September was a quest to stay away from the social media. To say I am addicted to my phone would be an understatement. What I have with my phone is something beyond addiction. This inexplicable need to touch and open my phone at regular intervals and just mindlessly browse through these different social media applications. Sometimes catch an episode of two of the current series that I follow. If you may ask, these days its the re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and Rotten on Netflix. I am really happy that my education was during a period when we were still kind of untouched with the plethora of these distracting mediums available now. However, during my college days – the Facebook craze was at its peak! So, I dutifully deactivated my Facebook 1 week prior to my semester exams and activated it right after coming back from writing my last exam. This sort of self-discipline worked very well for me back then.
All those working in IT sector would agree that studying and elevating your skills here is a never-ending exercise. Now after cooking, baking, embroidery, other hidden hobbies and all the other quarantine mandate things – it was time for learning some new things in the professional capacity. When I sat down to prepare a plan – I realized that the only way I can manage to fit in sometime for studies is if my some magic I am able to increase the duration of a day from 24 hours to say 26 or 28. Considering the impracticality of that idea I quickly took a dive into the activities of the day and identify the leakages – majority of which where identified to be associated with the phone and the universe of social media it beholds. I hastily decided to do what I did back in college. I deactivated my Facebook and uninstalled Instagram and Pinterest – the major applications I spent my time on according to the statistics on my phone.
The withdrawal symptoms kicked in as soon as I uninstalled the apps. I lost the count of how many times I switched on my phone and scrolled towards the place where Instagram and Pinterest used to be. I had given myself at least 1 week of no FB, Insta time. The first few days were hard. I remember clicking pictures of the food I was having and saving them for later use. But after few days the exercise seemed futile and honestly a bit silly. I mean I heard a voice inside me which said “Bro, just eat the damn thing, no one cares about your picture”. Haha. So, during the one week I did manage to study a bit – which made the exercise a little bit successfully. I also devoured Anne Patchett’s The Dutch House, William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns which made me fall a wee bit love with Delhi (but more on that in one of the next 3 posts remaining for this year). I also started and still reading Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. This woman is fast becoming one of my most favorite authors. Someone who's books I can blindly order without having to read the jest or the reviews. Although I do find her leading ladies a bit flawed and ridiculously similar, but I am ready to overlook that for the other little things she so nails down in her stories.
An interesting book can help you overcome anything. For me, these three books did the trick. Watching the documentary Social Dilemma further resolved my detox to be extended by the end of the month. TBH, after the strict first week, I did cheat a bit by accessing the applications via the web. But blame it on the interfaces, the time spend was negligible. Also, Chimamanda ensured that any remaining time I had left from work, study, daily chores and reading was spend extensively reading and researching about Nigeria. The Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba tribes. The Nigerian Civil War. And the recipes for Jollof Rice, Fufu’s and Fried Plantains. By the way I have really perfected my research on jollof rice and I am definitely making it next month. Next month because IT MOST DEFINITELY NEEDS TO BE INSTAGRAMMED RIGHT?
My closing thoughts on this topic would be – social media is a necessary evil. Necessary because it gives you so much information. I love the history, book, home décor and the foodie pages I follow on my Instagram. I love those tiny little baby chef pages. I love how some girl will take the pain of creating a video on the best nude lipstick shades for Indian skin tone and looking at it I can just order the one I like reducing my research time. Oh and the memes. I missed the meme pages the most. But how much you want it to dictate your life is in your hands – like literally. The trick is to find a middle ground and not get swayed by mindless browsing. I am still trying to find my middle ground. When I feel I am browsing way too much I simply get up eat a fruit, get hold of my book, study something, apply a face pack or go bug my husband for his unfolded laundry.
All in all, I really liked this social media detox. I may make it a regular feature once a month.
Also, I got a nice blog post out of it, so a win win.
Stay cautious of the Social Media Peeps!