With the TikTok ban in India, many youngsters who were simply binging on TikTok content have all of a sudden been presented with lots of time. If they were watching videos that added no value to them all this while, I hope at least a few realize that they wasted an awful lot of time with absolutely no results to show. This brings us to the important question; which social media ban would leave you with more time? For me, it would be Instagram.
Let me clarify two things. Firstly, entertainment can just be a medium for relaxation. It doesn’t have to add value all the time. But binging on anything frequently takes away valuable time; time that you could use to improve your life physically and mentally. Secondly, you don’t always HAVE to be productive. But you should know your options. The world has so much to offer and you have a lifetime to experience them, to learn and to grow. You should know that you have an option to be better at something than you are today and the joy you get from that kind of self-improvement is immense. Do you want to let go of that joy without even trying? On the other hand, if learning or creating doesn’t give you any joy, but you are happy with the way your life is right now, that’s perfect too.
After I cleared my CA exams in 2017, I stopped updating my blog frequently. But since I wanted to keep my writing alive, I decided to write on my Instagram account, afew.handpickedthings, on a daily basis. I used to post the pictures I captured and write captions on them. Through this, I kept my writing habit alive during the last couple of years while I slacked on my blogging. It worked well until recently. After I changed my job, finding time to write daily was getting difficult. I gradually began to beat myself up for not posting frequently on Instagram. It became a tedious work as opposed to something I should have enjoyed doing.
To add to this, the lockdown had me trying so many new things; baking cakes, trying new dishes, painting more often, exploring new art forms, singing and recording videos. But the underlying purpose of creating had shifted for me. When I prepared a food, I was always thinking of getting the right pictures for the grid. The painting and the song had to be perfect for Instagram. I noticed how I wasn’t deriving enough joy from creating as I used to, because I was focusing on putting up everything on Instagram, from where I wasn’t getting any value!
I obsessed over the order in which I posted on Instagram, the caption I would give and these decisions took away an unnecessary amount of time. One fine morning it dawned on me that I was using too much of my decision making abilities, my time and sacrificing my joys of creating, all for Instagram. So I decided to go on an Instagram detox. Last week, I uninstalled the App. The aim was two-fold; to create for the joy of creating (and not for posting) and to figure out how I could use the App to add value to myself and others without losing myself to it.
Living without Instagram has been difficult. It was my go to App when I wanted an escape and the urge to share my creations on the grid for some instant gratification is strong. During this period, I clicked a beautiful picture of the sky, made a couple of drawings, prepared pancakes and I have been thinking of putting them up on Instagram when I get back. This thought process is what I need to break. I want to put something up on Instagram because I created it and not the other way round. But here is the best part. I have read more, taken some classes on skillshare and created more during the last one week because I am not wasting my time on Instagram consuming information I don’t need.
The truth is, you can do the same thing for different purposes. But you need to understand which purpose gives you the most joy. It is absolutely alright to create for social media as long as you enjoy the whole process. But ask yourself these questions. Are you enjoying the process of creating? Would you create if not for social media? If you wouldn’t, then is the burden of creating, worth the few comments and likes?Tweet
It isn’t about social media alone. If you are spending too much time on an App without getting any value from it, it is high time that you ask if it is really worth your time. If it isn’t, take a ten day detox and evaluate how you could spend your time more productively.
So tell me if a social media ban would give you more time to be productive, which social media ban would do it? Also, do you think you’ll be going on a Instagram/Social Media detox soon?