Caged in the world of emojis, selfies and hastags? Come out, feel the fresh air around and re-introduce yourself to the life outside the virtual world, writes Roshani Shinde
Do you think food, clothing and shelter form the basic necessities of life? If your answer is yes, then you seriously need to update yourself. Right now what tops the necessity list is… Wifi. Each one of us right from kids to senior citizens have fallen prey to it. Phones, internet and especially social media rather than connecting is controlling our lives. Finally many have realised it and are taking necessary steps to control it. The trendiest formula being… Social Media Fast.
Term it the way you want, Social Media Fast or Detox. One has to simply stay offline, if not for a lifetime at least for a limited time span. No check-in updates on Facebook, no tweeting from your shower, updating your latest DP and food porn on Instagram is a strict No-No and living a life without a hashtag sums up what the Social Media Fast is all about. Sounds next to impossible, then we have a good news. You are allowed to check your e-mails. Even a day without our mobile phones or a slow internet connection is enough to make us feel handicapped. And in such a situation staying strictly away from Social Media sounds like the most horrifying challenge. Isn’t it? But that’s the fun part.
Western countries already have Social Media rehab centres where majorly kids from the age group of 10 and teens are treated. And supposedly we also have it in India, you just have to search hard to locate one. If one has to get treated for his/her addiction by a professional then visiting a rehab or approaching your trusted counsellor is the solution. But there are many strong willed individuals around us who took up the challenged single-handledly.
Lots of students were following this fast during their exam season; some professionals took it up so as to concentrate on their goals and few as they felt the need of actually connecting with people than just virtually. We chose stories of three individuals: Riya Chandra – founder of Promises of Delicacies (Cakes and chocolates), Iram Sayed – Legal Executive and Amrapali Shinde – Technology Analyst. While Riya took it up way before it became a vogue, Amrapali went through it last year to connect with self and others around. And the bravest of all, Iram has completely ditched the virtual world for the sake of her professional commitments with no urge of coming back.
Now a successful businesswoman, Riya wisely uses Social Media for marketing her cake and chocolate brand. She went through the detox process 3 years back, on the same she comments, “Back then I was in my college and my exams were approaching. A quick 5 minute tour of Social Media always extended for good one hour. That is when I decided to go offline at least till I finish with my exams.” With hardly any withdrawal symptoms and a strong will power eased her challenge. Whether she was sleeping, eating, reading or at work Amrapali thought her mind is always on ‘active mode’. And then the idea of observing Social Media fast kicked in. “Smartphones are a way of life now-a-days so it was indeed tough initially. But gradually the idea soaked in and I could stay away from my phone for as long as I wanted to,” shares the Technology Analyst.
In the mean time, she engrossed herself in reading and other creative activities. Taking efforts to connect with people around and moreover connecting with self were certainly the brownie points. Both Riya and Amrapali felt that they can socialise well even without an internet connection, yet being on Social Media allows one to be in touch with long lost friends and acquaintances. Eventually they broke the fast and logged in again after 3 and 4 months respectively.
Iram did enjoy her stint on Social Media during college days. But when she started working, she made lots of concrete decisions and quitting Social Media was one of them. Right now her topmost priority is to dedicate herself completely in her work and in a way contribute towards the development of our country. “Young and fresh minds should focus on productive work than merely worrying about the chats, profile pictures, selfies etc,” says the 24 year old Legal Executive. Thanks to an understanding family and hardly any peer pressure Iram is firm on her decision of not walking down the lane of social sites again.
If these three young, dynamic females can dare to do it… so can you. Follow the detox for minimum three days or a month. If you do not wish to go on a fast, at least set few deadlines such as not checking your phone when out for a dinner with family and friends, or on a trip. Enjoy the real moments. Stay away from your laptop and mobiles an hour before going to bed. Limit your sharing, it will automatically curb your desire to check your account innumerable times. To remember birthdays go traditional – maintain a diary or mark it on your calendar. Just few changes will impart you with ample of physical, emotional and even psychological benefits.
So what are you waiting for? Dare yourself and try out the latest fast… Social Media fast.
Are you a social media addict?
- The very first thing you do after waking up is… look for your phone
- Sleepy yet can’t doze off as Whatsapp chats seem more important
- Checking account after every 5-10 minutes to view the increased number of likes and comments
- Cannot concentrate on your core work thanks to social media interactions
- More engrossed in virtual conversations than people sitting besides you
- No notifications, no new updates yet can’t resist browsing your accounts
- Clicking selfies only for the sake of uploading it
- Absence of mobile and laptops is equivalent to being handicapped
- Number of likes and comments is correlated to your esteem and popularity
- Your second language is #hashtag
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