I get a notification on my phone. I rush across the room to get it and excitedly unlock it.
‘Your friend Jill Walgast has just joined Instagram’.
‘KittyCuddles just started a live video. Watch it before it ends’.
I open Facebook to be bombarded by misogynistic memes posted by some uncle.
I then open Twitter, only to be barraged by political rants, fake news and media outrage.
I open Instagram to be swarmed by screenshots of twitter rants along with pizza memes, cats, beach photos and food all with vintage filters too!
Social media may be a powerful tool which has its redeeming benefits, yet most of the time it feels like getting to the good stuff involves wading through a cesspit of swampy digital drainage.
Two weeks ago, I uninstalled all social media apps on my phone, and now we don’t have TV at home either. I didn’t delete my accounts (I’ve tried that before) but if I need to access them, I go on my laptop. It has been absolutely blissful.
Right away, it has freed up so much of my time, especially my so-called ‘leisure time’ which started with having ‘a quick glace’ at my Instagram feed and ended up stretching to a few solid hours of mindless scrolling. And that’s the most dangerous thing about social media. The fact that it is seemingly so innocuous. I think to myself, ‘a couple of pictures and memes, how could it hurt?’ I end up filling my head with garbage and care about things that don’t matter or get outraged about small things because of the collective mob mindset.
Not having that distraction has lead me to creating more time for meditation and reading books. It has helped me direct my energies in other channels. I’m learning Android and getting things checked off my ‘Want To Try Some Day’ list. I have even started spending more time with my family. I used to be boarded up in my room a.ka. my personal cave. I didn’t like going out or talking to other humans (I will hisss at you if you attempt to start a conversation with me). Now I find myself going for long walks and even smiling at strangers! Shocking.
I’ve also noticed that I don’t get irritated as easily or react to things as I’ve done before. When I used to meditate, if someone makes even an inkling of a sound, I will rage and rain fury and wrath upon that poor person. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of meditation…
Now, I’m so zen I could probably meditate through a sandstorm in the middle of a Screamo concert. Actually probably not… Maybe a Coldplay concert..