For the past few years, I’ve always made sure that I have holiday social media posts to share on my feed. I even searched for creative captions to match my posts and make the pictures aesthetically pleasing to my friends and followers. I can’t deny that I have this FOMO attitude after being dependent on social media for years. But this year, I decided to have a social media detox this Christmas season.
I felt the need to have a break this holiday season to find my own inner peace, as this year has been extra difficult, from being demoted in work to breaking up with my special person. Regardless of what happened, I would still want to have the hiatus for a change of pace. I took a two-week break and put all my SNS accounts in deactivate mode to stop myself from accessing it.
The following are things that happened during my social media detox and my reflections on it.
1. I got fewer messages in my inbox.
Two weeks felt like a month when I barely received any messages on all of my social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I find it difficult because I am a social butterfly in social media. I’m someone who messages my friends all the time.
When I got fewer Christmas greetings and messages than last year, it felt sad but reassuring as I learned those few people who truly cared even if I wasn’t able to get in touch with them.
2. I was able to reconnect with the real world.
I am the type of person who updates my life activities on social media in real time. During the hiatus, I learned that I have to be more private and establish more real-life connections to avoid toxic people barging in my timeline. Most of all, I learned not to view things through the lens of social media. Social media may be a reflection or a mirror of the world but it will never be the real world.
3. I reclaimed past hobbies.
When surfing on social media is not an option, I spend most of my time drawing figures and writing stories. Unlike right now, I developed a hobby of streaming programs, and reading manga and webtoons. It is a shame that I had abandoned and forgotten those past hobbies.
As I gained my free time, I decided to reclaim my past hobbies and to live in the moment. I realized that I may have new things at hand, but I can always get back to my past and add it to the current things I enjoy.
4. I had time to heal.
The best thing that happened was being able to heal and becoming more mentally stable. Not only did I break the comparison cycle I fall into when I see myself differently from others, but I was also able to move on with my life.
I stopped stalking my ex’s timeline, inhibited myself from comparing my life’s achievements to others’, focused on doing things I wanted, and appreciated and celebrated my own accomplishments. As long as I am focused on my goals, I will be able to heal and be genuinely happy.
Social media is now a part of our life. But it doesn’t mean that it is our life. Just as how we manage to get our school and work lives separate from our personal lives, we can also draw a line to separate our real life from our social media life.
Disconnect to connect. Just like the quote suggests, the goal for social media detox this holiday season is not to refrain from media interactions, but to repair real-life connections.