Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Social Network Diet

Kings Lynn one sunny Sunday.


My family and friends have asked why I haven't been visible much on facebook and instagram.  I was surprised myself because it wasn't a planned one.

It all started when I was in Cambridge a few weeks ago to do some systems training (the workplace has changed our software interface and added new features, thus all members of staff had to be on the training on a staggered basis. I did mine on the third week of August).

Cambridge is a good hour (and about 10 minutes depending on traffic) to drive to. Add another 2 hours driving back (peak hour traffic). The whole day was sucked up by the training and travelling.

On the third day of training, we moved to a different hospital which was so remote, there was no internet access.

By the fourth day, it was so liberating that you do not need your cellphone to keep updating yourself of what everyone is doing. Seriously, it killed my "nosy" side.

At the end of each day, I was exhausted from training and driving, all I could muster was the tagged pop up info on my page, and private messages. If you are like me, who like to start things from the very beginning and not start in the middle of your newsfeed, i kept telling myself that i shall update myself form the start of where i left off. (well, never happened. )

A few days after the training, i was starting to find I had more time to chat to people on the phone, and join in on after-work activities. I was finding I was able to cook fancier meals than i normally would. It made me realise how much time i spend on my social networks. And i tend to kill an hour each day just going through my feed each day.

I was hoping that at the end of the second week I will be able to go back to the gym, but that didn't happen (haha!).

My family tend to tag me on their posts, so its easy to go to their posts. So during these past few weeks, I have been a neglectful social networker.

This eventually lead to what I call the Social Network Diet, because I totally am not able to detach myself from social networking when most of my family are abroad. Diet, because I am trying to recoup my time back from sitting on the couch and try limit sniffling my curious nose on everyone's business.

It is liberating to know I could actually live without a mobile phone/facebook/instagram for an entire 12-16 hours. ( Since I moved to working in the community, I have had the blessing of being able to use my phone at a whim except when faced-to-face with a patient) which really indulged this bad habit.

By the end of the first week of not being as active, I felt "bleacch" to update. I felt nothing was going on in my life that interesting to share. I also felt that my mother and siblings are updated about me, and my girlfriends and I were still sharing on Whatsapp during all this time (we were trying to help an emotional friend), thus nothing crucial to share. I also suddenly had a weird over-the-top self awareness episode when i started realising what was happening. I felt, "oh shit, what was I thinking sharing those things online?". "Eww, how immature of me to write that". "Did i really need to post that photo?".  Everytime i wanted to put a photo on instagram, i had these weird thoughts stopping me. Eveyrtime i had the urge to post a facebook status, i had these thoughts screaming inside me. Weird.

On our last skype session, mama said she is happy to see me online, eventhough what i post are irrelevant weird nonsense, she feels happy that she could see I am alright (or not alright, but still alive,lol), it made me think, i need to get back into the action.

Its amazing what we get to learn as habits. It is so easy to be addicted to be online, and interesting enough, it may not be as easy, but it is not that hard to get off the internet if we really want to, or like me, unconciously detached from the internet due to work.

When one does this diet, you suddenly realise who are those that you miss most. (Its harder not to check on them when you are offline-- your family, and some special ones who are in some ways have been really kind and wonderful to little poor you). Those people, dear self, you keep close.  They are your gold nuggets.


Side note: I started reading blogs again, and fell in love with my old favourite bloggers and discovered new ones.

I am gifting myself more time here in my personal space. It doesn't matter if I have only two other people reading this space. Thats two more than me, LOL.x

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