Note: A guest article by Manu Priya. More details about her after the post.

life-without-social-media

In recent years, we’re witnessing the explosive growth of the social media and it has certainly shifted the way we connect. Exchanging information between people has developed into more effective means, and communication happens in a jiffy. Whether you’re using social media for personal and or business purposes, by now, you might have a clear idea about it’s enormous impact on your life.

The question now, however, is — is it possible to live with no social media action even for a day? Will it be better or bitter?

Social media activities

social-media-explained-donut-activities

In this day and age, social media has become “mandatory.” It is being integrated into people’s everyday lives. I’m not an exception. I network like crazy. Strangely though, I have multiple accounts on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, and recently, Pinterest.

I use to call it a night, only after thanking people for retweets, check Facebook messages, approve Linkedin requests, pin some eye catching stuff, and of course stalk a few of my friends’ social media pages. This is my bedtime routine, even if it’s already midnight, and my eyes are heavy and drooping.

Social media addiction

social-media-addiction-facebook-high

It’s only recently I realized that I’m getting “addicted” to social media. I’m not sure whether its addiction, obsession, or compulsion, the term doesn’t matter. When I’m at work, I open my Twitter page every one hour, literally for no reason. I spend hours on Pinterest, viewing photos and videos. I’m happy if my followers count increase, and I feel crestfallen when the reverse happens.

In fact, I started social media to promote myself online, as a writer. It’s really disappointing to note that just 30 minutes is enough to do those promotion activities, but I use social media for 4 to 5 hours a day.

All these things happen not only to me but to all those who are ardently devoted to social media. The moment you get news about celeb deaths, earthquakes, strikes, storms etc, you run to your machine or quickly pick up your smatrphone to tweet about it and participate on related Twitter discussions.

You feel restless when your friend has posted photos of her Switzerland trip on Facebook and you are so busy with work that you have not posted your comments yet. Such is the “urge” that social media brings into you. Don’t you think it’s an unhealthy behavior?

Understanding social media reality and a relieving act

social-media-detox

Unless it’s your business or profession, quit social media (just for a day) and see what happens? No one is going to question you why you did not participate in Justin’s 18th birthday celebrations on Twitter. Your friend won’t question you why you did not like her profile photo on Facebook. Your readers won’t weep seeing your blog not updated for sometime.

The fact is there are millions of Justin’s fans on Twitter, there are 1000s of blogs similar to yours, and your Facebook friend has 500 other friends like you. No one really cares what you are up to. In reality, there are people and businesses that make money out of your social media fanaticism.

Lou Holtz said, “Never tell your problems to anyone…20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.” This holds true not only with sharing problems, but also with sharing anything about you on social networks. If it’s a good thing about you that you shared, those 80% feel jealous on you.

*Image credits (in posted order) : Title comics | 2 | 3 | 4 | End

Wrapping up

can-you-live-without-social-media

I don’t mean to say that one has to quit social media altogether. You feel disconnected if you do it, and life will eventually turn bitter. My idea is to limit the time spent on social media, and give priorities to your profession and the lovely people around you. Life would definitely be better if you keep social media at a distance. You get more time to spend with your family, to take a walk along the yellow woods, read fairytales, and help your iPad or smartphone battery last longer.

Now it’s your turn: How will be your life without social media? Would it be a better or bitter experience? Let us enlighten in the comments below.

Author box:

Manu-PriyaName: Manu Priya

About: Manu Priya is a technical writer and a social media aficionado. She loves to stay close to nature, listen to satsangs, interact with people from all walks of life and strives to be a better person. Connect with her on Twitter. Read her recent articles on Suite101.

P.S. If you like to contribute an awesome guest post on arkarthick.com, please contact me HERE with the subject line : Guest Post (or) send me a DM on Twitter @arkarthick.

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  • http://www.theepicadventurer.com/ Julia

    I wish I could disconnect — I actually kind of hate social media. If I weren’t a blogger, I would d cancel about half of my social media accounts. But with all the internet “noise” out there, you have to be shouting the loudest, in the greatest number of ways, in order to rise above it and be noticed. IT SUCKS.

    • Manu Priya

      You are right, Julia. Even if you hate social media, you just can’t stop using it. We live in a world that embrace social media more than anything else. If you want to establish your personal or business brand, then you have to take it up. No other choice.

  • A.Subramanian

    I was just thinking of the same thing past couple of days !! Refreshing my Twitter TL late night & losing sleep. U hav not only attacked the issue, but also provided some quick tips for de-addiction. Good Online Counselling!

