Saving You from Yourself
I have deactivated my Facebook account. It is not the craziest thing that I have done in my life. However, this account is the only account that I have to maintain my relationships with almost everyone, from my high school friends, classmates to my teachers. Deactivating this account and Messenger was pretty strenuous for me, considering that it meant ending all the ties. My phone was loaded with other social media platforms too. Guess what? Yeah, you are right, I have got rid of them too.
The idea came from one of the celebrities from my country, Bangladesh. That celebrity is one of the superstars in our film industry. He does not have any social media accounts. Instead of having any, his team runs several fan pages on different digital platforms. People remain clueless about his whereabouts, actions, comments if he is not giving any interviews. He charges the highest fees in almost everything he does. To hire him, anyone has to spend an arm and a leg, taking his fandom and stardom into accounts.
His personal life was always at stake but he never opened up his mouth. Even in interviews, he answers diplomatically, leaving fans and interviewers hooked and confused. He has maintained his stardom by being a star, keeping him thousand miles away from people. His fan page works for his promotions and answering questions from fans related to the next ventures he is in. That is how he shows and nurtures his care for his fans.
I watched some of his interviews and saw the calmness of mind that he had cultivated over the years. As he is not personally invested in knowing the negativity that is going on around him, he is fully focused on his craft, which is acting. All that he cares about is acting skills and bettering it with each passing day. He does not spend time getting feedback from lay people like me who are ignorant about acting.
Condemning social media personally worked for him. More time is there for him to develop and harness the skills that he needs to be a better version of himself, as an actor and a human being.
Let me tell you how it has improved the quality of my life. I have fewer distractions in my life to deal with. It is giving me the vibe of having more self-control over myself. Mindless scrolling takes so much time away without any realization from my side. However, I am no longer doing that after taking a break from social media. Moreover, I am not sharing what is going on in my life right now with everyone on the list. Honestly speaking, cutting social media off opens up doors of immense opportunities.
I am going to expound on the advantages of a digital detox by bashing Facebook. This mental hazard does not come alone. It comes with its ally, the Facebook Messenger. The worst thing about Facebook Messenger is that everyone thinks you are just one text away. Eventually, you end up getting unnecessary messages from people who you do not want to talk to when you are in the middle of something really important. The person from the other end of the conversation might be thinking that you are ignoring him/her, which is absolutely not true.
With every kind of relationship comes lots of expectations. Responding to people’s texts and calls is one of them. When you fail to do that on a regular basis, you tend to show lack of seriousness. My opinion is that relationships are like gardening. To get the optimum results, just planting is not enough. You have to water the plants regularly. The grass is greener where you water.
As I am an international student, I have left everything and everyone behind to be in the United States of America. Now, I rely on technology to keep in touch with everyone I love. But everyone on my social media handles are not who I want to spend time with or invest time in to waste hours after hours talking to.
The issue is that, when you are busy with your own life, you do not have enough time for yourself too. Keeping in touch with others becomes a burden, considering that we have a life full of people. My easy mantra is to deactivate the account to keep the relationships and your sanity intact. No account, no responsibilities! With lesser responsibilities come fewer expectations too.
More often than not, we see people talking about their achievements, sharing pictures of their vacations etc. Our mind subconsciously starts comparing our lives with theirs. As a result of that, we feel low, thinking we are not doing enough and getting rather limited privileges like them.
People who flaunt their achievements or places they can afford to go are not villains in my story. My efforts here are to tell people how that affects others’ lives. If you are one of those people who never get affected by what people upload or do on social media, bravo! Have as many social handles as you can.
Another alarming thing that happens usually, once we start a conversation, it rarely ends without asking anything personal. We tend to overshare in the name of sharing information. Everyone on the list on social platforms is not even our well wishers let alone friends. Revealing too much personal information is not wise. Very few on this earth care about us, and those, who care about us, do not look for personal data. It has taken me too many years to realize this simple fact.
I do not know if you are like me or not, but protecting your personal information is your responsibility. When you send something on Messenger or any social media apps, it can go against you. The other person can take screenshots and keep it for future use, considering the fact that we do not know what is going to happen in future.
From my experience, I shared so many things with one of my manipulative friends without any second thought. That friend can not use the conversations that we had in person but I can not say the same thing about the texts that I sent on social media apps. Texts act as permanent records! Be aware of that!
It is true that social media comes with lots of benefits that we can not deny even if we want to. So, we are not going to do that. Instead of that, we are going to promote a digital detox that provides us with a break from social media.
Minimalism is a wiser option when it comes to keeping in touch with people around us. If it is communication with people, bare minimum is more than enough. Purchase a phone and use it discreetly. That’s how you are always within a reachable range. You are not going to miss anything crucial in your life, and whatever you are going to miss is not essential for your life. Sometimes, the lesser the better.