One of the most difficult goals I has was trying to disconnect from social media. It may be embarrassing, but social media was starting to take over my life and I just had to loosen my grip. Here’s my story. How I was able to overcome it, and what I realized after reaching my goal.
This was my daily routine: I wake up, and the first thing I do is look for my phone, and check on updated feeds from my different social media accounts. I would be doing the same thing when I’m on the company shuttle riding to work. Or sometimes I would share a funny post I read with my co-worker seated next to me.
During lunch break, I would take a picture of our meals. If the food wasn’t too appetizing, I would take a selfie or groufie with my co-workers. I would be scrolling through my posts and constantly think of witty captions I could add. When I get home, I would multitask and sub-consciously scroll through my feeds even when there weren’t any new updates.
Then one day it hit me: this routine was taking up a lot of my energy. The social media addict I didn’t want to be was taking over me! I felt like I was wasting too much time unnecessarily. So this was what I did: I decided to TURN OFF all social media for a week, just to see how the transition would affect me. It may seem easy for many, but it was difficult for me.
It wasn’t easy. I would constantly think if people liked my last post, and unconsciously bring my phone out of my pocket—then realize I shouldn’t. It was a big step for me, but I took it and I succeeded.
Here’s what I realized.
All my other senses had to adapt when I turned off my social media for some time. Like for example, during lunch break, I noticed that almost everyone beside me had their minds on their phones. No one was talking much to each other. (I felt a bit awkward being the only one on the table not holding a phone)
I also noticed that I wasn’t so stressed when I got home. I don’t know how, really, but I think by not reading all the stressful news from my feed, I felt less stressed.
Also, since I didn’t know what was going on with my friends on social media, it gave me the opportunity to have an actual physical conversation with them. It felt refreshing!
After the 1 week challenge, I opened my social media accounts and “unfollowed” all the stressful pages as well as toxic people. Since then, I always make sure that I kept control of my social media accounts and not the other way around.
So fellow engineers, don’t forget to take a break from social media once in a while.