With the prevalence of the Internet in our modern world, a growing number of young and middle-aged people are spending more of their time on social media. Statistics show that at least 79% of Singapore’s residents are active on social media. What impact does this have on people’s lives?
Almost everyone on Facebook seems happy. Posts of attractive pictures and picture-perfect moments fill my feed every day.
When I first joined Facebook, it felt like the best thing that had ever happened to me. I reconnected with former schoolmates and long-lost friends, and it gave me all the fulfillment I ever wanted. Every other day, new friend suggestions would pop up, and realising that it was actually someone I wanted to reconnect with made me happy.
I learnt a lot from the things people posted to Facebook. The truth is that there was a lot of useful information. I even followed popular pages such as the Channel News Asia page to get the latest news stories as soon as possible.
Everything seemed normal until the depression kicked in.
Social Media is a Silent Destroyer
How did I realise I was depressed? It took me a long time before I noticed the deep void inside me. I had put in so much effort in my invisible friendships that I had completely abandoned those near me.
Even my family noticed the massive change in my behaviour. I became more withdrawn and only paid attention to my mobile phone. I couldn’t keep my eyes off my news feed for more than two hours. I was addicted.
It reached a point where I would let my cooking burn while I replied to my inbox messages. Seeing funny things excited me. I would sometimes laugh out loud without my family and friends having the slightest idea of why I was laughing.
Gradually, the people I cared for drifted further and further away. I had thousands of virtual friends, but none in reality. Even my spirituality diminished, and I no longer cared about nourishing my spiritual life.
Despite all this, I still didn’t wake up to the reality of my situation, until the day a financial crisis hit me. Spending all that time on social media made me less productive at my daily job, and my earnings began to drop significantly. One day, I realised I needed help paying the bills. I contacted each of my Facebook friends, but none were willing to help. When help did come, it came from the same people I had abandoned. This ate me up inside.
I dearly regretted everything. Thankfully, my real life friends came through for me, and we eventually rebuilt our friendships.
I finally logged off Facebook for good and guess what? My life turned around. I became more present for the people who needed me and also felt truly loved. I focused on my career and made the most out of it. Believe it or not, social media is a monster that only a few will warn you about.
I have talked to others with similar experiences, and we all shared the same opinion on staying away from social media. From my experience, I can tell you that leaving Facebook brought me true happiness. These are some of the benefits of getting off social media and embracing a meaningful life.
Benefits of Getting Off Social Media
You could be addicted. But no addiction is incurable. Start with your mindset and let the other steps follow. Below is what logging off Facebook and Instagram can do.
1. You grow in all dimensions
Staying off social media gives you an opportunity for growth. A few months offline will make you realise how much your spiritual, social, and economic life has improved. You’ll even have more time to focus on activities like exercising and keeping your body in shape.
The free time you now have will allow you to be more present for your family and friends. You can organise fun events and share the happiness that promotes development.
2. Your happiness multiplies
You will have more time to work out, read motivational books, watch your favorite programmes, and even try out new recipes for your family. You can plan exciting vacations and explore the world.
Also, social media sets invisible standards of how perfect lives should be. You’ll subconsciously begin comparing yourself to your online friends, and it can make you feel as though you have the most miserable life ever. Abandoning Facebook will put an end to these meaningless comparisons, and you will feel your happiness grow.
3. You become more productive
Being engrossed with Facebook can cause you to lose focus at work, distracting you from the tasks at hand and the clients right before you. When your productivity takes a serious hit, your poor appraisals will eventually earn you a warning letter or a suspension.
The good news is that you can remove Facebook from your life and concentrate on your work. Your career can only improve with this decision.
4. You focus more on self and home improvement
During my time as a Facebook addict, I had breakouts on my face multiple times from self-neglect. My dirty laundry piled up higher than ever before. I completely lost the motivation to even improve the interior decor of my home.
I could fall asleep on Facebook and wake up on it. Since my recovery, I have been able to maintain a healthy body and skin complexion, and have also done massive improvements on my home.
5. You make new friends
Going out with friends gives you the chance to try more things and make more friends. A night out with your girlfriends or a shopping spree opens you up to meeting new people and trying out new things. If you’ve never learned to swim before, logging off Facebook will give you the time to do just that.
Over to You
So far, I hope I’ve convinced you that a life of addiction to social media is not a life worth living for. The choices between being happy and not being happy are right before you. Decide to log off social media and take back control of your life. Act now.