Last week, I stopped using social networks. I wanted to lose some human interaction and take a break from all these websites and apps.
I started tweeting and using Facebook in 2009 and 2008 specifically. I am a heavy Twitter user and have never stopped using it (except for the two weeks when I enlisted to the army); I get most of my news and updates with Twitter than Facebook.
Deactivating my Facebook account was rare. I only did that when my examination and project periods were round the corner and I needed full concentration.
Instagram joined my life a year later. The photo-sharing mobile app was launched on the App Store in October 2010 and I was the early thousands who hopped onto the network.
I have never deleted the Instagram app ever since. I loved how I could just scroll through the feed and look at photos my friends have posted. After following more people, my feed was active every hour.
On 27th May 2014, midnight, I could not sleep. There were too much thoughts in my mind that I decided to stop using these social networks for a week.
I chanced upon SelfControl a couple of months back and decided to put the application to use. I blocked myself from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram and all their APIs. By adding their APIs to the blacklist, I blocked myself from viewing tweets and photos from many websites and third-party apps. Great.
I then removed Tweetbot 3, Paper (Facebook), Messenger (Facebook) and Instagram from my iPhone. On that Tuesday morning, I wanted to launch Instagram right after I woke up like a daily routine.
Through the week, I wanted to share photos on Instagram. I wanted to tweet about my feelings about being rejected from a university application. I wanted to share videos on Facebook.
But I could not.
Initially, I worried about not getting to know what my friends were doing via Twitter. I got used to it after two days.
“Did you hear about that …?”
I did not even know about the latest viral videos my friends were talking about. I did not even know about the latest football transfer rumours. I felt as if I am struggling to survive in the wide open sea of the Internet.
With that said, I did not succumb to temptation; I prevented myself from downloading any of the removed apps.
Be Right Back
Tomorrow, I will finally be able to access the websites and allow myself to re-download the apps. But, how did I feel throughout the whole week?
Without Twitter, I felt like I did not have a medium to share my thoughts in less than 140 characters. Also, I felt empty when I picked up my phone; about 70% of the time I spent on my phone was for Twitter and Instagram combined.
Other than that empty feeling with my phone, I felt refreshed. I spent my time reading articles and learned more about life. I had sought quietness in life.
Would I stop using these social networks entirely? Nope.
It has been a good and quiet week, but would I do this again? Probably.