Social (media) distancing: Need of the hour?

Social (media) distancing: Need of the hour?​

A few days back, I entered the fifth week of my social media detox. Honestly, I didn’t realize it until just now, so I thought I’d talk about why I did it, and what kept me going, hoping some of you all might realize you need to do just the same during the coronavirus lockdown.

Quite often, I see a vlogger or two talk about similar experiments, but none ever inspired me enough. I have been quite a social media user. I’ve volunteered in past to handle socials for different events. I have had accounts on nearly every site, and I love networking with my friends and people from diverse spheres.

Point being, I never had any weird urge to up and disable my accounts. However, the on-going pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, although much-needed, have been hard for most, if not all people, in one way or another.

Hitherto a super-motivated person, I have had my fair share of days when I didn’t feel like doing anything (Bruno Mars’ the Lazy Song plays in background). It was on one of these day that I realized that my socials were not helping me fight back (like I thought) the lockdown-anxiety and all-too-common overthinking.

I need a better way to stay busy, I told myself, and I must do away with my social media too. In this moment of excitement, I disabled my Instagram. And so began the deed!

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The first few days were difficult. I didn’t start with a goal in mind. One day in, I started to question why I made the absurd choice, that I should revert to uploading stories and sharing memes. The few people I told about it judged me for acting weird. Two friends went so far to assume and offer condolence for supposedly getting my heart broken(HAHAHAHA!)

At this point, I had every reason to give up. And I would’ve, were it not for the one person I truly call meri dost. Herself into going into social media hibernation (as she calls it) one or twice a year, she told me to persist, and not to explain my choice to those who didn’t care. I ended up deleting all social media apps that I had kept on my phone until then!

Things smoothed out once I survived the initial anxiety. With little to distract me now, I finished reading two books I had been trying to for a while; I stopped procrastinating and finished some assignments beforehand; I set up a Linkedin profile I had been putting off for long. I began my running routine once again.

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Now, to the real question: Would I recommend trying something similar? To be honest, what worked for me may not work for everyone. But having listened to multiple people feeling hopeless against the lockdown-induced overthinking, anxiety and depression, I would say it’s worth a try. Go slow, think, find some ways to keep yourself busy and happy, then disable your socials for some days. More probable than you think, you might like it and want to carry on for a week, or even a month.

I did not miss out on much even after a month, rather gained a lot. Seeing from a constructivist end, I understood how we construct this reality for us in which we feel we’re missing out every minute we’re not on our timelines. Only after I distanced myself from this perceived reality, I noticed there’s a lot more to care about, that my happiness and sense of accomplishment isn’t dependent on my online presence, that I need to be responsible digitally.

Let me know in the comments if you give it a try. I would love to hear about other people’s experiences.

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Hassaan Malik

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Hi, y’all! I’m Hassaan & this blog is my journey through life as I observe & learn from the world as it unfolds in front of me. Sounds interesting? Grab some chai and let’s go!

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Social (media) distancing: Need of the hour?

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