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I took a 30-day social media detox. Here’s how it helped me

Campus Voice is an initiative by ThePrint where young Indians get an opportunity to express their opinions on a prevalent issue.

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If you find yourself squandering several hours on social media, you’re not alone. According to a survey, Indian users spent 2.4 hours on social media every day on average. Globally, digital consumers spent nearly 2.5 hours every day on social networks, according to Global Web Index’s Social Media Trends 2019 report.

Social media was devised to bring mankind together, but instead, it has evolved into an apodictic addiction in all age groups. Ever since I was a teenager, I was somehow cognizant of the drawbacks of smartphones. This is why I began actively using a phone only after passing class 12. Just like my friends and other teenagers of my age, I too made an account on Facebook, and later became active on Instagram and Twitter as well.

As a person who was aware of the cons of social media and prudent about one’s time, I remember how I became habituated with social media apps. I remained glued to my phone most of the time, scrolling the social media feed aimlessly. I began to fritter away precious time on social media. Social media began to create a dopamine-inducing social environment around me.

Also read: ‘Social media, not big press, is where democracy will continue to thrive’, says ACJ chair

Exasperated with my own addiction, I decided to take a crucial step after watching a video explaining the advantages of social media detox. The video, coupled with the pressure of examinations, made me take an oath of staying away for 30 days from social media. I logged out and then uninstalled all social media apps. I handed over all the passwords of my social media accounts to my nephew, who would manage these social media accounts for the next month.

Initially, this task seemed very arduous, but as days passed, the way cleared for me. The detox began to confer its rewards and blessings. First and foremost, my propensity for late sleeping and waking up late began to change. I had no social media apps to scroll through late into the night and managed to get a good night’s sleep and also wake up on time.

Before the social media detox, I felt like time slipping away like sand from my hands. I did not have enough time to do things. But with the detox, the hours spent on social media could now be added to study hours or for spending time with family, or for other productive work. It reconnected me with people and increased face-to-face interaction. It made me feel happier and enhanced my mental well-being.

Social media detox puts you in a situation to introspect. In my case, during the detox, I contemplated that the world is a test for all and indeed death is the ultimate reality. This thought shepherded me to perform more religious acts, like offering prayer and recital of the Quran.

When the 30-day detox was completed, I decided not to log back into the social media apps on my smartphone. I use my computer to log in to them only when needed. The detox taught me how to be Argus-eyed about the misuse of social media. It enabled me to use social media like a master instead of becoming its slave. Whoever feels he/she is addicted to or obsessed with social media should go for a social media detox. It will definitely help to recoup and repair oneself. I urge everyone out there to plan a detox, execute it, and harvest the benefits. You can thank me later.

The author is a student at Kashmir University. Views are personal

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