Before reading this article, just give yourself a test, leave this site, go to your Facebook or Instagram account, watch some reels, stories, the post of your friends, or post something new with an exuberant caption and then come back here on this site, we’ll catch up later.
So, if you are still reading this article, congratulations buddy! You have passed the test and I So, if you are still reading this article, congratulations buddy! You have passed the test and I would say that you are a fortunate soul, because many of us have lost the track of time while we are on the trip to a planet, which I call “social media”, holding in your hand right now. I call it so because I think, it’s a whole new world with people from different walks of life interacting with one another by sharing their daily lives and experiences, every day. But this crazy planet does not recognize anything, like time!!, once you land there, the time lapses, you tend to be clueless about the surrounding. Right? And suddenly after a long hour later, it struck to your mind that oh!! I was reading an article. Don’t worry! It’s totally fine.
Social media has undoubtedly become an inseparable part of our lives. We might perhaps, ignore our first nature’s call in the morning but we won’t dare to ignore what new thing our favorite influencer has got on his or her dressing table or which new meme is on the hike. I was one of these users, unless I quitted social media last year.
I have been brought up in a nuclear family with both the parents, working. When my sister and I used to come back home from school, we were generally alone at home with little to do except eating the food stored up in casserole, made by Mumma in the morning or to snuggle in a bed after a long tiring day. I don’t know about my sister, but I have always been an introverted child, comfortable in my own bubble, with little or no friends at, all and have no interest in watching television. And now when I look back, I realize that it was so easy for me as an introverted teenager to slip into the habit of using social media with the mini escort, being my, laptop, a strong internet connection, and busy parents. And there goes the perfect recipe of social web, and literally, my entire day and time went into this trap which I (un)intentionally bait myself losing the sense of my tiredness that I had earlier and eventually of the time.
Moreover, for my innocent heart, it was so difficult to bear the death of the closest and dearest family member, my Maasi, she was not just my aunt but my mother and of course angel in my little happy world. So, to cope up with this shock of life, I wanted to distract myself. Here, if some teenager is reading this, I want to say to you little bud that just go, hug your parents, cry your heart out before them, and don’t let yourself suffer alone. Otherwise from a happy, lively, naughty, and passionate kid, you will turn into a depressed, stressed, overweight or underweight, anxious, overthinker teen who just blames for everything just like me and I hope you don’t want to turn out like this ever.
And also to the parents who are reading this, please try to understand that your kids are far more than physical attributes, paying for their school or college fees or providing them all material comforts and luxuries is okay, but don’t forget that your kid needs much more than these things. They need your time, love, care, affection, and attention, in the same manner, you take care of them when they were a fragile soul. Please remember, your child has grown by age but not by mind, they still want the same level of passionate love from you.
Turning back to the topic, from class 6 up till last year, I have remained an active Facebook user and also an Instagram user for the last two years. I had both good and bad experiences, but that’s normal! Right? Then why I decided to quit it? Hmm!! All thanks to Corona. Not for the epidemic, it created, but because it gave me ample time for my restless mind to reprogram itself without any external disturbances. But actually, I don’t have any good reason behind this non-millennial act. Honestly, social media has never served any purpose in my life, except, giving me unwanted friends like anxiety, unrealistic comparisons, and a lost sense of reality and for sure complete destruction of my mental peace.
It had completely turned me into a human being, who is always stuck in two parallel worlds. From being a sensitive person, I turned into a hard bland person who was not aware of her own emotions and surfed with them just because of people, who barely knew me. It was a big roller coaster ride and after all those dog-tiring teen years spent on the social web trap, I just wanted to be childlike ‘me’ again, who is more real, more sensitive, more comfortable in my own skin, and less judgemental. I know your head is already storming out with so many questions like, is she making up or really being honest? Did she really quit? Would that have been easy? etc. etc., etc.
