Sometimes you have to take a break from all the noise to appreciate the beauty of silence
This is certainly easier said than done.
I spent The 1st half of 2018, away from Social media. It was certainly one of the best experiences of my life. Since 2009 I don’t remember ever being completely off social media.
Since 2015, I had started using social media for professional purposes. Before I knew it I was spending a considerable and significant amount of my time and energy on social media.
One day I felt it was getting too overwhelming to manage everything. Too many messages pending for replies, too many posts to check on, too many festival wishes… and the ordeal wasn’t ending. All this while I was treating patients during the day. All of this piled up work was stressing me out. I needed some perspective to decide my future course of actions for my social media journey. I needed a way to organise my digital life. So I just decided to take time off from social media .
Also read : About me- an Intro
While hitting the pause button on my online life , I hadn’t decided for how long I would be hibernating. I decided to take as much time as required to gather my thoughts.
I needed a few days to let go of the stress.
Initially it was a little difficult to not reach out to my phone instinctively. After a week I could resist the temptation of checking my phone.
I had not logged out or deleted any of my apps. I was Totally sure I want to get back. I was just not posting, checking or responding on social media at all.
I gradually started finding the direction I wanted to follow. It was simpler to concentrate on the necessary stuff once I had blocked out the noise. I made lists and plans of everything I wanted to implement in a chronological order. I had a plan drawn up to 1 year in advance. I just had to start putting things in action once I got back.
Personally, it was the most peaceful period of my life. I could concentrate purely on the things I prioritised. I was suddenly left with more hours than I could utilise in a day! I gradually started to fill up my day with productive activities. I now had time to do so much more .
I was enjoying my offline life to the fullest. I did have people meeting me, really worried about my sudden disappearance from social media. I literally went from being everywhere to being untraceable . I reassured my friends that I was just taking a step back and re-evaluating things. It was a revelation to know how many people cared! I realised, bonds made with people transcend the boundaries of the online world. It was reassuring to know that all the work I put in was making a difference.
In short, this was a peaceful, productive and introspective time for me.
6 months, millions of thoughts and zillions of lists later, I was ready to dive back into the online world with all my vigour.
Coming back was tougher than I had imagined. I had to make a new routine. This time around, I planned to work smarter. Although I had become too comfortable in my offline life, my digital heart was craving a new adventure.
A time of 6 months is a huge period in the online world. A lot of changes can be witnessed in that much of time. Since my online activities had gone down to zero, It was tough to build everything up from the scratch. It was a lot of fun nevertheless. Hesitant but excited,I took off for the 2nd innings of my digital journey.
It’s easy to get carried away in the virtual world. However, such breaks are necessary if you are trying to include social media significantly in your life. Take breaks, gain perspective, make choices, take responsibility, be brave. It was immensely refreshing and weirdly empowering to be able to choose to be offline. Surprisingly, the quality of my life improved. I realised that I wasn’t missing much staying away from the virtual world. I was ,however, missing a lot by staying for too long in the virtual world.