    Positive Thing – Opens a new world of friends & contacts. Enables the like minded to get together.

    Flip Side – Too addictive.

    Good that u have started this discussion ! Would be interesting to see the responses !

    • Manu Priya

      Social media is indeed a great gift to us. As you said, it opens doors to new friendships & business contacts, delivers instant news and offers a wide range of marketing opportunities.

      However, one cannot deny the fact that it takes a toll on the sleep of all those who use it extensively. As the adage goes, too much of anything is good for nothing. We sure have to limit the time spent on social media.

  • http://janislacouvee.com Janis La Couvée

    I’ve made it a practice to take a “non social media day” at least one day a week. I use it to rejuvenate and recharge.

    • Manu Priya

      Hey, that’s a great idea – “Non Social Media Day” !!!

      It would be great if everyone starts practising it.

  • http://www.aha-now.com/ Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer

    Interesting topic!

    I wish we were truly in the golden era where there was no social media or anything that would distract us to such an extent! And we would have survived beautifully even then- isn’t it?

    While being on all the social media platforms is essential nowadays, something without which your business surely can’t function, I feel how much of time we devote or spend on it is in our hands. Yes, easier said than done- as I myself have a problem with that often, but I know it works!

    I guess to make things work, chalk out the amount of time you want to spend on social media and stick to it, which will help you accomplish your other tasks in hand.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • Manu Priya

      Second your thoughts, Harleena. No doubt, the social media sites colour our life and make it very beautiful.

      On the other hand, life was still beautiful when there was no internet — we read paperback novels and print magazines, listened radio news that was broadcasted only twice a day, wrote 2-3 page letters to friends, send greeting cards by post etc.

      Nowadays, we stay plugged-in most of the time. Let’s try to minimize online time and maximize offline activities, for a healthy and stress-free living.

  • http://learnit2earnitwithlynn.com Lynn Brown

    Manu I love how you expressed each aspect of social media and our lives. While it is true, balance is so important when it comes to social media, it also applies to everything we do in life. I use social media for my business and share my 30/30 plan …. 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Then in between you have the rest of the day to work on projects, meet with clients, prospect and build leads.

    As for trying to take a break from social media, I actually do this on the weekends. Family is more important and my virtual family totally understands.

    • Manu Priya

      Lynn, I think you have a fantastic work life balance. You successfully use social media by staying out of the addictive one, you take care of all your offline business activities, and most importantly you keep your virtual family happy. That’s really great! Loved reading your comment…

  • http://www.inspirationzone.co.uk Ash Mashhadi (@inspirationguy)

    You know when you’re walking down thestreet and you see something quirky or amusing, and you think “I must tell so-and-so about that, she’d love it”? For me, social media is a lot like that. If I find something interesting or a fresh perspective I love sharing it on Twitter or Pinterest, or on one of the many other platforms. Social media for me is a wonderful opportunity to connect and share these gems. It’s also a great way to find them, because other people are doing the same thing.

    On the other hand, I can appreciate how some people can find it a source of pressure. The need to constantly ‘feed the beast’ – and it’s always hungry. I really think an attitude shift is required. Social media is here to stay and the way I remove that pressure is by remembering that it’s here for me, not the other way around.

    I try to take off most of the weekend in terms of social media. On weekends my social media activity drops dramatically and I pick it up again when I’m back at work. My advice: show it who’s boss by walking away when it starts to feel stressful & come back when you have something you want to say. If you’re tweeting or sharing because you feel you have to, it’s in charge instead of you. And that can’t be good.

    Great article, by the way and I’ll definitely be sharing it :-)

    • Manu Priya

      Well said, Ash! Social media has immense potential and it all depends on how well we use them. We must learn to use those platforms productively.

      And your suggestion is wonderful. When one realizes that FB/Twitter is taking control over him, then he should immediately walk away and direct his attention towards other interesting things going on around. Thank you for sharing the post!

  • http://www.sassymomsinthecity.com Alison (@SassyMomChicago)

    Brilliantly written! I’ve been pondering a similar post on social media addiction which is possible I may have. Laughed out loud which sparked interest from my husband as we sit by the pool on vacation. I read him the social media activities and he did not understand any except for Facebook. This is because he does not use social media, does not have a Facebook account (gasp). I know it’s hard to believe someone I know doesn’t have a FB profile.

    Yes I’m on vacation tweeting and updating Facebook. I have a problem. Is there social media anonymous?

    • Manu Priya

      Thanks for the compliment, Alison. I’m really happy that you related some thoughts (in the post) to you and enjoyed reading it. And you know how I relate to you? My husband also doesn’t use social media. He opened a FB account a couple of years before, but he never signed back in after that :) I would say that these guys are simply great!

