Yesterday, I roamed the countryside for several hours with the aim of silencing a few voices in my head. The voices that speak to me when I’m alone. The voices that speak to me when I’m in a crowd. The voices that never allow my real inner voice to have its say. These voices, just like the world we live in, can be loud, busy and manipulative. Your mind is born individual, but as your mind matures, it becomes less individual. Your mind struggles to find its own voice due to the thick crowd of other voices that it begins entertaining. ‘Please leave now! You have overstayed your welcome,’ you may tell the crowd of other voices in your head, but similar to any crowd in need of dispersing, it often takes more than a few words to get them to leave.
It is clear that we all need a break from time to time: a break from our friends, from our family, from our teachers, from our minds - a break from ourselves. Sometimes we need some time just to be. Time to sit in silence, time to be still. If we don’t allow ourselves the time to rejuvenate, the voices in our heads will continue to talk over us and our physical body will be slow in repairing itself.
I am now at the stage where I feel the need to take a short vacation - a vacation to my own personal oasis. For those of you who too have experience in visiting your own personal oasis from time to time, you should know the rules by now… no social media and limited screen time. No if's, and no but's. Therefore, come tomorrow, 30/04/2020, will mark the first day of my seven-day hiatus from social media.
The reason why I am taking this break from social media is that I’m very aware of how much time it takes away from other, more important things in my life; time away from my writing; time away from my reading; time away from my meditation; time away from my relationships; time away from myself. I feel that social media acts as an escape platform for who we are and what we’re truly meant to be doing with our lives. Instead of relaxing with our loved ones, we now relax with our mobile devices. When we were young, we clung onto our parents like they were our guardian angels, but as grew older, many of us stepped further away from those people who were bringing us joy and stepped closer towards a piece of plastic with flashing lights and loud noises to bring us joy. Does this sound right to you? The system appears broken to me.
Tonight, when you are in the same room as your family or friends, you must ask yourself: ‘Which do I value more: my loved ones or the handheld device that I'm holding in my hand?’
Social media has had a large impact on my life: it has helped me to earn a living but at the same time has taken away from me living my life. When I upload videos of me training in the gym to Instagram, as silly as this may sound, I often feel that if I wasn’t to upload the video I wouldn't feel like I have trained at all. This isn't right, and this isn't the way I want to lead my life. Therefore, I must ask myself: ’How much ego is attached to what I’m doing?’
Ego is like cancer, and if left untreated, it will spread like wildfire through your entire being.
The time that I will be saving from not being on social media over the course of the next seven days, I will spend working on a few other important tasks: editing the remains of my new book: How To Die, Happily; reading a few books; meditating (specifically on death - as there is no better time than now to do so); going on long walks - and overall, providing my mind, body, and soul with the rest they deserve.
Perhaps this is a good time for you too, through this pandemic we’re currently facing, to take some time away from social media. Instead of scrolling aimlessly through Instagram, replying to emails, and binge-watching shows on Netflix, you could perform some small but meaningful activities: go for a walk, wash your clothes, clean your house, cook some food, read a good novel, paint a picture, write in your journal, spend quality time with your family - and if you're feeling daring, perhaps begin learning a new language? Take this time to do the things that a human is born to do.
As of tonight, my phone, similar to us all right now, will be placed on lockdown - isolated inside a draw, all by itself.
Please note: I will be contactable through Facebook messenger and Instagram DM throughout the day to check-in with my friends and family as I'm sure you will all agree that now is not a suitable time to scratch myself completely off the map of life, as doing so would prove wildly irresponsible of me.
Lastly, to those of you who take the time to read my articles, I will still be writing and posting them up on my blog every day over the next seven-days during my hiatus from social media.
Thanks for reading.