. During the purge, it was mostly in my pocket because I have been “blacked out” to check on social media. It did feel naked at times because it was an uncommon habit. Again, I felt a similar feeling of freedom because I was being present with my surroundings. So, what happened after the purge was over? I won’t say that the good habit continued as I was still holding my smartphone in my hand from time to time. However, it has been lesser than usual and I just have to be more aware of it. If the purge would have lasted longer, it would turn into a natural habit.
• My phone gallery. Even with my smartphone, packing a huge storage of 256 Gigs, I was already reaching my limits. Because I didn’t do any posting during my purge, hence the need for me to take photos or videos was pretty low. In other words, I really saved a lot of space on my phone and it reminded me that it’s better to take photos that matters to me rather than simply taking videos or photos that serve no purpose to me. After the purge, the tendency is still lesser than usual. I am proud of it and it makes me more of an efficient photographer. No more multiple shots of the same pose or a particular scenario in an event. Well, I still do sometimes but I notice the decline in that habit of mine.
• Validation. Now here is an interesting take for me. As someone who is very relevant to social media and being the eyes for many, I created this feeling that I must be relevant and important to people. But at the same time, I sought for validation and this also applied to my daily life where I want to be relevant, acknowledged and important to my peers. In other words, I don’t feel good enough just because I don’t have enough views or likes on social media. I don’t have enough comments on social media to keep me motivated. All of these play a part on how I feel about myself. I wanted to be validated. The social media purge has made me realize that how connection with real friends are more important than the likes, comments and what so on social media. These peers are the real deal and I will not be drawn to the validation from social media.
• Stalker mode. LOL. This is so true. I’m sure many fall into a similar trap like me. You tend to stalk on your close friends, your loved ones online – to spy if they are online or their so-called “last seen”. If the other party doesn’t reply and have received and acknowledge your text with the blue ticks, you will start bombard your head with questions and this, my friend, can eat you, drain you and make you feel more anxious. Even though with delayed replies, you still feel anxious. So yes, I have stopped stalking or even if I did, it was only momentarily rather than committing repeated “offences”. I am grateful that the social media purge have slowly made me feel good about myself and slowly dismissing the usual habits of stalking. Sorry, blue ticks or gray ticks, I have beaten you at your own game 😀
• My mood. Oh yes, it has been 16 days after the purge and I have notice that my mood is better. It’s hard to determine just yet because it coincides with the beginning of the year. Relatively, I feel much better about myself and I’m not even trying to begin with. When I wake up in the morning but I won’t check the phone straight away. I even invested an actual clock so that will be my go-to-gadget when I check the time in the morning. Yes, generally I am a happier person and I hope this will also help me to become more productive and efficient. Let’s see if I can maintain this for the next month and hopefully the following months.
So that’s it in terms of my post mortem on my social media purge. Now I still have one challenge that I want to conquer and that is a no-phone challenge for at least 1 to 2 days. This will be even a bigger step for me to further test my will and courage that I can survive without the phone. I was just imagining myself back in the teen years where smartphones and even mobile phones haven’t existed yet. And, we all survived back in the 80s without phones, right? I am sure I can survive for one/two days without my phone. I shall be alert my friends and especially my clients when the time is near.
Thank you once again for your patience and I really hope you can learn a thing or two from my findings. Who knows you will challenge yourself with the social media purge and the impact will be different from mine because of our wants and needs. Give it a shot. I challenge you 😀