For someone whose life, from her teenage years to the present, revolved around and depended on social media, most specifically Twitter — it’s hard to imagine deleting and staying away from it for some time.
Who is not ever on their phones? Who is not on Twitter? Almost everyone and their moms have one.
I used to stay up, spend loads of time scrolling on the application — meeting, connecting and chatting with people from various places, no matter if you’re from the other side of the world.
I like being on Twitter.
For over 280 characters (with no edit button, unfortunately), I can say whatever, whenever I want, unapologetic and unprovoked. I can meet a lot of people with the same interests, bond with them and create this wonderful bond that those in real life wouldn’t be able to have.
I’ve built great relationships, found amazing people in the application that I’m glad I can call my friends.
I use my private account (I actually own a lot, each for different purposes) as a safe space for my thoughts. I follow and am being followed by a few close friends only. It’s my outlet for whenever I feel stressed and anxious.
I also found comfort and safety around the personal and private bubbles that I’ve created.
But like every social media application, Twitter is a double-edged sword.
Bit by bit, what became an outlet for my stress became stressful, gave me anxiety. I started to overthink a lot, compare myself and seek validation from other people. It started to take too much of my mind instead of the opposite. My real-life relationships started to get negatively affected as well. I lost a lot of sleep.
Social media, most of the time, gets too much, too toxic, too dangerous — there’s too much unnecessary hate, bashing, negativity — that being there can make one feel the need to take a step back, disconnect and breathe.
I have friends who have gone through “social media detox,” some even go as far as deactivating and others just simply on hiatus or inactive, days, weeks, to months at a time. Whatever feels comfortable and safe for them.
Some come back, others not at all.
Social media detoxification, as per igniteteentreatment.com, is defined as the “conscious elimination of social media use and consumption for a set period of time.”
Before, I was almost always on Twitter, like every second of every day.
It’s not social media detox, per se, but I just logged out of all my Twitter accounts a week ago, save for when it comes to work-related queries — a little step to see how far I could go without using Twitter, my most-used application, and see how it could affect me.
I did promise to take care of myself — that includes both physical and mental health — more.
At first, I thought: “I’m going to miss out on so many,” “My internet friends are probably going to forget me,” “I don’t think I can last a day without Twitter.”
A week in and I’m still okay, fortunately. There’s the occasional itch of logging back in and pretending none of that detox ever happened, interacting with my friends again, ranting all the way. But I must say it’s nice to step out of that bubble for a while.
Whenever it gets too much for you, be it social media or not, take a step back or slow down. Breathe. Try to take care of and protect yourself and your mental health more this year — that could include deleting, filtering all your social media applications, staying away from toxicity and negativity. Do anything, everything that would help you and your mental health.