A huge part of Ramadan for me every year is the time that I take away from social media. I’m no stranger to going completely offline with all my social media accounts, the first time I did it I was in Year 11 and I deactivated my Facebook before my GCSE exams, but that was only for a few months. In my second year at sixth form, I went offline from Facebook and Twitter for a year! Back then I wasn’t using Snapchat and to be honest I’m not even sure people were using Snapchat in 2013.
I remember just wanting to disconnect from everything. Back then I felt like if I wasn’t on social media I would be missing out so I deliberately just wanted to focus more on my own experience and reality rather than being consumed with everyone else’s. The result was an entire year of complete bliss! I’m not anti-social media, far from it social media has been extremely useful for me and it has helped me to stay connected with people (friends from Nigeria for example) and to discover and learn about new things and connect with people across the world with similar interests etc. But once in a while I need the time to disconnect and for the past few years Ramadan has been my favourite time do so! I find that it’s very useful for me to be away from social media to help me focus and work hard on my relationship with Allah SWT.
So let’s start with Snapchat which I deleted months before Ramadan. I never really actively posted on Snapchat. My snaps were either about tennis or the books I was reading and once in a while I would share videos / pictures of my life and things I was up to. There were two main reasons why I deleted Snapchat. 1) I realised that I started becoming more conscious about recording aspects of my life, and for me it felt like I was trying to prove something. Like Oooh look what I’m up to? But maybe that’s because I’m an extremely private person and I wanted to enjoy moments without mentally feeling the need to document them. 2) It just got to a point where I didn’t want to know about to know so much about other people’s lives. Am I the only person that feels like Snapchat is slightly intrusive?
I use Facebook and Twitter mostly to read about things and share information and of course get updates about the lives of people that I care about. The problem wasn’t the cumulative amount of time that I spent on it, it was more about how many times I was checking it and the effect that it started to have on my attention span and at times feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information that I was consuming every day! Also I don’t have control about the things that I see on these social media sites and it’s Ramadan so anything that has to do with mockery, celebrity news, whatever it is, I don’t want to know.
The most important part of my social media detox is about unplugging and just spending the time that I normally would have spent on social media on more productive things like self care activities, reading, learning or spending time with my family. Below are some of the key benefits of social media detox for me:
- I get to live in the moment
- Experience things without distractions
- Have a clear mind
- I have more time to be self aware
It’s only one week into Ramadan and my daily routine has been so much better because I’m not spending time on either social media or watching TV shows. I’m not a big fan of movies so that’s never been an issue! (I should have titled this post social media and entertainment detox.)
I will be back on social media after Ramadan and it will be interesting to see if I immediately go back to my old habits. In sha Allah I don’t! But if you’re interested in trying a social media detox, what I simply do is deactivate Facebook, and then I delete the apps for Twitter and Instagram off my phone. It’s strange because technically I can still access these sites online especially for TV shows which I only watch online but somehow during Ramadan once I set the goal to not be on social media I find the will power to do it. I can’t describe how fulfilling it is for me not to feel the urge to click on a video on Youtube when I see it.
I hope you’ve benefited from this post. Do you feel like you consume too much entertainment and social media or are you good with it throughout the year? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.