Why I am taking a social media holiday

If there was such things as Instagrammers Anonymous I would probably need to go there. I can just imagine it... "Hi, my name is Erica and I am addicted to Instagram".

There is just something so appealing about all of the thousands of beautiful pictures of all things you can possibly imagine. I especially love all the gorgeous food and yoga shots from across the world.

Social media has undoubtedly become an integral part of modern lives, especially for the younger generations. It is a fantastic platform for connecting with like-minded people, keeping in touch with family and friends and sharing moments of your life with others anywhere in the world. Don't get me wrong, I love social media. But like all good things, it should be used mindfully and in moderation.

The downside to social media usage is that is can often encourage highly narcissistic and egoic behaviours. We compare ourselves to others and compete to have the most followers, friends, likes and comments, all in an effort to prove we have the most interesting/fun/amazing/easy/glamorous life. And therein lies the next problem, social media is a tool manipulated selectively to give the impression of yourself that you desire. It is never your true self, your whole self, flaws and all. Social media profiles are one-dimensional.

But aside from the ego-boost you get from having people like the things you post on social media, there is another side of social media that you participate in as the observer/follower/liker. Our brains are insatiable when it comes to information, and so social media feeds provide an almost endless stream of information and data for our brains to feed on and process. Whilst this may seem all well and good, too much constant feeding of the mind allows it to take control and run rampant. Have you ever tried to meditate and found that your mind goes at one million miles per hour? This could be the result of an over-stimulated, over-active mind. I watched a great interview with Tom Cronin (meditation expert) by Melissa Ambrosini a few months ago that beautifully explained the mental attraction of social media. View that interview here.

So, for all these reasons and more I have decided to take a social media holiday/do some kind of technological detox. I am heading off to Byron Bay tomorrow to undertake my 200 hour yoga teacher training, and so I thought to get the most out of my training and experience there it would be the perfect time to log out of the virtual world for a little while. Because I am going to be away from my everyday life, I thought taking a social media detox would give me a good chance to return refreshed and revitalised for the year. It will also give me some head space to dive a little deeper into the spiritual pool and truly practice the art of just being, rather than posting, liking, commenting, scrolling, observing and updating. For practical reasons, I will still text family and friends and I will keep checking my emails, as I am in the process of enrolling in university and so there are some pretty important emails I will need to be checking for! But I am going to log out of and delete Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook for the whole month of February. And see what happens...

In addition to those three sites, I will be also taking a small respite from this beloved blog. Whilst the blog is far less addictive and time consuming as the other sites, I still think it will be good to take some time and space to reflect. Hopefully I will return with some new and exciting things to tell you all about! But don't worry, Peta will be posting here while I am on my sabbatical.


And to finish I will leave you with a little poem I wrote in Year 11 on this topic, inspired by the picture above. I hope you like it!


Life is what happens to you while you’re looking at your Smartphone

Droplets of dew glisten in the morning sun,

The rooster announces the dawn of a new day,

But you were busy checking the morning newsfeed,

Life is what happens to you while you’re looking at your Smartphone.


The hum of conversation, mutual friends,

Saturday night, eyes lock across the room,

But you were busy sending a text,

Life is what happens to you while you’re looking at your Smartphone.


A desolate shadow, a lonely soul,

They are in need of a smile, a friend,

But you were busy counting up Likes,

Life is what happens to you while your looking at your Smartphone.


Hustle and bustle, cows and tuk-tuks share the road,

Aromas and spices burst from the roadside stalls,

But you were busy uploading a photo,

Life is what happens to you while you’re looking at your Smartphone.


The world around you swarms like bees in a hive,

But you are a desert nomad,

Your reality lies inside a cold, vibrating box,

Life is what happens to you while you’re looking at your Smartphone.


Peak hour, rushing traffic, honking horns,

A distracted driver, you step out, screeching tires,

But you were busy shuffling through your songs,

Life is over because you were looking at your Smartphone.


By Erica, 2/4/2013


So, until March, take care, stay happy and stay healthy!


Erica xx