I rarely used Instagram, but I felt I was spending an inordinate amount of time on Twitter. So 30 days ago, I deleted Twitter and Instagram apps on my phone. Twitter is like a market of madness. Everyone seems to sell their own version of madness; and if you were going to participate in this trade, you were expected to bring along your own version. The sarcasm, clout chasing, and wittiness is just sickening and could get addictive. You feel like you are part of something important; a mob that is ready to destroy and cancel whatever and whoever they deem fit. After all, everyone is a victim of an oppressive society. And this platform offers everyone the power to become the oppressor.
When you read through some threads and ponder over some responses, you would be forced to wonder if real human beings with blood running through their veins actually thought like that. The more dangerous part is when you get to the point where you start believing that Twitter opinions represent the actual society.
Again, it could easily become addictive. But to what end?
That was the question I asked myself. To what end?
As an entrepreneur who writes, I read a lot. In fact, social media is not entirely a time wasting activity for me because I use it to generate writing ideas. I run an online media company, and social media is an integral part of our business strategy. Technically, social media has a lot of positive sides for me. Yet, I got fed up and deleted the apps.
Why I deleted My Social Media Apps
The reason I chose to delete these app is this. You see, we like to think that we are strong willed and have control of our mind. We think our opinions are totally our own, and we will go to any length to defend them. Unfortunately, you are not as in control of your mind as you think.
Think about your political views, your views about the opposite sex, about the economy, your country, black people, white people, cars, fashion, capitalism, socialism – can you honestly say that your opinion of each of these is entirely yours?
In most cases, your opinion was impressed on you by what your mind was consistently exposed to over a period of time. Why else will two people living in the same environment have sharply opposing views about something and believe they are right without an iota of doubt?
You may think it’s harmless and makes you liberal to allow the media to feed you whatever they want without a filter. You may think it does matter. But it does matter. When you are no longer in control of what your mind is exposed to, you lose your mind.
I think that is worth repeating.
Listen to this, when you are no longer in control of what you expose your mind to; you lose control of your mind. Many people today, while thinking they wake and informed, have actually lost their mind. In fact, we have all lost a substantial part of our minds through indoctrination and programming by society from our childhood. But few people are making the effort to consciously preserve and reboot what is left of their minds.
Have you noticed how a computer gets sluggish when you have opened many applications at a time? It is proven by science that constant exposure to social media is making people think sluggishly.
So what are some of the lessons I learned from deleting my social media apps after 30 days? Here are four of them.
1. You won’t miss social media
I used to obsess over football. I was an ardent Manchester United fan. That was during the days of C. Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Nani, Ferdinand and co. But when I decided to pay less attention to football to focus my obsession on building my dream, at first it felt like I was missing a lot. But I soon got used to it like that obsession never existed. Today, the only time I have an emotional investment in football is during the world cup or the nation’s cup, supporting my country. Anything else is just entertainment.
It’s the same with social media. I often hear people say things as I can never do without Twitter or TikTok. That’s simply hilarious and very not true. You can do without any of this thing, you just haven’t realized it. That feeling of getting disconnected from the world is as good as the feeling you get when you are high on drugs. In fact, you will feel a lot more connected to the world, the people around you and yourself with little social media interruptions. When you first take the action to stay away from social media, you will miss it for a few days; then you will move on. Soon you will wonder how you got addicted to this madness in the first place.
2. You will feel less anxious
Have you noticed that if you start your day checking your social media page, your day tends to become less productive? If you haven’t experienced this before, it’s either because you have never used social media in the morning or because you don’t pay attention.
About a week after deleting my Twitter account, I got a surprising message from Twitter that my personal account has been suspended. Then I noticed that the account now had zero followers and zero following. Whether the account was hacked or a false alarm, I have no idea. But, I couldn’t care less because it doesn’t matter that much. Life is too short to let such petty things bother you. The point is that you have a less emotional investment in the utopian world of social media. You may still use it but you can easily do without it.
3. You’ll find you have more time than you think
You won’t understand how much time you spend on social media until you stop using social media. The average person spends an average of 2 hours 22 minutes per day on social media. If you compound this to one month, and then one year, that will give you 71 hours and 852 hours respectively. This is enough time for you to learn a new skill, finish that book, take that course, or do whatever it is you have been putting off because of lack of time.
I didn’t just delete my social media apps; I actually replaced them with book summary apps; Blinkist and 12 minutes. Blinkist is a professional book summarizing subscription service that provides summaries of best selling non-fiction books. With this app, you can read the summary of business, psychology, history, biography, career, technology and all other kinds of non-fiction books in 15 minutes. It allows you to understand the key insights from the best books quickly.
12 minutes is another book summary app that summarizes non-fiction books.
I replaced the time I spend on social media with reading book summaries, in addition to reading hard copy books. So far, I have read about 64 book summaries that have been more than helpful with my writing and running my business.
I also watch more videos on YouTube. Yes, I know YouTube is also a social media; and I still use YouTube. Just like you can easily waste your time on YouTube watching instant gratifying videos, you can also learn practically anything from YouTube. For me, it’s also an important business strategy and it’s relatively easy to stick with the type of content you want to interact with.
4. When you return, you will feel like a stranger
If you do decide to return to social media after being away for a reasonable period of time, you will feel out of place. You will clearly see the madness for what it is. The narcissistic contest may become uncomfortable. You will have a clearer understanding of the fact that everyone is in a competition of displaying a heavily filtered version of their life and opinion – and that you have the tendency to want to measure your life by this standard. I still log on to Twitter on my browser when I need to. But I have the urge to run out as quickly as possible.
See, there is a positive side to social media. People are building businesses, gaining life-changing connections and building solid brands on social media. But you have to tame that beast; else it will consume you. And sometimes, the best way to handle the beast is to stay out of the wild.
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