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Managing my Social Media Dependency

Last week one of my co-writers on Style Yetu shared a powerful article about staying true to ourselves in this digital age. You can read the article here.

For most of us social media started out as a platform to stay connected with friends and family and then slowly morphed into this virtual network of friends who we talk to every day. In college, I would spend hours on Myspace chatting to online friends and even ended up meeting my college ex-boyfriend through mutual friends on that platform. We continued to date for 3 years on and offline. I believe this was the point where social media turned from being just a simple pleasure or communication tool and became an obligation and the backbone of our relationships.

Fast forward, five years later being online IS the lifeline of my career. But even then I sometimes feel totally consumed, I fall asleep with phone in hand scrolling through my feeds. I spend fun moments with friends and family looking for “Insta-worthy” pictures and “snap-worthy” moments. There are times when it drives me crazy … I just want to live in the moment, even when I am devouring the most picturesque meal.

A few weeks ago, I spent half of the time during my daughter’s school play filming it. Later that evening, I sat down to watch it. I noticed all the cute things she did, how much she kept looking at me. And while I should have been cheering her on, I was busy staring at her through the viewfinder making sure my camera focus points were right. I was heartbroken.

So last Sunday, I purposely switched off my phone and made dinner with my family. I shut down all communication for most of the evening – and it felt so liberating and refreshing to just be in the moment. Even though my career revolves around sharing news and connecting to people via the digital space, I want to strike a healthy balance between my work and social media dependency. And the first two things I plan on doing is to dedicate an hour or two every day to go offline, and also to leave my phone behind more often, especially when I have close friends and family around me, because what more do we really need?

I am struggling to draw the line between the fondness and the dependency, but know that the time has come to balance the two, which is why I have been telling my friends, that it’s time for us to start doing things without any social media pressure and to live a life that is not always documented and curated.Most probably you have similar thoughts about your use of social media; and if you are prepared to share these thoughts and maybe even let us know which concrete steps you have taken, it would help me as well as the readers of this blog enormously.

Wearing Adele Dejak bangles and ring

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