—Written by Deepak Harish
We all use one or the other social media, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat to name a few and many others. But every day we watch them go through the feed and spend hours together on them. And by the end of the day, we complain that our work, productivity has been decreased or the work was still not completed. At the end of the day, we think that how do we be more productive? get stressed and eventually get depressed. After some mind-awakening, we stop using those sites, apps for days together and think that Yes!!! now I am super productive and super happy in my life and starts thinking to “share this Happiness” on the social media. Then this cycle starts again.
At one point in time, we think about de-activating those sites and some people take it one step ahead and deactivate their social media accounts. Thus they think that they are happy in their lives and they achieved the peace of mind they are looking for all those days. “Actually, it feels like attaining enlightenment, found the true-calling, being spiritually awakened and all these but without going to the Himalayas.”
This is called as “Social Suicide” or “Social Media Suicide”.It’s this committing suicide from our social media and erasing our social presence. Which is like disconnecting from your social circles just like going to the Himalayas. In olden days people who got fed up with the society, lifestyle, cultures then they go to the Himalayas to find the true meaning of life, get enlightenment and become Sadhus, Gurus and preach the same thing to others ie to follow their paths. In the same way, in the modern world, we are boycotting the social media and disconnecting from the world.
How far is it better? How true it is to be a “modern saint/ social saint” or to commit a “social suicide”? You heard or saw people did this around us. Who preach us to follow their path.
Now imagine that if you would like to quit all your social media accounts now, how it would be. Do you think all your wasted time will come back to you? do your happiness comes back to you? do you think that you can live peacefully from then? I think, maybe for certain days. You can enjoy with your friends, family, talk to your neighbours or co-workers.
Then comes the real struggle, you want to know something that’s happening right now around you. People ask you hundred one questions what happened to you? why you are behaving like this weirdly? do tell me if you want me to take you to the psychiatrist. And you explain to them that “you need some peace of mind and happy about the decision you have taken”. Once in our lifetime, we have done this thing especially the millennials who used to be constantly scrolling the infinite feed of their social accounts and also updating the cutest but creepiest things like saying “having fun eating at McDonald’s” and tagging everyone from the McDonald’s owner to some random person sitting around you.
Ok, we all know what all the things we do in our social media. Then we wonder why are we doing this all the time how addicted we became to them. Do we realise how all these things became part of your life? Actually its, because of YOU. Yes, you bought, to be precise bought all these messes into your life and later worrying how to get out of them.
Well now it’s not the time to decide whose fault it is and bring another headache, but remember when you came to know about these sites, how happy you are, connecting with your friends around the world, sharing the happiest things of your life with your beloved friends and family. Don’t forget that those happy moments happened because of the invention of the social media. So, do you really want to miss all those happy moments that going to happen in the future? Well, certainly not right?
But you can ask me “Now with all these social media, my life became a mess, how I am gonna be happy?” Actually, there is no way to bring back the lost time and happiness again. But there is a way to change your habits, the way you use those apps or sites.
And now I am gonna share the secret of it. How did I overcome the suicidal thoughts of that social media?
Actually, I am also just like you struggling to get back my lost life from the social media jungle. One day I am on the verge to deactivate my social media accounts and first came to mind is Facebook and WhatsApp. But, I didn’t do it completely though. I did uninstall the facebook app from my smartphone. Instead, I used my browser to open my facebook. It helped me in two ways, first I got rid of an app which not useful but also wasting storage capacity of my smartphone. The second thing is the urge to open that app. Remember that it’s easy to open an app but in a browser, I need to sign-in with my credentials into my account to use it.
But again, after few days I came to the same part of my life that dull, boring and endless feed of content. It is only half of the story, as it’s not the thing which actually bothering me. Now I thought of something that we all call it the brain-storming and eventually got an idea to change the content all together that is “improving my content feed”. Before and all, we always like the funny cat and dog videos, or those funny memes, or best creepiest thing is tagging our friends in the post and this reminds me of a funny quote in Telugu ie “A barking donkey disturbing an eating donkey”.
So, What I did with my feed that brought happiness and connected me to the world again? It’s very simple and easy rather than being the social guru. I just kept my friend list as short as possible, so that there will be less bothered content about their enjoyments. Secondly, I unfollowed all the stupid content which I don’t like or I don’t want them in future. Let’s put it like this, “Which does not bring any value, knowledge, or have any benefits to me”. For example, I like to spend my free time on, watching posts about cars, bikes, technology and stuff related to that. So, I unfollowed all rest of the pages and made sure to follow only verified accounts of those pages which share these posts. This is important as many authorised accounts don’t post stuff randomly and ask you to share, like, comment them. As I am not a big movie buff I don’t want to follow all those people who post their random photoshoots that they had, their relationship statuses, they went to this hotel, they are doing this thing etc. God knows how many fan pages are there for our beloved actors and actresses. So a STRICT NO to those types of pages. So, now my feed is clean, clutter-free from all those time-wasting posts and moreover, I get more of stuff which is useful for myself and thus increasing productivity. Pages I follow give me more information and increase my knowledge about things happening around me. Few of the posts I follow are “world economic forum”, “mashable” etc. So, every time I went to facebook, I am using that time to know about something which I previously I don’t know.
The next thing is Instagram, which is more and can easily be addicted to. As I also know about my dear friends and things they do in real life, I decided not to follow them unless they are worth too. No offence to my friends, but I came to Instagram to share pics of my hobby ie photography with pics of cars and bikes which I clicked and as I have travelled through the length and breadth of the nation, I just want to showcase the best parts of the nature I captured and also make a collection of them. But very soon I had my feed of actresses from all around the globe, and few models whose names are very hard to pronounce. I realised that I am not getting anything with that apart from their success. Its really great thing to be in good shape and really admire them for that also how hard it is for them to be like that. But looking at them it’s not my intention right, I came to this platform to share and know stuff I want to know and there are a lot of people like me and better than me who take awesome pics. So, guess what I did? Yes, the same formula. Applied it to this platform and voila!!! It worked like charm. Now, I stopped admiring the “beauty” in women rather, started admiring the beauties around us “Nature”. Met awesome people whose dedication to photography can only be seen through their photographs they have taken.
And finally, I applied this awesome formula to all my social media platforms such as Twitter, Quora, Youtube etc. The best part is it worked for them too. Actually, the formula is simple, follow want you really want to see, hear, and listen. “Build an ecosystem of content which really helps you gain knowledge, increase your productivity” and not making you dumb. Here, is the formula:
Positive content + dedication = increase in productivity, value & decrease in time waste
This is my story, I want to be more productive and value my time which in return helps me in gaining some knowledge. And most importantly connecting to the world of like-minded people. Thus, I can say that I am using these platforms to my benefit and to my advantage.
You can also do this same thing by applying it to your social media platforms, rather complain about it and committing “Social Suicide”. If you are interested in fitness, yoga learn about them or cooking then follow the renowned chefs around the world to know the secret of their recipes. Or current affairs, business, finance then be part of those communities. Don’t cross your boundaries.
This is to help, educate those people who are unable to leave their social media platforms but don’t know what to do with them.
There are some noteworthy things to remember:
- I don’t open these platforms every alternate 5 mins. (Not recommended, remember “dedication”)
- Instead, I open them when am free or commuting or have done so much of work. ;p
- Don’t solely depend on these platforms to learn things, find people around you with similar interests and talk to them.
- This is just an alternative way of using those platforms. Understand the implications and my intentions.
- I just asked myself, why I need to lose the opportunity to connect with other people across the world, learn from various sources, grow in my career and in life. That too for the sake of others. Am I being too selfish and greedy?
—Written by Deepak Harish