Social media is a miracle! So many businesses survive by it, so many people found their voices on social media. If you take it away, you would be rolling back the world to 1995 or even farther down. Social Media has been the way to easily reach more audience, connect with old friends, connect with new friends and do so many amazing things. These days, Social Media is evolving to become the one-stop place for everything.
Currently, you can shop on social media, you can book appointments, make payments, watch videos, play games, hold group meetings and so much more. As great as these things are, for some people like me, it is draining us! I have been a great beneficiary of social media, it has connected me to very kind souls, it has brought me to some platforms and has given me certain paid projects to execute.
However, I am taking a break from social media, at least the most popular ones you know; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It is a decision I took in a flash in the course of prayers without consulting anybody. I didn’t have time to think of the consequences. It was an emergency decision that I took in a bid to take care of my mental well-being.
Social Media has been a very huge part of my life, my friendships have revolved around it, 80% of people in my life has been from social media. It might look like a blessing but it shows the sorry state of my ability to initiate face-to-face friendships. I am an introvert, that’s not an excuse but one of the most difficult things for me is to initiate friendships physically. I am good at that if I have to hide behind the keyboards.
Somehow, as much as I appreciate social media and how it connects us, I think I am far much better at learning how to discover people face-to-face. I am far much better at building friendships that aren’t limited to social media. Now, these things I assume will be better at aren’t things that I am good at, they are things I hope to develop.
Far from friendships which isn’t the sole reason why I am taking a break, social media is draining me mentally no matter how much I try. At first, social media was supposed to be a place we connect with friends and family who we had known already but it has grown to also become the centre of breaking news, a place where people pour their love and their hate, a place where people dump all manner of ideologies.
Each time I look at Facebook, I may be seeing news of rape, abuse, social injustice, inequality and so on. These things drain me because I can’t see them and keep quiet. Sometimes, I wish I could do something about it. Facebook keeps reminding me that the world is not getting any better. Although I know this, I don’t think it is healthy to keep pushing these things to my face every time.
I know that there is nothing wrong with disagreements but disagreements on Facebook or Twitter are usually brutal. People come to Facebook thinking “this is what he said” without even caring to read your post to understand what you said. Trying to set records straight becomes another responsibility.
Each time I leave Social media for a few days, I notice that I feel calm and peaceful in my inner self. I also notice that with time, my creative juice begins to flow better, my face-to-face communication also begins to improve.
Whenever I try to leave social media, something keeps taking me back; my business, my contacts, my networks and of course, the engagements I have on Social Media.
Currently, I am getting mentally stressed and being a Nigerian is adding to the mental stress. Each day I face sad news upon sad news, negative views upon negative views, bad vibes upon bad vibes, ideologies that reek of injustice and how people endorse it, it gets me depressed. I am not running away from these realities but I am choosing to rather focus on my immediate circle of influence to cause the change I want.
I haven’t figured out what I should do about the networks and businesses that I have built around Social Media but with time, I believe that I will start learning to adapt and find alternative ways of reaching my audience. One reason for this break is to discover ways that I can do without Social Media. I am not leaving the internet, after all, my blog remains the best platform to share my thoughts without getting mentally drained. I think that starting up this blog was one of the best decisions I took.
I will have more time to learn new courses, build and maintain quality relationships outside social media and work on some of my projects. Of course, I would also learn how to sit down and watch a movie.
I don’t know when I will be back to Social Media. It may be soon, later or never. For now, my mental well-being is very important.