This article was originally published at rochizalani.com
If you are an artist, you likely have a love-hate relationship with social media. Heck, if you are a person, you can’t do with or without social media.
I often think that the quote “You are the sum of 5 people you spend the most time with” should also add “You are also the total of the 5 apps you spend the most time on” – and let’s face it, at least one of those apps is social media.
No matter your choice of poison, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads, YouTube, Gmail – it affects your day-to-day life tremendously. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve said, “I hate marketing on social media” because I ended up blowing an hour on it after posting one post.
I do have good days: when I spend an altogether 30 minutes on social media. But then there’s that one digital slip into oblivion that ends with a bag of Oreos and stalking a primary school classmate that left after class 5 (damn, she’s unrecognizable now) or a YouTube drill of School of Life videos (what’s your attachment style, mister?) or um, both.
Most days, I have around three other apps to distract myself from social media apps (the irony isn’t lost on me), and you likely have your choice of punishment too – put your screens on black & white, delete the app (the web version is just as addictive, trust me), set timers, dedicate ‘social media chunks’ on your days, etc.
But what you and I often forget is that simple advice works best: The trick to save time is not to waste it. The way to avoid the temptation of social media is to shut your fucking phone off when you work.
I know that real life has more layers than that. And if you work for a living on social media itself, God save you (and me too from marketing). But there’s always a core reason you procrastinate and then search for time management, and there’s a deeper reason you scroll away your workday on social media and then search for digital wellbeing.
Disclaimer: You can’t study pseudo psychotherapy from School of Life videos and not want to know the core of everything. Just kidding, I have a bachelor’s in psychology (but school of life is excellent, just don’t get your diploma in therapy from it).
I didn’t post any of my works on social media because what if they laugh or what if it’s all useless, or what if my family sinks their opinion of me? I scrolled away on social media because social comparison let me believe that your reel is your real-life and my real life is my real life (what a bitch).
If I could, I’d start a revolution of all social media companies making it mandatory to put a disclaimer – Objects in the reels/videos/images/texts are not as happy as they appear. Since that dream is far away, let’s do with friendly reminders ourselves (No, Karen isn’t as ecstatic as she looks there, Rochi, you know she has to work a day job too, right?) and keeping that phone off when focused work needs to get done.
Instead of giving you another ‘hack’ of how you can keep social media at bay, I’ll just say dedicate chunks that are social-media free (or better, screen-free) instead of the other way around. Experience that Victorian age of time going the speed it should, of the world, feeling real (and not reel), and of no dopamine machine messing with our monkey minds.
The world won’t be different in the two hours you spent away from screens, but your brain would feel like it’s fresh out of the laundry. Nothing like clean sheets, huh?