First, I deleted my original FB account. Second, I uninstalled Viber, Whatsapp, and retained only my Messenger account. Third, I made another FB account but, this time, limited the people on the list. I began adding only close family and friends, and necessary contacts for work. Fourth, I removed Instagram. Finally, I erased my online games and other unnecessary apps on my phone.
Gradually, my noisy world became silent. Gone was the constant beeping and ringing of my mobile phone; gone was the usual non-stop chatting and calling that filled up my days. I slowly reverted to being an introvert with my entire bubble composed of nothing but family and work. I distanced myself from everything and everyone else.
At first, it felt weird. I wasn’t used to being unseen and unheard. I felt adrift, not being privy to the latest news and updates that regularly appeared on the feed or on the numerous chat threads I had. I felt emptied, inside and out.
People wondered about me. Speculations, grievances, and questions crowded my inbox. Everyone demanded to know what was happening. Yet, I chose to remain mum.
I opted to devote myself to solitude and the responsibilities that came with being a single mother, a daughter, and a sister. I rekindled my love for music, cooking, gardening, and reading. I used my spare hours to write.
I went back to rediscovering myself sans that need for constant communication with anyone else. Suddenly, I had the freedom to do so many things without the old habit of checking my phone’s notifications, every five minutes or so.
Eventually, the people in my life got used to my silence. Most of them stopped messaging me. Months passed and I slowly became a recluse.
Now, I go online simply to check on relevant current events, veering away from the petty skirmishes and the usual malicious intrigues that people post on their walls. My life, nowadays, seems lighter and happier as I elect to stay away from the constricting hold of too much time spent on social media platforms.
Indeed, I have fewer acquaintances today. I lost the huge networks I used to have. My phone doesn’t ring and beep like it used to. I am not that popular amongst friends and relatives anymore. Yet, my life has been purged of the stifling negativity that normally plagues social media life.
Because, online life doesn’t necessarily equate happiness and having too many friends doesn’t guarantee security. In fact, real joy and serenity may only be accomplished when one realizes that it isn’t fame–or even money–that renders real satisfaction or fulfillment.
I only have a few people left in my life, but they are the ones who remained even when I decided to change. As it happens, quality bears more weight over quantity, and life doesn’t have to be grounded in flimsy connections that easily corrode over time and bring about needless pain.