Can We Live Without Social Media?

Most of our social interaction has now shifted and its depended on our online identities and accounts. But what if we get to know someone who is virtually a ghost, and has no social media accounts or only uses one online platform instead of several? Yes, these people exist.

It may sound impossible to hear, but there are people who don’t share traveling pictures, plate pictures, birthday pictures or any other event pictures. They are living without social media.

For many people, this may sound like the weirdest thing to hear, considering that most of the hours of our days now unfortunately involve us scrolling checking other people’s lives. 

We have created identities that are pretty much top-notch for our online audience to see, while we may as well be a wreck and completely in despair in the real world. 

Social media accounts have become the main reason people feel like they’re left behind and like they’re missing out on so many different things, when instead, it’s just very hard to catch up with everything with studies, work and potentially children. 

I mean, the world was pretty much like this for such a long time, with people traveling, partying, celebrating or mourning. 

It’s just that without the internet, we didn’t really have a clue if there was a party going on downtown unless we went there to check it out ourselves. 

Neither did we know whether our friends from high school have all settled with great jobs and big families. Ignorance is bliss, they say! 

And now, we know pretty much everything. Information is at the tip of our fingertips, but guess what, there are still people who manage to remain neutral and refrain from getting information from social media accounts or providing details on their lives for social media accounts. 

For such a long time, these people were sort of people I really looked up to. 

It seemed to me like they had a higher sense of concentration and connection with other people, a better and healthier way of experiencing things, whether those are sad or happy things and feelings. 

To this extent, I still think I am right.

 

Shutting Down

A friend of mine got a job at an Embassy a few years ago, and the policies were as such that they made her shut down all of her social media accounts, to remain more low-key and confidential. 

She says this has been the best thing that has happened to her in a while. 

Now, I go for walks for hours without feeling the need to sit in a corner, grab a coffee and start scrolling. I mean, I still get the coffee and sit in a corner, but I sit and meditate. I stare at trees, flowers, water and the people. Generally speaking, I feel like I am certainly and evidently so much more self-aware while I just sit and look at my surroundings, without scrolling down Facebook or Instagram”. – Lauren, friend of the author

So it hit me, that maybe I can start doing the same. Of course, I was not working for an embassy so it was not an obligation of mine to remain low-key, however, I also prefer staying away from my phone several times per day, to test myself and simply see whether I will be happier and more focused if I just leave that darn phone away. 

And the results are always very rewarding. Every time I do not sleep scrolling, or I do not wake up from bed to immediately start scrolling – my days are the best and my sleep is the best. 

Believe it or not, if we scroll down, the bad news we will read will be countless. So will be the good news on people we know and interact with, and we are left feeling way too much caught on the lives of others, losing the focus over our personas. 

However, I could not completely shut down all my social media accounts. I still have my Instagram, but I find myself more and more only selecting some things I want to see, and finding the will to ignore others. 

I do not use any other social media platform, and so far this has been quite a fulfilling experience for me. 

You never know how much time you spend simply investigating everything that is going on in the city, your hometown, the region, and the whole world for that matter.

 

Cold Turkey

I used to mock a friend of mine who also said that girls were sort of looking at him with a weird look whenever he said that he uses no social media at all. 

I guess in today’s world, the standard has become as such – if you’re not visible in the online world in one way or another, you are a suspicious person to the extent where you can also be a criminal. It’s funny but also sad, to think about where we rely on our trust in people. 

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Detox: Removing your social media apps can have a surprising impact on your health

However, the bottom line is that with all the people that I meet and understand that they do not have social media accounts, I pretty much try to understand how they manage the need to share their routine with other people. 

Some of them have a natural sense of ‘not caring’ about sharing their lives, whereas others say that they’ve had to work for a long time to ease their anxiety, addiction and dependence on social media. 

All of them think that the key is to convince yourself that shutting down social media accounts helps you towards following your own pace of development, with progress and failures. 

They think that what follows along the way, as we cleanse ourselves from social media – is peace, tranquility, and a sense of self-awareness that is very blissful. 

Of course, it makes sense. I am not saying problems of the world are not important. However, I’m just saying that the change starts from the individual perspective, and we must focus on ourselves first.

 I think considering the time you spend scrolling in social media accounts, is one step closer to the self-awareness that can help up all become a little more empathetic.


From social media to professionals, protecting your mental health has huge impacts on your life.

How to Protect Your Mental Health as a Young Professional

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