Let me start with a confession. I was a social media addict. I’m reformed today.
Why do I describe myself as a “social media addict”? For me, it started off with Blogs. At first, it was reading blogs. Then it was writing blogs. Then I moved to FaceBook. And then to Twitter. Briefly, Pinterest caught my fancy. At one time, infographics, videos and visuals were my muse. Because there have been times when I spent 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 hours on social media – all at a stretch and all in a day, and sometimes for days at length. I have no clue what I exactly did during those hours. But it felt good at the end! I have missed basic human needs – like food, sleep! I have missed paying bills (not taxes, Thankfully!), social appointments, pressing personal requests, urgent phone calls, work deadlines – All because I was hooked on social media. When I started using social media several years back, it was out of sheer curiosity. What started off as “Let me see what this beast is” quickly became “The beast controlled my priorities, my time, my life”.
But not anymore! And I’m thankful for that… It took me a while to get here… But I succeeded..
Social media can be an addiction – like TV, or sports, or music, or dance, or alcohol, or art, or video games, or reading, or whatever else keeps you hooked.. It can slowly and steadily control your life, time and priorities..
But first? Why and how do people form addictions? That is a interesting topic in itself. I think there are plenty of reasons. From having lots of time, to lack of a purpose, to lots of money, to lack of confidence, to a quest for doing nothing, to dealing with stress, crisis, emotional ups and downs, the good bad and ugly that life throws at you…. But most importantly, addictions are really about HABIT FORMATION.
“Habits formed by repetition are hardest to change” BY Charles Duhigg [Book: The Power of Habit]
And I fully agree with the quote above. So, how did I go about my process of social media de-addiction? I have share a high level snapshot of what worked for me below. It took me about 6 months to get there, but totally worth it! My greatest high was when I stayed away from social media for 5 days in a row! Trust me, it is possible and you will survive,and the world goes on (both the real-world and social media world). And the good part was that I found time to revive several other old interests along the way – from running, to reading to creative art! So it’s all good now!
I hope it helps you or anyone else you know who is keen on embarking on this journey.