The mind is everything. What you think, you become! — Buddha
In this age where we are bombarded with so much of information, especially via social media, it is important to step back and reflect on the amount of ‘noise’ we intake on a daily basis. We feed our brains so much of data (most of it non-value adding), majority of us do not even realize the impact it has on us.
So let’s take a moment and understand how social media alone can largely impact you, if not used appropriately.
Consider your brain to be a factory. You feed in raw materials and in return produce outputs. The better raw materials you feed in, the better outputs you have. Your mind is very much similar. The material you feed in will directly impact the thoughts you have.
- The more grim videos you watch
- The more gossip you follow
- Stalking your ex’s profile (PS-I never did this.)
- Or be it catching up with that one person who is committed to posting negative updates 24/7 about how pathetic his/her life is
All of the above adds up as garbage on your brain. Before you know it, you start thinking and making endless assumptions about them, you and everyone else. What a waste of mental energy!
Haven’t we all gone through that moment where ONE post changed your mood entirely and sent you through this roller-coaster of mixed emotions? The truth is not many of us have the capability to effectively filter through all of this data and come out unaffected.
So, considering all of the above, I do what is called a “social media fast,” in order to de-clutter or release my brain from toxic garbage that has been piling up.
How it’s done
- I pre-define and set a period of time I would like to go without social media (usually 1–2 weeks; sometimes even a month)
- I choose which social media platforms I would cut out access from.
- Then, temporarily delete all apps from the phone, log out from these sites on the laptop and start the fast.
After every fast, I find myself being able to focus exceptionally well. Be it any task in hand, I can sense the clarity in my mind. Which is why I also like to call this small exercise, taming the “monkey mind.”
Furthermore, I also happen to feel increasingly disciplined along with senses of increased will power. When your phone is with you all the time or you’re a few clicks away from your feeds on the laptop, it does take will power to restraint yourself. You finally tend to feel like you are in control as opposed to being a slave to your urges.
Importantly, you tend to attain an increased interest in your life, as opposed to what X, Y, or Z is going through. One of the major dangers of social media is when we fall into what I like to call an “ingratitude trap.”
This is where we see others ‘living their lives’ and we let ourselves down. How many of us see other people travelling around the world, or sharing fancy food dishes or seeing them drive that dream car and wondering, “If only I had same.” Focus on the blessings in your life as opposed to what you don’t have.
Overall, we live in a world that is getting addicted to instant gratification. Hence, it is essential that we understand to take control of ourselves and protect our minds from all of this unwanted noise. Shield your brain and feed only what is important or needed.
Going on a social media fast may not be practical for all. Especially for those who rely on such platforms managing business pages or making a living out of it. But, what you can control is ‘how often’ you view it and ‘what’ you view on it. Feed your mind only what you want to feed it and stop letting uncontrolled sources impact your peace of mind.
I challenge you to try the social media fast and see how it helps you.
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