Life in TucsonSelf-Reflection

A Social Media Break: Logging Out of Instagram – and other social media

This past week I have been absent from Instagram and other social media (Twitter and Facebook). The reason being is…I don’t know. Maybe I’m just bored. Besides, people say Instagram such social media causes addiction. I think I just wanted to challenge myself, a kind of proving that I’m still in control of it; that I can stay away from it and survive fine and well if I want to. It’s all about choice, right? Besides, I think it’s kinda getting tedious. You refresh the page and sometimes you simply don’t see what you want to see. You refresh the page and you see what you don’t want to see. It’s exhausting. Indeed, I thought that, maybe, if I take a break from my social media, I’ll have more time to work on my study. And let me tell you how it went.

The first day it was sort of awkward – and weird. I mean, when I held my phone, I often-accidentally opened the apps. It’s as if my finger knew where to go and touch the screen to open/launch the apps – automatically. At that point, maybe people were right, i.e. it’s kind of become an addiction. It’s not like I had the urge to open them, though, no. It’s more like a habit. Well, maybe because I was used to checking the apps (social media) on my phone when I held it that’s why I subconsciously opened them even when I didn’t intend to. Well, lesson learned: if you want to have a good habit, you’d better learn to start doing something good repeatedly until it becomes a habit, in which you do it (almost) automatically. Well, I have a good evidence for this. Back then when I was a kid, when I was mad or startled, I always said the swearing words. At that time, I didn’t know that those were bad words or that I wasn’t supposed to say them until my teacher reprimanded me. Then I learned to say something else in exchange. In Islam, we have this “istighfar” phrase, which means apologizing for our sins. So I used that phrase. At first I did it consciously, intentionally, and I was fully aware of it. Later on, it became a habit. Whenever I was mad or startled, I didn’t curse, the istighfar phrase simply came out of my mouth automatically.

The gorgeous sky that, hadn’t I been on a break, would have been posted onto my IG story 😁

So, well, anyway, back to my social media break. Because it seemed that my finger wasn’t synchronized with what my brain wanted to do, I decided to log out of the apps. Initially I wanted to take a break from Instagram only, but then I was just too exhausted and decided to log out of my Twitter and Facebook as well. Well, if my finger accidentally launched the app on my phone, at least I wouldn’t directly log on, so I can just close the app. It didn’t happen, though. After I logged out of the app, it’s like my finger knew that I didn’t want to open them, that I was taking a break from them. Good hand, good finger :p But, well, I didn’t actually log out of the apps in other devices. I was still logged on in my iPad and my Laptop, (and my old phone), but I simply didn’t open them even though they all were connected to wifi. I just logged out of one device. Strangely, I didn’t open the apps in other devices, probably because those weren’t the device I mostly used to open my social media, or probably simply because I knew I was on a social media break.

So how does it feel? Strange. I really felt like a selfish person. I saw the beautiful sky and kept it to myself. I saw the people preparing for Tucson Festival of Books in UA Mall, and I couldn’t share it. Normally I would just snap a pic and share it with people in my IG story or my Whatsapp status, but now I couldn’t really do it since I was “fasting” from doing any of them. Well, technically I felt the need to express myself. So I did my absence gradually, like being absent from Instagram first but still updated my Indonesian Whatsapp status. Then I only updated my US Whatsapp status, thinking that nobody would see it because not everybody has my US number. But it seemed that few could still see it because they do have my number. So, I guess I just wanted to disappear and thus decided not to update anything.

It really feels weird. I don’t get to share the music I’m currently listening. I can’t get to show the songs I’ve been singing. I can’t boast about the food I’ve been cooking. Not that people want to know, I know. And, oh, I’ve been missing some people because the only way I can know about them is through social media. I mean, it’s kinda embarrassing to contact them out of the blue and ask how they’re doing or that I miss them, right? Like, who am I? And maybe that’s how some people feel about me. I’m not being conceited, I’m just hoping….Well, I’m not sure if they (are going to) miss me or not. Tomorrow I plan to end my social media break and am tempted to make the poll 🙈🙈🙈 You know, something like “Do you miss me? Yes? No?” But I guess I’m too scared that people will say no or will not answer at all. I don’t know. If they miss me, I’ll be grateful; it means my presence means something to them. If they don’t miss me, I think I’ll still be happy and grateful; it means my absence doesn’t bother them. Well, at least if I suddenly disappear (or die), they won’t be sad; they won’t miss me. I don’t like to be a bother; I don’t like making people sad. I’d love to keep the number of people mourning my death small. (Gosh, I know it sounds creepy to talk bout death. I don’t mean to make you worry. I have no intention to suicide or such; I think I just have the tendency to bring things way too deep and far. Sorry 🤦🙈😅🙏✌✌✌)

Just some meal I cooked while I was on social media break 😀 Well, it doesn’t look fancy; but it’s been a while since I ate something like this ^^

