Social Media Detox

Social Media Detox

In the past, I’ve taken several breaks from social media- during SAT prep and finals, but also during my holidays when I simply want to focus on myself and take time off the internet. In my sophomore year of high school, I took a break from social media for at least 6 months and then in my junior year I took another very long break.

I’ve tried taking month long breaks from instagram and snapchat, however, I’m not as busy as I used to be in high school now. I used to play competitive golf, go to a lot of tutoring classes, swim, and had tons of schoolwork to complete at all times.

Recently, whenever I’ve tried to take breaks from social media they haven’t been very long. They last about a week until I usually end up installing the apps. However, I still try my best to make sure I’m taking time off these platforms because even though social media helps us connect with people from all around the world, there are still many many negative aspects about this form of media. I’ve had days where I’ve spiralled into a daze of self-comparison and spent countless hours scrolling through the Explore page.

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There are times when I feel alone after checking social media and there are times when I feel really horrible about how much time I’ve wasted on Instagram. There’s nothing wrong with spending a few minutes on these platforms everyday, but when you begin to get consumed by the virtual world – you definitely need to take a step back and connect with the real world by actually being present and spending time with the people around you.

Lately, I have been trying to cut down on my daily social media usage, instead of completely going off the platforms. This is mainly because I’ve been using instagram to promote my blog and also because we are in quarantine and social media is one of the biggest ways I’m staying in touch with my friends and family.

Here are a few things I have been doing to reduce the amount of time I spend on social media:

1. Allocate specific times of the day for checking social media:

Instead of constantly picking up the phone when I get a text, I stick to checking all of my social media platforms and texts at one time – this way I’m not constantly checking my phone at all hours of the day. This also helps me create some form of routine and helps me keep my mind off the phone.

2. Unfollow a bunch of people:

When you are following less people, there are less pictures to scroll through and this means you’re not going to be wasting your time looking at posts that are really not helping you in any way or form. I know a bunch of people who have done a purge where they unfollow a good amount of people and let me tell you, this has done wonders for not only their time-management, but also their mental health.

3. Keep yourself busy:

Personally, I’ve been doing a bunch of things to keep my mind off the phone. This includes baking, reading, watching movies and Netflix shows, talking to friends on the phone, and making art. I recently installed Procreate on my iPad and I’ve been having loads of fun experimenting with everything that they offer on the app.

What Influences Us

What Influences Us

As young girls, we were all raised with certain ideas and notions about what is right and wrong. We had to dress up a certain way, always say the right thing, be quiet, be polite, be nice. As we got older, slowly and steadily we were conditioned to view ourselves from the perspective of a man. Our mothers taught us to ‘let him win’, ‘agree with him’, ‘serve him’. It is no wonder that eventually women lost their sense of selves. Our identities were strayed and if we wanted to fight back for our rights, it would take a great deal of pain and courage to take back what was once ours.

I myself have been in situations where I would force myself to dress a certain way, to do my hair, to eat as little as I possibly could just to look a certain way. I forgot about what my own needs and wants were – that I had to nourish my body and take care of it, that I had to fuel myself and be kind to myself. I was blinded by the idea that I must look attractive and graceful – even if it meant that the things I did to achieve a certain look would harm me in the long run.

I have spent countless hours in front of a mirror, picking apart parts of my body: “I’m too big”, “I’m too small”. I’ve been on both sides of the body weight spectrum, and still, people around me have always had a problem with the way I look. I find it amusing how people could have the nerve to comment about someone’s appearance.

I remember, when I was anorexic, people would come up to me and tell me to “eat more”, “put some meat on those bones”, “you look sick”. And to my horror, when I was finally weight restored, the same people, who told me to gain weight, would come up to me and tell me that I needed to go to the gym and that I should lay off the dessert. Surprising, isn’t it? I was shocked and so unsure of myself when things like that would happen to me. It is terrifying and so appalling that people could say things about your appearance without knowing anything about what you’ve been through. I lost my period for 3 years, I was constantly fighting with my family, i was tired exhausted all the time, my hair was falling out. I was struggling with one of the most horrible mental disorders that kills so many people – and yet I was constantly told that I was not “perfect” according to society’s standards.

I believe that, sometimes, we need to take a step back and think about where our expectations stem from. Is it something we genuinely want? Or is it something that is just “demanded” from us. What I’m trying to say is that sometimes, our society makes it seem like we have to be picture perfect, we have to look attractive at all times, we have to wear the latest fashion – always, always, always. Why? Who are we doing all this for? Is it for ourselves? Or is it because we been brainwashed by what social media wants us to do?