Let’s face it: we’re on our phones all the time. You’re probably reading this article on your phone right now.
I’d like to call myself “tech savvy”, but what I really mean is that I’m “tech obsessed”, specifically social media. I check my Instagram feed as soon as I wake up and before I sleep, and I’m constantly keeping streaks with my friends on Snapchat.
I always knew that I was obsessed, but I guess I didn’t know when to quit cold turkey until I had a mental breakdown the other day. I started to actively believe everything I saw on social media. Since people tend to only post their happy moments on their accounts, I started to think that everybody was happy all the time, and I wasn’t. The pandemic, combined with the extra isolation from the cold weather, didn’t bode well for my mental health. That’s when I knew I had to do something.
Starting on Sunday, I deleted Instagram and Snapchat from my phone. I didn’t want to live on my phone anymore. I wanted to live in reality.
It’s been 3 days since I logged off, and I’ve honestly felt so much better mentally. I didn’t realize how many times I’d pick up my phone to scroll whenever I had a pocket of free time. I also didn’t realize how many times I’d subconsciously picked up my phone whenever I was in lecture or doing homework. I was able to get an app to help me stay off my phone whenever I had work to do, and it has raised my productivity so much.
It was hard sleeping the first couple of nights, I won’t lie. I realized I used social media as a way to distract myself from my thoughts. Once that element was gone, it was just me and my brain, and it was really scary.
I’m starting to release my stress and nervous energy in better ways, like journaling. I think keeping a journal has helped me go to sleep better because I can just brain dump everything that is on my mind. I also realized how much I missed human connection in person. I was so consumed with all the things people were doing online that I didn’t think about catching up with them in person. Now that I’ve actively tried to see people every day this week, I feel more connected to my friends.
Lastly, I’ve realized that the free time I get from work could be a space for me to try out some new hobbies. I’ve been filming myself doing things, and I might edit those videos and make a YouTube channel. I might start coloring, just because I miss painting so much and I need an artsy hobby to help relieve stress. I might even try yoga! Who knows? There are so many possibilities of things that I can do.
I challenge you all to log off social media for a couple of days. You’ll realize that there’s not much that you’re missing out on once you start living in the moment.
You know what mom? Maybe you’re right. Maybe I am obsessed with my phone.