Is having a break from the online world really a bad thing?
I’ve been pretty bad at social media lately. I log into Facebook fleetingly once every few days; not even long enough to trawl through my burgeoning notifications or reply to messages. Until recently, I avoided Twitter for months, using only a scheduling tool to promote blog links. And I even avoided Instagram for several weeks; a broken phone made it even easier for me to avoid posting pics.
Right now I’m still not back to normal usage, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:
• You’ll feel lost without social media at first.
To begin with, you’ll really miss it. You’ll fear you’re missing out, badly. You’ll feel compelled to constantly pick up your phone and scroll through Insta, or just check Twitter for a sec. But eventually…
• You stop missing it.
After a while, you realise that you can live without constantly being tied to the online world. The world doesn’t stop turning just because you haven’t logged into Facebook for a few days. (Or weeks.)
• You will lose touch with some people.
There are some friends (okay, a lot of friends, in my case) who you exclusively contact through social media. So, if you stop going on there, you stop talking to them. That’s the only bad thing about taking a break, in my opinion.
• It’s great, but it does get isolating after a while.
Eventually you realise just how much you relied on it to keep in touch with old friends, and how little contact you’ve had with them over the past few weeks.
You’ll miss them, but you do come to realise that there are other ways of contacting each other. They might not be quite as easy or instantaneous, but it’s not impossible to keep in touch without social media.
• It’s good for your sanity.
We live in a constantly connected world. We’re online 24/7 and it can get totally overwhelming at times. It’s really good practise to consciously switch off regularly, because it gives you time to breathe. Valuable time to gather your thoughts, and immerse yourself in the ‘real world’ again.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without social media?