Reclaim Your Life Through Digital Minimalism
Since the start of the Philippine election season, I did not expect that social media will get even more toxic than it used to be. The platform that was once teeming with cutesy pictures of cats and food became a battleground for ideologies, which is good by the way - until hatred and mudslinging and fake news peddling took over. Whatever happened to the "social" in social media?
So I decided to turn off my notifications and minimize the social media noise that enters my system. While I cannot totally let go of my social media accounts because of my job, I made it a point to live in a digital minimalist mode. I have to control my social media intake before it controls me.
Here's what I did:
I kept my frequented social media apps somewhere in my app drawers where I will have to exert effort before finding and using them. In short, I hid them so I will not see them most of the time. It will take days before you get used to it because our fingers seem to automatically search for our favorite apps whenever we hold our phones, but it is worth it.
If there is an urge for me to use social media, I use other alternative apps. Since Facebook and Twitter are the most popular in my country and are the most toxic to me, I go to Reddit where I can go to topics I'd like to read about. I also go to Quora to read about some of my favorite topics, especially the MCU and DCEU.
I installed a browser extension to purge my Facebook Newsfeed. Just key in "News Feed Eradicator" and install it on your browser. This way, when I open up my Facebook account on the browser, I can check on my notifications and messages without seeing what's going on in my feed. It works wonders! If I want to take a peek, I can just set a timer like 5-10 minutes or an hour. It can also be used for Reddit, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
I unfollowed and unfriended toxic people. Sometimes your heart and your mind can no longer tolerate the noise and toxicity of your online friends. Some are too hateful while some thrive on disagreements and online bickering. I can't stomach people who make it a goal to regularly annoy and trigger others. So to protect my peace, I have to shut them off, at least digitally.
I do other stuff. When my fingers are itching to just digitally laze around social media, I convince myself that I still have other things to do and time is of the essence. This self-talk is my way of disciplining myself to make use of my time wisely. I cannot afford to waste time and suffer the consequences later. However, I see to it that I have time for digital recreation. Things have to be in balance.
I talk to friends and loved ones. Nothing beats the satisfaction of spending time with precious people, in person. While chatting with them is good, it is not enough. Sometimes, we need to really "be there" and laugh at their jokes, listen to their stories and be fully present in the moment.
I am grateful for what social media has done to make us connected no matter the distance. But it has also left remarkable damage to the societal fabric. So we need to reclaim our lives if we think we have been greatly influenced by social media's ill effects. We don't want to be overcome by technology, but we must be above it - always.
that's nice sir.. i guess i should also try the news feed eradirator hehe