It was literally the best and worst holiday I have ever had. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m addicted to aimlessly scrolling through Twitter or googling every inane fact that crosses my mind. So having to live for three weeks without the internet was hell. If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been these past few weeks: off the grid…and it wasn’t as good as all those life coaches make it out to be.
My social media poison of choice is Twitter. I use it to keep up with pop culture shenanigans, book news (and drama), worldwide news and waste time. This might sound weird but it physically hurt not knowing what some of favourite celebrities were up to. I had this recurring nightmare of one of them dying and I wouldn’t know about it because I didn’t have the internet and no one in my family cares about the same people as I do. The horror.
I don’t normally post on Instagram but I love scrolling through my discover feed and suffering from FOMO. That didn’t stop me from taking thousands of pictures with my cousins and my family. Pictures that I’ll back up online and never look at again.
One of my favourite things to do on the internet is watch Youtube videos, especially makeup tutorials, sometimes I’ll watch gameplay walkthroughs and apartment tours but makeup tutorials are my hermetia. I had the forethought to download a few indulgent ones before I left but eventually they weren’t enough to sustain my addiction. I watched them over and over again until I knew every single eye shadow blend, every winged eyeliner move, every joke about matching foundation and all that was left was a gaping hole in my chest screaming for more.
What I didn’t miss about the Makeup Youtuber community was the drama and the racism. Racism is an on-going discussion in this community. Some of the biggest names are racist bigots and constantly getting outed for their racist ways but there’s always an excuse to support their favourite white gay™ racist fave but that’s a discussion for another time.
“When rain falls from the sky, does it gradually disintegrate and reaches the earth as droplets instead of one huge drop of water?” – a weird thought that I would have loved to google but couldn’t. I get so many random thoughts and questions every day that I don’t know the answer to. Google would have helped me a lot. When I was listening to a song I so desperately wanted to sing along with but I didn’t know the lyrics; I couldn’t google them for a sing off session. I couldn’t google reviews of media I consumed to see if anyone would validate my opinion with their think-piece.
Blogging and Books
I missed updating my Goodreads shelf and adding all the books that I want to read, have read or I’m currently reading. I feel woefully behind on new releases and overall book drama. Is it weird that I missed the occasional drama of the book community???
Blogging – I missed blogging. Sometimes this feels stressful and I don’t want to think about it but I had so many post ideas while I was away that I can’t wait to share with you.
I’d love to say my mental health was better without the social media influence because sometimes I get affected by the things that I see on the internet but there wasn’t a huge improvement. Anything has the potential to be a trigger for my eating disorder, mood disregulation and anxiety.
Some of my coping mechanisms rely a lot on the internet and some of my triggers are on the internet. Watching Youtube videos and reading fanfiction online are two of my favourite coping mechanisms for evading stress and anxiety and without the internet I just had my thoughts and books. Certain social media posts on Twitter and Instagram can trigger my mental illness bringing up feelings of not being good enough, not doing enough and not trying hard enough.
- My battery life lasted so much without constant use of the internet. I used my phone mostly to read eBooks and play games.
- I saved so much money on airtime and data. Data is insanely expensive in South Africa and criminally so in Zimbabwe.
- It was a positive and a negative for my mental health.
Is this something that I will (forcibly) try again? Definitely not. Although I’m not completely addicted to the internet, this holiday really did put my internet use into perspective for me. I’ll try not to be online so much anymore especially on Twitter and Instagram.
Have you ever taken a social media or internet detox before? Either voluntary or involuntary such as mine. If not, would you ever consider it?