I have been trying to stay off of the internet and reduce my usage of social media in attempts to maintain my peace of mind, because I find that the more I use different apps like Instagram the less time I spend thinking about the people I see and the things I accomplish on a daily basis. For example, I make sure to stay off my phone as much as possible whenever I go home to visit my family. I think that it is really important because it allows me to not only be in the moment with the people I love, but also show them that I genuinely enjoy their company. I’ve found that over the years it has been difficult for me to separate my mental state with what I am doing online – meaning I sometimes feel quite anxious or overwhelmed by the media I consume. Because of that, I have found some new hobbies that let me decompress. For instance yoga, reading, running/swimming, listening to music and drawing etc. It’s very relieving to disconnect myself from my phone and laptop at times, but I also find that I end up wondering what I’m missing as a result.
I have heard that many people experience the same thing – an inability to fully detach from their electronic devices for a long period of time. I’ve watched many documentaries on the addictive qualities that social media and smart phones can have on people, and those always bring me back to earth (just not for long enough it seems). It’s like those videos on what they put in fast food, you know it’s bad for you but you somehow end up going back eventually. Weaning myself from constantly using my phone has always been the plan, but I never really put it in motion. I feel like it would end up being an act of kindness for my mental health in the long run. I definitely think that phones and other electronic devices can have a positive influence on people, just not if they are used and abused in an excessive manner.
Not only would this effort make strides in me breaking my addiction to my electronic devices, but it would also change the way that I perceive those around me… at least I think. There was a moment where I considered making a video compilation of all of the people I catch just sitting on their phones at restaurants with other people – until I realized that I would literally be doing the same thing by recording them and taking the moment out of my meal to do so. It’s really hard to conceptualize a life without smartphones and constant instant interactions, but its also kind of nice to visualize.