Not too long ago, after publishing a blog post or uploading certain new pictures on Facebook or Instagram I would be a bundle of nerves. Before the watch on my phone announced that a minute had gone by, I had probably checked for any new notifications on the updates I had put up more than ten times. Let five minutes pass uneventfully and the phone’s network and data connection went through severe scrutiny or the phone itself went through the Restart castigation repeatedly.
I’m no psychologist, but it needs no expert to conclude that these abnormal signs were that of serious anxiety disorder. With everything from music, news, games and a zillion useful or redundant apps handy to us on our cell phones, it is easy to fall in the trap of outnumbering, outdoing or outmanoeuvring others as well as ourselves on the ever-increasing number of social media platforms that can help us gain followers and in effect popularity and monetary benefits.
The need to be relevant, sadly, has no end. There’s no fixed number where our aspirations allow us to take a moment off and simply enjoy being where we are. What we do have within our control (difficult though, as it would be for some) is our ability to shut ourselves from this virtual maze of existence and live in the real world and get real experiences. No simulations, please.
I would like to share few of the hacks I employed to keep my anxiety at bay. If they are able to cater to you in any way, I would be glad.
- Sharing is an option, it isn’t compulsory. You created a recipe that was awesome to taste and look at, bought something new or witnessed a gorgeous sunrise and felt the instant need to share it with your online friends. If you have to, take a moment to ponder whether a few minutes’, hours’ or a day delay would make any difference? Why not bask in the experience?
- Switch off or put your phone on flight mode at night. Honestly, I can afford to do this since in case of any emergency A’s phone is always available. As soon as I hit the bed at night I switch my phone to flight mode, allowing it to show me the time and chime the alarm and yet not make me reach for any hopeful notifications in my groggy state (Yes, it interferes with my sleep too).
- Remind yourself how interesting you are. One tap on the keyboard or your phone screen and there’s a whole world out there to keep you company, figuratively. You can chat or talk with anyone you want, anytime. I strongly believe though, that ‘alone’ time isn’t overrated. Whether we are actually doing something or not, our mind is always at work. Why not give ourselves a genuine reason to appreciate and like our own selves?
- Numbers don’t signify your worth. Our best work sometimes doesn’t get the desired eyeballs or feedback, and it’s alright. After putting a post out, it assumes its own life. We cannot let a less-read post or a dwindled readership reflect badly on our own self-worth. Try all we can, but we cannot ever let it sway our opinion about ourselves.
Does any of this ring true with you? Would love to know your thoughts on this!