#SocialMedia: Can We Cleanse Our #MediaDiet?
I just couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t tear myself away from what seems like my only portal to the outside world.
Who would ever think of leaving the one place where all your interests and relationships are at your fingertips?
I was going through social media withdrawal.
I couldn’t complete the ‘media fast’ I set out to tackle a few days prior.
I consume too much media for my own good. It’s to the point where I think I should take a minute every now and then to ask myself if I have anything insightful to say instead of relying on the insights of others.
It would also probably help if the Spotify commercials blasting in both eardrums didn’t startle me as I search for that one song to inspire my need to write.
This is asking a lot out of someone. With Facebook, Twitter, and a multitude of other social media channels bombarding our psyches everyday, cutting out all forms of social media for an extended time is like asking someone to retreat to Mongolia and hangout with Tibetan monks.
However, there is value in disconnecting ourselves from the daily din of life and the thousands of thoughts that flash across our minds. At this point, it’s time for me to rip out my SkullCandy earpieces and dig in.
The only way we can seek mental clarity is to simply focus on the task at hand and eliminate extraneous thoughts. By not concentrating on the past, we can create the desired outcome in whatever pursuits we choose. This might be a better way to make progress concerning the things we value most. While social media allows us the ability to be anywhere and communicate with anyone, we tend to underestimate the value of what is physically present.
According to the World Unplugged study, most students found it immensely gratifying to untether themselves from all media channels. It gave them a peace of mind and a greater appreciation for the simple activities social media has replaced, such as playing board games, having more face to face interactions with friends, family and roommates, going for walks, reading and painting.
One response perfectly summed up the irony of social media: “I have legs, which I now believe are underestimated as a social tool, as they allowed me to go and see people and communicate with them wirelessly.”
Social media is, without a doubt, very efficient. Its sophisticated algorithms can seamlessly match and connect people with similar interests in order to create worthwhile relationships. However, it’s important to purposely seek out activities and relationships, which do take more time, precisely because sometimes wasting time is actually the best option. It gives you time to smell the roses and relax. By taking a little extra time, we can find more meaning in these tasks and relationships. These can lead to more significant and stimulating social interactions.
Internet marketing companies may not take to the idea of social media users partaking in a consensual worldwide fast, but they can help users make better use of their social media time. People will be able to devote more time and energy to the interests and relationships they value offline. Our “legs” are the best “social tools.” Let’s just try to make an effort to use them more often.