      I guess women use social media more than men. Even here, in this page, among the 7 who posted comments, only 2 are men :)

  • Kirstie

    As an introvert, and someone who never enjoyed spending time with people in the real world, if I quit social media, I would never have any contact with other people. My speech is spastic at best, and I have a hard time relating to people in real life. Through social media, I can get to know them faster, and I have time to think about what I’m saying before I say it. And because I get to know them with the internet as a buffer first, I’m more comfortable around them in real life. Social media doesn’t interfere with my sleep schedule at all. I would probably stay up later if I was reading a book or playing a video game. I also refuse to shop at places that don’t utilize social media. It provides an easier way for us to interact with the companies that we deal with every day. Social media has brought me out of my bubble, and allowed me to deal with the real world with more confidence.

    • Manu Priya

      That’s a very positive response, Kirstie. Looks like it is very easy for offline introverts to be extroverted online. Good to hear that social media is making a positive impact on your life.

  • Yolanda

    Excellent post! I’ll definitely be pinning this !

  • http://lunaticg.blogspot.com/ Ahmad@lunaticg

    As a blogger.., we really need to learn how to use social media.
    My readers and customers always asked their questions via the social media, if I don’t have social media in my life. Its like not having my blog too.

  • http://comimentdivorcier.info. Maryam

    My whole day long won’t be completed with linked with social media, It’s a society were you can learn a lot of things by sharing and learning every share post…

  • Florence18Moore

    For me, Social media will always be better… These great tools provide me a huge help to attain every success.

  • Meredith

    I’ve recently been taking a lot of time off social media…guess what, I’m still breathing! ;) I have a 4yr old & when I began to notice how HE was noticing my social media obsession, I knew it was time for a change. It’s nice to just ‘step back’ every few days. Like you said, Twitter and the rest are going nowhere. I do still get that ‘oh no, I really want to tweet this’ feeling, but you know the deal…it doesn’t stop with just one tweet sooo, restrain I do! It’s not easy but it’s worth every smile from my child :)

  • http://www.junowebdesign.com/ Larry Bream

    It’s really hard to try have Facebook or Twitter hiatus for a day. Social Media had indeed become mandatory for almost everyone today. On my line, social media have become a useful tool in looking for sites that has a better web design or those who doesn’t. I guess, the usefulness of social media had found a special place to each and everyone.

  • http://www.creditdonkey.com Amy Turner

    Social media is no doubt the greatest tool for networking and being connected with all those circles of friends, families, colleagues, fans, and just about everybody. I have no argument that when used for business it is very effective. For those who are not using social media to bolster their sales however, like me, I would recommend just taking a peep now and then. Everyday is fine but I just can’t spend the better half of the day stalking my friends to find out the latest intrigue or hot item. If I dare, I think I might survive a day or two without Facebook.

  • http://www.jeroenvanloon.com Jeroen van Loon

    After reading your blog post I think you find my recent art-project interesting.
    It’s called Life Needs Internet, an art project about the impact of the rise of digital technology on different cultures today.

    more information:
    http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/16/view/19778/jeroen-van-loon-life-needs-internet.html

    Greetings Jeroen van loon

  • http://news.experiencenottinghamshire.com/ Junior Floss

    It would be bitter for those who are actually manifested on it but not on those people who aren’t expose on it yet. The thing is, people seemed to be more independent and life sucking when they aren’t attach on social medias so they are profound if they have lived their lives more better without these.

    • http://arkarthick.com/ Karthick AR

      That’s very true. Relying on one thing so madly for so long definitely won’t help. For those really into it, getting out seems to be very difficult. It requires some genuine effort and support from friends/family. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Mike

    You ask if it’s possible to live without social media. Of course. Many people do. I have gone for weeks without connection to a computer or mobile phone when working in a remote location. I have Twitter and Facebook, but I could easily give it up. My best friend just got an email address a year ago and he was forced through work. This guy is one of the most interesting, knowledgeable people I know and he has no clue what Facebook is like. Last night he wanted to get in touch, so he called me. It’s that easy. Remember, millions of the people on social media sites sign up and then either return once a week or even once a month, and some never return at all. There is a whole world out there and if you are having a hard time not using social media, that is the sign of a disorder, perhaps.

  • Nicholas

    Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is presented on net?

  • michael

    i deleted my fb 2 month ago.social network sites make people lazy and i dont see the point in them.You talk to somebody half way around the world but your never gonna visit them and half the people that try add u u either dont know or else they dont talk to u

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