Social Media Detox

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Social Media Detox

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 About two years ago I deleted social media thinking I was doing it for time management. However, about two weeks later, I noticed shocking results. Not only was I saving a lot of time and living a more productive life, but I also felt a positive vibration and a sense of freedom. I felt free to be myself. There wasn’t a magnet pulling me toward the trap I was constantly falling into. My life was finally in my own hands. I didn’t care about anyone else’s life, I only cared about mine. I found myself quitting the harmful habit of making adjustments to my life in order to resemble what I had seen on social media. I was finally the one in front of the steering wheel, steering myself in the direction I choose, instead of social media in front of the wheel taking me down a detrimental road. 

I stopped comparing myself to others…

On social media, every individual’s life seems perfect. In the past I would scroll through Instagram and when I saw a pretty picture, I would click on the page and look at the user’s “perfect life.” As a result, I immediately started to compare my life to those portrayed on my screen. I would ask myself, ‘Have I had these kind of moments before? Am I missing out on so much? Do I have enough friends? Do I need to change my lifestyle so it can be like this?’ Believe it or not, I am a person who is aware that a person’s life is typically not the same as it is presented on social media, but I still find myself falling for this trap. Imagine someone not even aware of this. If I can fall into this trap while being aware of this, Imagine a younger child scrolling through social media, imagine what goes through their head.

I realized I had an addiction…

One day my friends were checking their weekly screen time hours on their phone. They all had 24 hours or more a week. I was surprised by their results. I started teasing them and telling them they go on their phones way too much. Then I decided to check my own use. My screen time was just as much as some of my friends, or even more than some other friends. In that moment I acknowledged that I was embarrassed by the fact I was spending four hours, and sometimes more, a day just on my phone. ‘What is it that I spend 4 hours a day on? What am I doing that is taking up so much of my life?’ I was spending about 28 hours a week mostly on Instagram, Snapchat, and Whatsapp. What do these three all have in common? Well, those are the apps where people display their lives. Sadly, I realized that I was spending so much time comparing myself to others instead of using that time to better myself. I told my friends how I felt. I told them this isn’t normal. I asked them, “What is it that we are doing with our lives? What is it that I am doing with my life?”

Believe it or not, I am a person who is aware that a person’s life is typically not the same as it is presented on social media, but I still find myself falling for this trap”

— Fatin Saad

   

I deleted all my social media sites…

I went home that day and deleted all my social media accounts. I did not want to continue living like that. I noticed results almost immediately. The first thing that happened was my grades improved. Since there was nothing to distract me I would study days before a test because there was nothing else to do. I would do my homework right when I got home and  finish it early and then I would get to go to bed early. I realized how many times a day went on my phone. I would pick up my phone as a force of habit and try to go on instagram or snapchat. Then I remembered that they’re gone. I felt relieved. That magnet I talked about was gone. There was nothing pulling me in the trap. I never wanted to go on those apps but I always felt like I had too. Sometimes I didn’t even realize what I was doing. It was an addiction and a really bad one.

My days felt longer…

I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting until I deleted social media. I never thought it was possible to do so many things in a day. I started reading more. I never thought I had time to read. I started working out more. I started spending more time with friends. I was doing things I actually wanted to do. I was finally focused on my own life. 

My overall mood changed…

 I  gained so much energy. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so alive. I felt free. I was living my life. I was so focused on my life. I started working on improving my self. I was working out, reading, learning, and growing as a person and discovering new things about myself. I wasn’t changing myself to be like others. I was working on myself to be the best version of me. I learned so much about myself when my focus wasn’t on other people. I learned that I love to exercise,I learned that reading can be fun, I learned that I love yoga and running. I learned that I am a morning person. Before, doing my homework would take me 3-6 hours everyday.

My message for you…

 There is no one as diverse, and as beautiful, and as singular as ourselves. Remembering that melts away the idea that other people are better than us or other people are more beautiful than us. You can’t be anyone else and no one else can be you. Once we take a step back from social media and stop comparing ourselves to others, we start realizing all the qualities that we have that can’t be compared to anyone else. We can’t be anyone else but ourselves so why even try? Why not just own everything about ourselves that is so different? Why not embrace the flaws? Because guess what, you are the only person who has these separate flaws all together. There is no reason to be online comparing ourselves to other people when we have our own life to live.