The answer is yes, I really quit it and no, it wasn’t so easy, like a pretty fairy tale endings. After a few weeks or months, I started realizing that it is no less than quitting a drug. I still tried to have access to these sites by using the account of my sister or mother, just to feel included rather than feeling secluded or deprived. I gradually tried to push myself out of these withdrawal feelings. So, I decided to apply for internships, to feel more productive and less anxious. After getting selected for an article writing internship for a Law journal, I single-mindedly devoted myself to it. With this staunch mindset, I was able to at least not to think about being the resident of some other planet but yes! There’s still a long way to go.
As soon as the internship got over, I realized that I gained more than 10 Kgs apparently, because I sat at one place at a stretch of 7-8 hours straight and ate like a pig for better energy levels, but I was pretty fine with it as long as it kept me away from the social media addiction. The next thing I knew I would probably do is binge-watching on Netflix because I needed a price for an internship, more rewarding and relieving than a certificate. Can you observe the patterns I was choosing to replace my addiction? Rather than replacing it with real-life activities, I was choosing media platforms. But did it really matter? No.
Earlier, I watched what is trending on Netflix rather than what I really liked. But this time it was different, I watched ‘Stories by Rabindranath Tagore’, a series used to get telecasted on the Epic channel, a few years ago. I love to imagine and read about the pre-independence times, about India, about those people, different cultures, and a lot more than I can think of. So, I watched what I really loved without the fear of judgments and peer pressure. It really helped my mind to declutter itself and to feel more homely without copying what others are generally doing at my age.
With elevated levels of interest in literature, I decided to get training in Creative writing, which was fortunately available online at a reasonable price. After six weeks of training, I had enhanced my imagination and got my hands on some good writing skills. By that time, I was getting much closer to real life. With my aunt, I started spending more time in nature, I watched sunsets more than I could watch in my lifetime, sat on my rooftop, and listened to the chirping of birds and soft murmuring breeze. Listened to the music my heart has always felt drawn to – Classical music. Every time, I step outside during the golden hour and I feel complete, I love to watch birds flying high in the blue and golden hue, it seemed that my life had got a golden filter (just to add some social media touch, you know).
I became more conscious about my surroundings and with a bit of added concern for my health, I started walking in a beautiful park, which was right in front of my house, to which I paid no heed earlier. Early morning and evening walks, not only helped me with my health issues but I made some interesting friends with ten or fifteen years of age difference, which least mattered to me as long as I got a chance to play with these vibrant, happy, and energetic little stress busters. The games which I stopped playing since I turned teen, I was now playing those games for hours. I was relearning to talk out my heart with these kids. I was being me- happier, enthusiastic, less introverted, less walled, less judgmental, and a lot more than I can pen down here in a small vessel of words.
Apart from this, I learned the ancient art of cooking in an earthen pot, learned gardening, started feeding birds and dogs, started doing meditation, made two wall murals, and decorated the mandir of my long-lost childhood friend- Laddu Gopal (Lord Krishna). The part which I am loving the most about this growth process is that my relations with my family are becoming stronger, which I have always underestimated. I never knew that human relations create value in our lives. Earlier I have never liked to go to weddings or social events but as I have cleared the windowpane of my life, I have realized that inner peace is greater than outer situations. Moreover, time with family and friends is the best time to test your own core virtues. The new and happy version of me has allowed me to learn the art of self-love and this incredible phrase has made me learn a lot more and I am still learning, which I think is a work in progress for me in decorating and renovating my heart.
Winding up, I just want to say that, everyone has their own experiences to learn from, some small and some life-changing, if only one pay attention to our heart’s calling. Learn from your own experience, not mine. But don’t let anything come in the way of your mental peace. Because in these fast stead times we often forget to spend time with ourselves and as a result, we lose the connection with our true selves.
Social media is not a monster to be afraid of, but yes, it can become so if we get too walked down by it and make it our only life supporter. It can show us art, but cannot become art, it can connect us to people but cannot become the eyes that sparkle and smiles that can make your day. So, let’s be more conscious of the life occurring around us and be a little more loyal to the child inside us waiting to be re-explored with the light of reality.