Here I shall explain how it feels like to not be on social media for 14 days.
But first off, when I say social media, I mean, mostly, consumption of the top 4 which I find myself mindlessly typing on the browser or tapping on my mobile phone:
Twitter (which is my greatest addiction thus far),
Instagram (which is my top sharing tool during my travels and events),
Foursquare (which I use just because, and perhaps also to earn those surprise badges), and
Facebook (which I check just to see if anyone tagged or messaged me, and also because everybody talks there).
So it’s a Friday night and I’m in a coffee shop far away from home. I feel like an introvert today so here I am, with Bach on my headphones, typing away until traffic subsides and I can actually drive without fearing for leg cramps.
I do not know when traffic will subside. My primary source for that, 14 days ago at least, would have been @MMDA. But as I have locked myself out of Twitter space, I have no idea what is happening outside or whether it’s okay to pass by EDSA or C5 or whatever at this hour.
During my first few days on lockout, I kinda missed it. In the elevator, I’d get my mobile phone from my pocket and habitually tap on my “anti-social” folder (which is actually my “social media” folder – I have named it such that day I’ve begun to realize how anti-social I could sometimes be during actual gatherings). For some wild reason, I always think of and tweet the oddest things from the elevator. One day I actually decided to create an “Elevator” location on Foursquare – I earned my first mayorship there. After a few days, I got myself out of that elevator habit, and only check once or twice for possible messages. What’s very funny is that when you stop staring at your phone, you start seeing the things that are right in front of you. I don’t mean anything deep, I just mean funny and little things. Like when the lift is not too full, I notice that everybody – and I mean everybody’s eyes are just stuck on their iPhones and Samsungs and Blackberries and what-nots. And if you’re not doing the same, you start feeling that you’re the one who’s awkward and different. And in a way, really, you are.
I’ve gone out of that missing stage now, and it’s just the fourteenth day. I have no urges at all to check my accounts, although I’ve been listing people I will be starting to follow once I’m free (i.e. @iammvp). But the fact is that I don’t miss it. That is really weird and unexpected. My prediction was that by day 14, I’d be gritting my teeth to stop myself from taking a quick peek at my Twitter feed or posting a photo on Instagram. I am not. That is really weird.
Instead, I feel kind of – for lack of a better word – cleansed. It’s like I’ve been eating only veggies for 2 weeks. Not that I’ve ever tried that, but you know. As I become more and more disconnected to the online “here and now” – news and current events, traffic conditions of faraway lands, friends’ deep dark thoughts, celebrity #OOTD’s (Outfit of the Day) – I feel that I’ve become more connected to the actual “here and now”. I have been spending more time in the real world: reading actual books, learning new things, talking to people in person, actually being present in meetings, observing and staring at strangers more at the coffee shop (just kidding), and hey, I’m writing!
Nothing life-changing just yet, I suppose. But enough to make me understand how much I’ve lost my balance and that I could, eventually, get it back.
By the way, on my 7th day I got me a simple “good luck” via e-mail from the person who inspired me to do this – Twitpic CTO, Steve Corona. 🙂
Vida is a restless, universe-loving, forever-child with a very short attention span. She is mostly enthusiastic about travel, adventure, technology, fitness, and lately, life hacks. Most of her days are spent on tech partnerships in a telco, and most nights practicing capoeira (or yoga, or boxing, or trying some other unheard of art of movement). She likes experiments, little projects, and writes too, sometimes, at vidasioson.com. And if you're interested, sh... Hey, look, a flower!