I used to be like every other Gen Y person, living my life through social media. Tiap-tiap hari tak berhenti tengok my news feed tak kira la samaada I di rumah ataupun di luar. I was active on Facebook and Instagram for about 6.5 years sebelum i mengambil keputusan untuk berhenti completely because I realised it was starting to take over my life – I began to see how much I had been using social media to shape my daily experiences.
Having social media made me feel anxious, depressed and like a failure. When I went online it seemed like everyone was living the dream – if they weren’t travelling they were getting engaged or married or landing great jobs while i wasn’t. I found myself comparing all aspects of my life, both internal and external – struggle with insecurity because of the “noise” that social media had added to my life – a constant buzzing of opinions, thoughts and photos of other people. Their opinions and thoughts juga sometimes buatkan i cepat rasa benci tak kira la i kenal that person or not. For example, on facebook we can write anything we want on “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of the facebook page. Apa yang i paling tak suka about it is when someone tak puas hati with other people – boyfriend, girlfriend, suami, isteri, family, segala tok nenek, kawan-kawan, or sesiapa je, mula la nak tulis on facebook supaya semua orang tahu. Berjemaah buat dosa sesama manusia…..with people complaining about how tough their lives are too. Like, what the hell?! Since then, I’ve always found social media to be an environment in which most people constantly seek attention and validation through one-upping people’s comments, and boasting over likes.
Oh…by the way, bila baca apa yang i tulis di atas, jangan cakap i berlagak suci malaikat pula. I never said that i tak pernah buat semua tu sebelum ni. At least, i’ve learned from my mistake. As i get older i mula faham spreading hatred and negativity on social media are not a wise things to do. It represent myself as a person. So, i mula spent less and less time on social media until i realised that i didn’t have to know what was “happening” with other people or to tell them about myself too. It was possible and pleasurable for me to live my life without knowing where everyone else was and seeing, what they were doing and thinking. I also didn’t need to know what everyone thought of my latest meal, outfit or activity.
I mula belajar untuk berhenti dari social media dari awal tahun 2016. At first susah sikit nak biasakan diri. I cuba deactivated my facebook for 2 weeks dan activate semula for a few days. Then, i deactivated for a month. From a month jadi 3 months – 3 months jadi 6 months and so it continues. Same goes with Instagram. Setiap kali bila i activate semula, I rarely write status updates, and nor do I comment very often because i knew there was no need for me to tell people what I was doing, or what I was thinking and it was okay to just let my thoughts be thoughts. I didn’t have to turn my every musing into a status update.
If you want to know how’s my life now without social media, so far it’s working out great for me. In fact, I often purge things from my life in dramatic sprees. Social media just happened to be one of those things and I’m glad that I stopped using it so obsessively. Without social media, i‘m feeling more centered, healthy, grateful, and much less exposed. I even have more times to invest on something else – contohnya i finally ada masa for my Spanish lesson. Hola! Como estas?! 🙂
I’ve been free from the chains of social media for about more than ten months now, which doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but it feels like it now that my time isn’t being sapped by these apps. It sounds so silly, but since leaving I feel like my own person. I’m more productive and less concerned with what other people think about me – now, the only person I have to regularly compare myself with is me. I can live my life instead of trying to shape it into one that looks good online. I’m in a much more positive mindset without social media than I ever was with it. Before, Facebook and Instagram became almost like extra arms attached to me that I constantly had to be aware of. I used to check for updates countless times every day. Now, I don’t have to be reliant and dependent on it any more – it’s like a breath of fresh air.
But, don’t get me wrong.
I don’t think social media is “evil” or “ruining the world.” I think social media is completely amazing — and it can be used in so many beautiful ways. But for me, social media often felt like an alluring, tempting “distraction.” It clogged up my brain and I know that at the end of my life, sharing pics & status & working diligently to create a “presence” on social media networking platforms & eagerly seeking “likes”, “shares” & “hearts” and so forth is not a time investment that I will feel proud of. To the contrary, it’s one I will probably regret. I may not be as close with certain Facebook friends. What I do have is a happier, more peaceful life.
For those yang terfikir untuk deactivate social accounts, my advice : Just do it! Yes, every time you open your browser, you might be at a loss to decide what to do. You won’t know where to go next, because your go-to web hangout-Facebook-is out. But don’t worry. This won’t last long. You’ll soon discover distractions of a different kind and even find more time to learn a new hobby.
P/s : What i have shared above, others may feel very differently and that’s perfectly OK. This is my life. You’ve got yours. I know that Facebook doesn’t force you to share. Instagram doesn’t ask what you’ve eaten after every meal. Social media doesn’t overshare – People do. Oversharing is not a social media problem, it’s a CHARACTER FLAW.