As promised, here’s the blog post I was talking about yesterday.I apologize if it came out later than I expected. I had sudden business to attend to earlier today. I also wanted to publish this right before this year’s Holy Week. I feel its timing is appropriate.
Anyway. Moving on~ If you follow me on any of my public social media accounts, you’d notice that I’ve been offline for the longest time. I rarely made or published any posts for more than three months now. To briefly explain why, it’s because I’ve learned (and still practicing) to Disconnect.
Here’s a simple introductory video I found on YouTube that can summarize this blog post quickly.
For almost three months now, I’ve disconnected from social media and it has never felt so good. I came to the sudden realization that I was suffering from what the Internet call as the “Social Media Anxiety Disorder.” Everyone that spends a lot of time browsing on the net has it, especially those that can’t seem to stay off the Internet. I am not ashamed to admit that I have SMAD, but I am ashamed of having it. It got me really irritated and it got me thinking of the time Before Internet. I sort of wanted that back. It wasn’t easy though because I admit that I spend more time on the Internet than on the things that I’m supposed to do like study, work, clean, exercise, read a book, cook and so much more.
The Internet was a like a drug that I overdosed on. I’m so grateful that my boyfriend brought it to my attention of the amount of time I spend on social media and the amount of “fucks“I have over the silly things on it. My boyfriend is a very simple man, you see. He does not care for the Internet so much. He’s more of the “In The Moment” type of person. I started to envy that which was why I thought of emulating him. It took a long while before I actually got to disconnect because there are times that I’d cheat or decide not to go through with it. It was last year when he pointed out my Internet addiction. I wanted to start taking things to a whole new level this year so I started to commit.
In order to change a habit this entrenched takes tremendous willpower – something that doesn’t come very easily to me with a habit that is this pervasive. Which was why it was helpful to have a barrier – something external that would prevent me from too easily and mindlessly accessing the Internet. I purposely did not register my phone on mobile data anymore beginning this year, so I would be forced not to have Internet access while I’m outside the house. It was a challenge at first because I was so used to having Internet 24/7. I was so dependent on being connected to it. It was so sad. I had this fear of “missing out” if I wasn’t online all the time. It turns out I wasn’t. I was actually missing out on so much more being online all the time. Another way of leveling up was limiting my time online while I needed to get some work done at home and that was to install Cold Turkey on my laptop. This idea was inspired from my best friend, James Malangit, as he is also implying this upon himself and his productivity levels increased. After weeks of testing it out, my productivity levels have increased as well and my stress levels have decreased drastically.
*If you get the professional version of Cold Turkey, proceeds go to charity. You’re pretty much helping out other people while helping yourself. Such a win-win! 🙂
Ever since I’ve disconnected, I spent less time on Facebook. To me, it seemed like the ultimate evil. The more time I spent not scrolling useless and stupid posts through newsfeeds, the happier I got. I got to get off on a lot gossip or stories of people I could not give two wits for. It felt very refreshing. Gossip is so horrible. I also filtered my newsfeeds now. I have unfollowed, unfriended and even blocked a few unwanted entities that are associated with my social media accounts. My newsfeed is more pleasant now than it was before because I choose what I want to see and I chose to see only positive things or people. I believe that we spend far too much time establishing faux connections with people via social media, taking time away from connecting in the real world. I got to spend less time on things that did not matter and focus more on the things that did. More importantly, I got even more time and energy to focus on working on myself, which is something I terribly needed. It was a digital detoxification.
Nowadays, I spend more time actually living life. I still go on the Internet, don’t get me wrong. I haven’t totally disconnected and I’m not going to be a hypocrite by telling you guys that I have because I haven’t. I still went online everyday but I decreased my Internet time. I started minding my own business (which is how things are supposed to be anyway). At the end of the day, my boyfriend and I would talk and reflect of how our day went rather than scrolling through newsfeeds and reading about everybody else’s. I also have more meaningful conversations now because we completely put our phones down while we’re together. It just seemed rude to be on your phone when you’re with a friend. Also, spending more time updating where you are or what you’re doing means that you’re not really present at the moment or the event. When I went out, I rarely updated anything anymore and I started becoming more present and attentive to what was in front of me in the truest sense of the word. Due to that, I began to lose interest in constantly updating any of my social media accounts. I still take photos whenever I go out so I’d have memories of it but I don’t post it online much anymore because I decided to check out whenever I check in. Ever since then, I became irritable when I’m with someone and they’re using their phone while we’re together. It’s because I became acutely aware when they’re dividing their time with me. It felt a little rude and irritating.
Before I began reconnecting, I first had to disconnect. Because of this, I became unreachable from time to time. In the generation we are in where everything is so digital, it just feels really refreshing to be unreachable when we’re expected to be so available. I learned that my time was my own and I didn’t owe it or my attention to anyone. I stopped being a prisoner of my phone’s notification. I ran my time because it’s my life. I learned then and there that when you disconnect with the world, you start to reconnect with yourself.
Other than disconnecting from social media, I’ve disconnected with unwanted and unnecessary entities. It feels great to not be bothered by people or instances that bring you nothing but negative energy. I’ve come across so many inspirational quotes and sayings to only point out one thing which is to get rid of anything that is a hindrance to your growth. If it’s not something positive, get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it, just stay away from it.
I can’t tell you enough just how liberating it is to disconnect to reconnect, my beloved readers. With this new expanse of time to reconnect more deeply with those right in front of me, I feel like I can finally and truly breathe. I’m still trying to not be at the beck and call of my phone’s notification, but with the progress I’ve made so far, I feel proud of myself. It’s more of a have to be there moment kind of thing rather than just telling you about it. So instead of just reading about this, why not try practicing it as well? Only then you can fully comprehend what I’m trying to you. From what I’ve been experiencing, I can guarantee you an increase in creativity and efficiency, gratitude, personal growth, and even deeper and better sleep when you disconnect to reconnect.
How about giving it a try this Holy Week? Feel the difference in just a few days. Remember, it takes only 21 days to make or break a habit. If you are going to do it, I’m cheering for you and I’d love to hear about your experiences when you do. 🙂
Cheers to a better you and a better life! Nothing is preventing you from achieving it as long as you want it enough. 😉