Recently, I realised that I have become addicted to social media. The signs had been all there. I found myself scrolling through Facebook and Instagram inadvertently most of the time. I could not stop the urge to open my social media accounts every half an hour and check the new updates.
I would like to use the term ‘addiction’ for this urge because that is exactly what this is. We, without even realising, slowly become addicted to the social media. We like to know what is happening in someone else’s life with whom we might have not even exchanged more than few words. Subconsciously we even start comparing our lives with theirs and become disheartened by how different or unadventurous our lives are. This, as I clearly do not need to point out is all but a facade. We realize the truth and from time to time even put a check on ourselves. There is a brief moment of clarity where we decide to abstain from social media. Alas! We “rush to fall into snares of delusion all over again.”
So when I had this brief moment of clarity about a month back, I decided to delete all social media applications from my mobile phone. This time my decision was firm to not revert to old ways. However, I did not delete my accounts. I also had to keep my WhatsApp because well, it is an occupational hazard. Since I could open my accounts only on my laptop, the access to them was restricted due to the inconvenience involved. The first week was hard, I must say. But after the fifteenth day, I realised that I had more time on my hands. I finally took to reading some of the books which I had not been able to time for. Without the distraction of the chaotic world of social media, I also found time to put into words some of the ideas that had been floating around in my head.
Yes, I agree that it is not possible to completely avoid social media. In fact I believe that one shouldn’t so because in a way or so they are essential too. But what I have discerned in some past few weeks is that we allow ourselves to get completely hooked to it. One of the reasons might be that we are seeking too much validation from everyone around us. Perhaps, this best explains our constant need to upload snippets from our lives for everyone to see. Some days back, I read about a study from Microsoft Corporation in a TIME article. It said that since 2000 the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. This essentially means that even a goldfish known for being ill-focussed has a longer attention span at nine seconds. So I hope that if you too are suffering from this addiction, you decide to take a step towards curbing it. I assure you from my experience that life will become more productive and meaningful.
Feature Image Credits: Matthew Muccio