It’s been a problem for me ever since I left my parents house. Before, they were pretty strict about how much time I should spend in front of it, if I was allowed to use it at all.
I’ve never been so grateful they kept me away from screens during those years.
Things started to change when I began living on my own. Despite my new responsibilities, I spent countless hours in front of my computer, screen glowing in the dark, often the only light I kept on. It wasn’t something bad, I told myself. Everybody else was doing it anyway. Facebook, MSN turned Skype, Youtube, Tumblr, Fanfiction.net, I was connected with the whole world. But I was disconnected from myself.
Eight hours scrolling down, only getting up for pee breaks, did it for me. I knew something was deeply wrong. After a week or two of anguish, I deleted myself from the world wide web. I had to go cold-turkey or I wouldn’t leave at all.
On and off it started. Going back when I thought I was feeling better. Deleting after realizing I wasn’t. I wanted so much to connect with others and it was difficult to do so IRL. People gave me weird looks when I told them I wasn’t on Facebook. Some even told me I had to catch up with time, everybody was on social medias nowadays, did I think myself special ?
It took me a few years but I found a way to use the Internet in a healthier way. I started writing this blog, the first one where I am able to speak my truth, and I wanted to share it with others. This time, I knew I would be able to use social medias the right way.
It lasted only a year.
It was insidious at first. I barely realized what I was doing. I started spending more and more time on the Internet, despite having reduce my avenues from what it once was. It was too much for me. Facebook and Instagram were deactivated promptly, Youtube blocked from my web browser. This blog remains.
We live in a time of transition. New technologies are invading the market on a daily basis. Electronics, apps, websites, social medias, there is no limit to this industry and it’s going fast. We barely have time to adapt to something new that it’s being replaced by something newer, shinier and supposedly better.
I love technology. The Internet gave me lasting friendships, new ideas, new interests and passions, communities to share it all with. It’s an opportunity to create tangible connections with real people. But, on my way to adaptation, I forgot that technology is not smart. It’s just a tool and I became a slave to it.
I used to feel guilty about not being on the main social medias. How would I connect with the people close to me ? How would I know about their lives ? How would I show them I care if I couldn’t like what they posted ?
Today, I disconnected from those social medias without feeling bad about it. I didn’t tell anyone ahead of time. I just left. Doing so feels like I reclaimed the freedom I had when I lived with my parents. Freedom to create rather than consume. Freedom to be rather than pretend. I might come back to social medias one day. I might leave again. Either way, I don’t really care anymore. This place, my playground, is all I really need.