• Joseph

I broke free from social media and...

In January I went travelling to Brazil and Cuba and caught the occasion to do something that I wanted to do for a while. I took a break from social media for 16 days and here is how it feels:


1) You feel liberated. The monkey in your head who usually drags you there, was with me the first couple of days. Every time I had a 'dead' moment, the monkey urged me to take my phone any check if anyone sent a message or posted something worth checking, but... no, I did not let it take over and at some point that monkey left my mind


2) You understand that your FOMO is just useless. When I didn’t know what was happening in the world and to my friends and social media friends, it felt hard. In this world where I am connected 200% of the time and anyone can post a picture or video and I can see it in real time, it feels weird to think that something happened and I just missed it. Maybe I missed a very important message / opportunity as well. But guess what? I got over it and eventually understood that missing out is ok while I opted for living other experiences in real life


3) You figure out that the world survives well even without you. Before going travelling, I tried to close all the open matters so I could go and enjoy the experience in peace. Nevertheless, at the start of the trip, I still thought a lot about all the possible things that needed my ‘immediate’ attention. It was hard to imagine how they could possibly work without me. But sure enough, the world did not fall apart without me!


4) You detach from the sense of rush. In a world where we can get almost anything instantly, answering to messages often happens within hours if not minutes - we start thinking others want us to answers as we expect to get answers quickly. When you disconnect and simply don't or can't use socials for days, the sense of urgency fades away. And you realize how really there is not much urgency


And a little post reflection: I am not against social media and rather I love how they allow us to communicate and connect with people even when we are physically far away (think - you probably landed here because we are connected on socials). They are tremendous tools that can help us cultivate great relationships. They are great fun in many ways and I am all out for using them as much as I want.


And that's the key for me, I understand that it's a strong addiction and very much underestimated, so I try to be aware of my limits and make sure that I use socials when I want, rather than when I feel the need to.


I have to work on it or it easily takes away from my life instead of adding value. For instance I've set limited times in the day where I consume or produce content on socials and do my best not to use it at other times.


I'd love to know how you feel about this. Feel free to DM me or comment on the post.


Resources:

Simon Sinek on the millennials challenges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU (One of the most interesting videos on large trends that affect my generation, I strongly believe in everything Simon says. If you don't have much time skip to ~3 min where the social media part kicks in)


Is instagram ruining your life? by Charlie Houpert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGeU17Df8cw (explains about the selection that shapes social media, which has deep social and psychological consequences)


Serendipity rights by my friend Urbano https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10676-018-9496-y?fbclid=IwAR0PtzvVUDma10GJNcS5hWyExyO5lyXcp0NWg00D-S07fi7CLSCjbzg-tvo (on the right for people to see and engage with content that is not always selected by companies whose incentives are to sell)


TED talk on social media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czg_9C7gw0o


Challenge:

Very simple: can you do a week without social media?

Can you do more?


Curious to know!


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