But, well, by not logging into my social media, I didn’t get to know about what’s been happening, both in the States and back in Indonesia. I didn’t know how that thing about the arguments around gun control following Florida’s shooting has been. (But one of my friend has updated me with some news, like, about the grant given to the blind to bear an arm in Texas (?) Wow. But it’s still different from getting the news myself). I didn’t know what’s going on in my country, how the current situation is, etc. pretty much because social media is my platform to get the updates or the news about such stuff. Thus, an absence from social media means an absence from such “uproars.” Well, I knew I could get the updates on certain stuff manually like Goggling them. But it’s different from knowing what’s been trending. But, well, anyway, it doesn’t affect my daily life that much. I mean, not knowing that kind of stuff doesn’t affect how life is to some extent. I’m not sure if I’m being ignorant, indifferent or what. I don’t feel more peaceful either. Maybe I’ve simply been numbed.

But anyway, I’m extremely happy that one of my friends checked on me. (Yes, even though I logged out of my social media, I could still be contacted through other messaging apps like Messenger, Whatsapp, and Line). So, well, my friend sent me a text on Whatsapp asking if I was okay. She even apologized fearing that her text was bothering me. So sweet and nice of her. Of course, it did not bother me. I was truly happy when she asked. It means she noticed my absence. It means she also valued my presence. Well, I know some people would argue that even though they didn’t check, it doesn’t mean they didn’t care, they might have still been praying for my well-being, wishing me well, etc., or maybe they argued that they thought I needed some space and that’s why they let me be. But, well, sometimes, we need more than that, right? We need to know that they actually care. Well, of course we can believe that they care. But like other beliefs, it should be honed and sharpened just so we can keep it. How would we know that they still care if they don’t tell us, if they don’t show us? Like, my parents don’t always say that they love me but they constantly show that they do care for me; that’s why I still believe that they love me. God? Well, I’m not getting better each day but still good things keep happening to me; that’s why I still believe that He loves me. Others? I don’t know, sometimes that belief fades simply because they stop telling or showing me. Not that I’m in terrible need of their care or love, but if they want me to believe that they care for or love me while not showing me their affection, how would I keep believing in it??? So, if you really love someone or care for someone; let them know that they matter to you. Some of them might be the type who shows that they don’t like it, but believe me, deep inside they’ll be happy to be told that you care for them or that you love them 😊

Just another random that I took in campus while I was on social media break. Hhe

So, did staying away from social media give me more time to do more important stuff? Well, not really. I mean, I’m not sure about that. I got to do my assignments, my homework, my readings, etc., as usual. But even when I wasn’t on social media break, I still got them done anyway. So, I don’t really see a significant difference on that. But, well, yeah, I did get to use my time for other distractions 🙈😅✌ I got to watch some Japanese movies and dramas 🙈😍 (I’ll write about them later if I can make time 😁). I guess that’s just it. Social media is just one kind of distraction especially when work or study becomes too occupying. Staying away from social media doesn’t guarantee that you will have more time to do more important stuff especially when you have other distractions like me 🙈🙈🙈 And, gosh, I haven’t been informed much when I am on social media break. Even, I almost forgot that the new episode/volume of One Piece has been released! Usually I just opened my Instagram, check the explore part and I’d find somebody posting about the news whether the new volume has been released or not. And gosh, talking about this thing, come to think of it? I don’t know how my favorite men have been doing ☹ How is Lee Dong Wook? How is Choi Daniel? The news/media, even when you manually browse Google, doesn’t always have the updates about them. It’s usually the fans that I find in Instagram that keep and share the updates about them. So, yeah, I’ll be back tomorrow and catch up with stuff on the virtual world 🙈😂🙈😂🙈😅✌✌✌

On the other hand, well, I knew this even before taking a social media break, but I just need to say it: you don’t have to share everything on your social media. I know not everybody wants to know what I’ve been doing. Not everybody cares. Not everybody is interested. But, well, again, sometimes we do it just because we want to express ourselves. Our life is mundane, yes, but we are not. We share trivial things on social media and that’s alright. Don’t feel bad if you think you share such routines especially if you do it to express yourself, not to satisfy others. And I think we should learn not to judge people based on their frequency of being active on social media. Sometimes it’s the only distraction they have. We have no rights to spoil it especially if we can’t offer better alternatives. Well, maybe I’m saying this stuff because I often judge people in my head. I’m sure you’re better than me. I just need to keep reminding myself to try to be kinder and better ^^

But, well, I’m excited to return to my social media (especially Instagram ❤😍). I know not everyone likes my posting a lot. But I know some people love to know how it is here through my posts. Well, I think I’ll focus more on these people and appreciate them more. I’m truly thrilled to go back. I’ve been missing someone. I’ve been missing some pictures 🙈❤😊

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