In late July I was given a challenge to detox my mind for 12 days by not reading, listening to music/podcasts, writing, watching movies/shows/videos and checking social media; basically to spend 12 days without anyone telling me what to do in any form.
I did that.
I hated it.
I loved it.
If you know a bit about me, you know that we don’t own a TV at home, so I have been TV free for like 6 years and I kind of went through a mind detox back then, but that was much different. Social media is awfully clever. Well, people that run them and people who post on them are awfully clever.
They know how to sell, what to sell, when to sell, why to sell; they know how to sell that what they want you to do is needed and it is needed to be done by you.
They are very good at it. Like, really good at it.
But more than people who professionally sell you ideas, social media manages to bring the worst out of people. You don’t know how weak you are at controlling your mind until you go on Facebook and find yourself stalking an old friend who did you wrong. That’s when you know you really hit that low point and you should be ashamed of yourself.
Every day we watch people live their lives presented through the camera lens in the form of photos and videos. They pick the best moments – as we all do, let’s not pretend we are any different – and feed us with them.
We are craving new content from them to chew on. To taste that happy perfect life they present. And it doesn’t even matter if they are honest about not having the life they present on their social media, we still want it. We must have it!
So what do we do?
We follow people that we like and want to be like. We watch videos with content that is far too superficial to be even seen as educational, yet we consume it like we have never eaten before. We let celebrities – whom we admire – influence our taste in music, politics, food, clothes, beauty, relationships etc.
If my favourite actor does that, I must do it too. He is influential, he is powerful, and he is more than I am.
They are all just people who share their views and opinions. But we – the weak followers of the leaders in the shadow aka the media that tells us what we should believe in – we trust them and want to be like them. Mainly because through that same source, the social media, we are taught that our lives suck and we should be miserable.
We are brainwashed into behaving like victims.
I don’t blame celebrities. They are just humans. They are the same as you are with the exception of fame and a bigger paycheck. But they are humans too. You just forget that.
During those 12 days, I heard myself again. I heard my voice. I think I forgot how it sounded like.
When I had no one else to tell me what I should do and what I should think, I could see the world for myself again. I could experience life on my own terms, without anyone telling me in advance what is supposed to happen.
Did I miss those voices? Sure.
Did I get my dose of social media afterwards? Sure.
Did I lose my voice again? No.
I still get influenced by those other voices, but I am much more careful with accepting them. I filter the heck out of everything I hear. That doesn’t mean that I am living in the forest or that I think social media is the devil, not at all, but I know the difference between my voice and the voice of those who are unintentionally harming me with their ideas.
I challenge you to go through a 12-day detox.
I dare you.
You can just try meditating every day for a few minutes for a start. I have a great meditation app that you can try here.
Do it because you want to hear your voice again. Do it because you, like me, believe that nature is more beneficial to your mindset than Twitter. Do it because your brain deserves it.
But before you go, keep in mind that social media makes it easier to meet people that you can form beautiful friendships with, so find me on Instagram.