Every once in a while a new trend pops up. Last season it was about clear PVC handbags and this season its a Social Detox.
Very simply put, its a conscious detachment from all your social media channels until your hands stop to reach for your phone and the muscle memory to scroll up and down is almost gone.
More than just experimenting with this trend I desperately needed the detachment and the detox in equal measures. I found myself opening up Instagram at 3 am scrolling through memes, 30-secs cooking tutorials and comparing the followers count with my peers. That's toxic right there. So, I decided to get a first-hand experience of what it’s like waking without instantly reaching to check my DMs.
Posted the social-media detox announcement on my Instagram.
Getting slightly confident about not having the urge to check my phone every now and then. Loving the fact that I don't have to stress about posting schedules and the performance of my pictures.
Caved in and logged into my personal Instagram account for the later part of the day. Spent some time on the explore page instead of scrolling through my feed.
Logged out of the personal Instagram account and started brainstorming different aesthetics and the direction I want to take the blog in.
Day5: The weekend, which meant friends are going out and about town attending gigs, clubs, events etc. Which in turn meant I had a case of major FOMO. The urge to find out what everybody is up to is strong but haven't succumbed, yet.
Was working and the laptop was logged in to my Facebook and Instagram from before the detox so caught a slight glimpse of the number of notifications on both platforms. Took pride in the fact that I didn't open the tab though. Worked on some blog content. Seeing progress.
Grabbed coffee with a friend. Gazed at the street outside while she was on all of her social media handles for a good ten minutes. Noticed that the trees are beginning to shift color and spring is approaching.
Woke from an afternoon nap with the unperturbed urge to check if my followers have dropped on Instagram. Did not give in. Took my evening cup of coffee to the rooftop and finished a book that I was slogging through for a month now.
Took an impromptu trip to Gokarna, Karnataka, for one. Slept like a baby on the journey and reached for my phone only to change the playlist.
Pretty great day at the beach. Treasured the moments in pictures, none of which have made it to my social media, yet. Four sketches, 50 pages of a new book, an hour-long trek, and a delicious meal later, I was officially detached.
Saying goodbye to the holiday. Something has shifted. What is it about vacations that change you to this extent? I'm calmer and much more collected. Not in the life-changing type but definitely in an I'll-be-okay manner.
Back home. Log into my Instagram. Friends are out at a music gig, peers and their new brand collaborations, glossy pictures etc. Catch myself dipping and exit the app within five minutes.
Mentally prepared this time, second shot at the app. Unfollowed all the people whose pictures and thoughts are a hindrance to my peace of mind.
At the end of the detox, I've come to realize that although the addiction to constantly update my life online came as a harmless, just want-to-keep-everyone-in-the-loop move, what I didn't anticipate was, I was also craving to stay updated with everyone else's. A vicious cycle in itself.
I can only think of the number of times my friends and family have sat across the table from me to hold a conversation and I would be wondering which filter works for my Instagram story for the 8th time.
Now I see the bigger picture. With all the spare time to think and align my thoughts, my craft has improved too. But for now, I can drink a good-looking coffee without having to tell the world about it and notice the change in people's expressions when they talk about something that they love.
Hoping that this trend lasts longer than the see-through PVC bags.