Social Media Detox

I find that I am constantly bombarded with visual images from my television, phone, ipad, and computer. I feel constantly connected to work, friends, family and strangers through ‘timelines’, ‘likes’ and ‘hashtags’. This connection is neutral in itself. Social media has made my ability to express my ideas and work a real possibility. The more I engage in social media, I find that the choice of what I am viewing is less and less in my control.

The echo chamber of social media

I feel like the ability to curate what I see becomes difficult. Scrolling through the post of others within my circle, I start to realize it becomes an echo chamber of feelings, emotions, wants, and needs of thousands of ‘friends’. It can get exhausting at times. I feel in some ways connected to the community, but also isolated. Isolation is a natural thing when you’re not feeling well mentally, physically or emotionally.

Social media can impact our mental health

Especially, when dealing with HIV and other chronic diseases these shifts can potentially be an added burden to one’s day. It can make one not want to get out of bed or do anything. So in a way, it is a grey area wherein, one sense, I am connected to a community, but it can be the source of my isolation.

What is a social media detox?

I am starting to explore these by going back to the basics. There is a popular trend now of social media detoxes. Usually, at the minimum, it involves stepping away from all electronic communication devices for a time period. I have seen people also go another step further and rid themselves of sugar as well. This non-attachment to our cell phones and computers can definitely be helpful in clearing our minds of the ‘noise’ we constantly surround ourselves by. Leaving us to be alone with our thoughts.

How I am spending my time

I am starting to create time to meditate and check in with myself. I am starting to create time to journal. I share my thoughts with myself and then reflect on them. This really allows me to slow down and think and analyze my stream of consciousness.

Making this commitment to myself

In this New Year, it is time to really recommit to the life long process of working on myself. It is a scary thing, to change and turn away from things that really have brought me comfort. I love being connected to the computer and being in everyone’s business. But I also understand the importance of not wearing blinders or being so consumed in other people’s lives that I forget about my own.

I have a responsibility to myself, to be the best I can be. Shutting out the noise is one way I am doing it. In the process, I am allowing space for more connection, more joy, and more community with people that love and support me no matter what.

 

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