Late last year , I found myself in the universal position of being exhausted with social media, I always get burned out when it comes to social media, it seems I have a threshold and I have to come respect that if I need to leave, I should, so I do. The constant bombardment of images, videos, opinions, information and what have you, gets to me and I just gotta dip. By the end of October, I was done I had a hard time focusing on anything but refreshing that WhatsApp status button, so I uninstalled the app and reinstalled it without access to my contacts after getting some advice from a good friend. I am in a much better place mentally and data wise. Then came the three Goliaths: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A brief background of my relationship with these apps.
Facebook: it was around 2009 when I first heard of Facebook, never really took it seriously, joined 2011, usage was intermittent at best until I went abroad for college and it became the means to keep in touch with folks back home. Usage escalated and when Facebook became bragbook and an HD pictures repository, it was hard not to feel left out. I became so fed up with it in 2017 and deleted my account. Rejoined mid 2018 when I needed to find housing after landing a job in Louisiana. Currently, usage varies and I like it that way. I haven’t logged in for a few weeks and I don’t know my password, which is helping.
Instagram: I have had 3 if not 4 accounts since 2015, I think that explains my love-hate relationship with this app.
Twitter: Joined in 2018 because of the World Cup memes, was hoping to get likes by posting funny memes then I got fed up and deleted it. However, when the Bachelorette was on that summer, I found myself drawn to the tweets, I gotta say Bachelor twitter is my favorite twitter so it was no surprise when I found myself signing up for another account in January 2019, it was Colton, the virgin bachelor after all and it was going to be the most dramatic season ever!! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that twitter and I did have fun tweeting that season. Somewhere along the way I discovered Twitter Malawi and I still don’t know how I feel about this particular community. The self promotion, elitism and how many followers do you have ranking system drive me crazy but it has given me an insight into the Malawian elite that I never would have had so there’s that.
In summary, social media and I have a Rachel-Ross type of relationship and am cool with that. When I took my recent break, I realized that it was good, I was happy , no refreshing feeds, wondering what people are up to and the like, it was me vs me, a match I always run from. Social media is just one of the few things that can drain us, work can sometimes become hazardous and family as well. I remember watching a clip of Toni Braxton telling her family something along the lines of she does not like them and would not want to be friends with them if they weren’t related. Frankly, a few events over the past year have made me reach a similar conclusion, I disgress. But as humans we go through so much and some things maybe insignificant to someone but very significant to you and that is ok. In one of my favorite books, “The perks of being a wallflower,” Charlie, the main character is going through a crisis and realizes that just because there are bigger problems in the world, it does mean that his problems do not matter, they do. Lately, my mental health has been in the gutter as well and for me this also usually means my physical health suffers. Life has been hard and now as mutated Covid lurks around, I can’t help but wonder where the world will be come December 31st, 2021. The past few days have been hard and I have been working on ways I can distract myself. It’s not an easy task. Overall, life sometimes can just become too much, and I believe it is important to have those moments to yourself where you just breathe without distractions.
Tips on escaping the circus:
- If its social media, log off and uninstall apps if necessary. Take a break, even if it’s just a day, a week or an entire month, we all need a break. I deliberately put in a complicated password that I could not remember and uninstalled apps. I have recovered my Twitter and Instagram passwords so far but I am still logged out of Facebook.
- Take a break, whether it’s just not going to work and resting at home or going on vacation for those that can afford it. I think we associate taking a break from work with going on vacation or some other outlandish rest related thing, but personally even if you just want to lie in bed all day and eat, nothing wrong with that. As long your brain is getting some needed rest
- Figure out what you like to do that does not involve other people or requires minimum human interaction e.g. watching a movie, reading a book, writing, knitting, cycling, running, walking, etc, these are things that I do and there’s so much more that you can do
- Self care, whatever that means to you, manicure, pedicure, new hairstyle, new clothes, new accessories, etc
- Last but not least, BREATHE, very important