“There is no greater wealth in this world than peace of mind.”
I am a digital marketer and often intrigued by the effects of social media on our minds and life. After studying various reports and analyzing them on myself, I wasn’t really surprised by the magnitude of the impact. In my childhood, I spent a LOT of time listening to music on my walkman (you know the one that played music with cassettes) and the music would instantly take me to another world and provide a great break from the stress of exams and homework. And now I find not just myself but almost everyone CONSUMED in their phones or other screens, constantly looking at them through the day be it at work or while with friends and family. But it doesn’t feel like a break away from stress anymore.
I was talking to a friend the other day about how the Instagram life makes us feel like everyone’s life is picture-perfect — now of-course we know it’s not the complete picture and discussed how in reality everyone has problems but while scrolling through an endless stream of holiday pictures or announcements of awards won, promotions, courses completed, we tend to forget the struggle that happens behind the scenes that hardly anyone talks about.
So in the era of information overload where being offline is a luxury, I decided to share a few nuggets from my own experience with Digital Detox over the last year.
At first, I started out with decluttering my mails and chats — deleting and unsubscribing for a whole hour until it felt right. At first, it took a while but now it happens automatically that I delete things that are just hoarding my inbox on the go.
Secondly, I unfollowed people and pages who well don’t add value to my life or make me feel anxious in the slightest. This one turned out to be a huge miracle because, with limited content in my feed, I was also spending less time on social media.
Thirdly, and more recently, I turned off the notifications on my phone for a majority of the apps and even deleted apps that I don’t use. What a relief this was — not having to check my phone every time there’s a random notification. You will realize how much peace of mind this brings once you do it — Turn off the notifications you absolutely don’t need to look at. That sale or offer can wait, inner peace can’t.
And then there are mindful activities like keeping the screens away during the weekend or after work so that you don’t look at them compulsively like one would open the fridge without really wanting to eat. Do let your loved ones know that you will be away from your phone.
Take a small walk or stretch every hour or two when consumed by screens. And finally, the most difficult but impactful practice — Practice doing nothing for at least 15 minutes daily, take the time up gradually.
I hope these learnings help you as much as they helped me!