Do you need a prolonged break from social media?

Art by Ina Jacobe

Whether it’s due to the country’s current political situation or just overlapping social circles bickering with each other, being on social media can be a real hassle and a half. It could be that going online used to be fun for you — now it feels like either a chore or some habitual exercise of masochism.

We suggest taking a break. But not just like, staying off Twitter or Facebook for a day. More like, staying off for like three days, or a week. It’s the closest thing you’re gonna get to a silent retreat, and everybody needs a little peace and quiet. Quitting social media for a little while might sound outrageous, we feel you, so we’ve devised a questionnaire to help you evaluate whether or not you need some digital detoxing.

You go on Twitter. What’s your first thought?

a. What’s going on today?
b. Who are we dragging today??? *spins in swivel chair while laughing maniacally*
c. What new form will despair take on today? Why am I alive??

There’s a hot button issue going around on your feed and everybody who’s anybody is saying important things!!! How do you respond?

a. Contribute something new to the discussion while displaying critical and nuanced thought.
b. Retweet retweet retweet! What’ll happen to my woke cred if I don’t say anything???
c. Everybody’s mad but I’d rather take a six-year nap inside a bomb shelter.

Do you like memes? Of course you like memes. What do you like most about memes?

a. Memes are clever and often humorous displays of how people navigate the world of language, signs and symbols.
b. Memes are a convenient way for me to show I’m hip to things. It’s lit fam fire emoji 100 emoji is salt bae still cool?? *CLENCHED ARTHUR FIST* I’ve forgotten how to talk like a normal person yas kween
c. They are convenient distractions, slivers of light floating in the dark void.

Your internet connection’s a little iffy and you can’t be on social media for a few hours. How’re you feelin’ bud?

a. A little like I’m missing out but whatevs.
b. I’m aware I have other outlets for my thoughts and emotions but damn I need something to scroll through.
*breaks out into cold sweats, curls up into a fetal position*

Aw s*** dude. One of your tweets went viral! There’s a “K” next to the number of faves and retweets on your tweet. A “K!” How you feelin’?

a. Nice.
Pinnin’ this to the top of my profile page. I’mma ride this wave forever.
Am I loved? Is this what love is?

Uh-oh. A good friend said something problematic-but-not-necessarily-evil and your feed looks like a town square during the Salem Witch Trials era. How do you react?

a. Message them privately or call them up. Some things you just gotta handle one-on-one.
Posture piety via subtweet. Or go on a crusade! My woke cred is on the line.
Nobody’s perfect — someday I’m gonna say something stupid and my friends are going to turn on me too. Am I going to die alone? I’m going to die alone.

The world is suddenly engulfed in flames. What do you do?

a. Run! Call a loved one! Confess my sins!
Run to where the wifi is! Subtweet longingly about a loved one! Confess my sins via melodramatic thread!
Instagram live!!!

Mostly A’s

Social media is a part of your life but not the center. Good on you, dude! No shame in getting an endorphin rush out of likes and shares — just remember to keep your life balanced and you’ll be fine.

Mostly B’s

Perhaps you pride yourself on being a grizzled veteran of the social media jungle, savvy to its strange ways. That’s cool and all, but it’s ain’t everything. Be careful of falling into the trap of conflating your inner emotional life with everybody else’s highly-stylized digital performances of identity. Maybe take a day or two off.

Mostly C’s

Ayan kasi, kaka-computer mo. Kidding. But seriously, maybe you need a long break off of social media. There are two things you can do while going on your digital LOA. You can either: a) do what you usually do, and feel the lightness of your routine with one less thing to worry about, or b) do something you don’t usually do! Catch up with friends you haven’t seen for some time, get back into old hobbies, maybe immerse yourself in a good book. We’re not saying technology is the devil. But it isn’t god, either. Take a break, you deserve it.

#games #technology

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