I am back! So how was my second detox trip? Better than the first one for sure. I didn’t feel the urge to reach out for my phone even on day 1 of the detox. It was therapeutic to know that I don’t have to check on who says what. It is inexplicable that though the choice to be present on these platforms is mine, whenever I decide to stay away, it feels like some strings have been let loose. At the end of the day, it is a pleasurable and liberating feeling.
Throughout these 6 weeks I did not feel like I was missing anything big. To be more precise about my latest detox experience, I realized it is Facebook and WhatsApp that consumes me most. While I get to see only a few posts from friends on Facebook, I am subconsciously going through fake news, videos that Facebook wants you to see and I end up investing more time than I thought it would take to quickly browse through. The same goes for WhatsApp. While it is nice to keep in touch with friends and family, it can be irritating to wake up to a barrage of irrelevant forwarded messages, birthday & anniversary wishes and thank yous and sorries. Having said that, I can’t complain about the free voice calls that WhatsApp offers.
I have however found that Skype voice calls conveniently replace WhatsApp calls sans spam messages and fake news.As for other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, I haven’t found them to be too enticing anyway. I don’t have the urge to engage intensely in communicating through them except that I enjoy the short Reels or IGTV news snippets that news channels and comedians like Trevor Noah put up. But then, podcasts replace these in my detox time.
Small things have kept me quite busy these past 6 weeks. Some “something out of nothing projects”, some writing, designing a photo book, gratifying feel of spending time at SPARSH, meeting friends for coffee, simply napping without having to check the phone or receiving any calls, catching up on Netflix documentaries and much more.
My 4 weeks of detox became 6 as I really didn’t feel like getting back on. Life has been quiet and peaceful in the last 6 weeks. Moreover, after watching Social Dilemma on Netflix, a thought crossed my mind of giving up all social media for good, but then I also have to admit that some things have become such an important part of our lives now that privacy concerns are superseded by the ease of communication that we have gotten so used to.
Who knows? Maybe if I do this detox thing one more time, I may not want to come back to social media at all!