One of my favourite scenes in The 100 Season 1, because I’m yet to go beyond Season 2, is when the ship lands on Earth and Octavia is offered the first step on earth. She steps out and doesn’t go out in flames and she screams, ‘We are back, b*****es’ and then Radioactive by Imagine Dragons starts to play. That entire scene, the lighting, the anticipation, the shift into the music, the colours – chef’s kiss.
But I’m not here to go into the cinematography of it all. Just imagine me having my own Octavia moment 😏 and let’s jump straight into what I learnt being offline.
So I took month offline. Technically, it will officially be a month in three days but it has been quite the time. A part of me thought I would not be able to sustain it and then after two weeks I started to wonder if I would ever get back online because offline was totally okay.
Discipline is key
It’s easy to imagine that social media is taking up your time and you are not able to do anything productive when you are glued to your phone. But the trick is in your discipline. There are always things that crop up to fill your time.
The idea of getting offline was to sort of plan out where I was headed, plan out some content for the blog and how serious I wanted to be about it (which I did thankfully) and focus on a few online courses. That was the underlying idea. The overlapping one was for a mental health break.
But even without social media, I managed to postpone till the last minute because I wanted to do something else. And trust me, if you want to fill the time, you will find things to fill it up with. Like I have been known to spend extended hours playing Homescapes, especially when they keep giving me unlimited lives.
You can survive an information vacuum
One of my biggest fears was that I wouldn’t get any information and by the time I returned, it would be like crawling out from under a rock or coming out of a cave.
And there were those strange moments where I sat and wondered what my friends had posted on their statuses and what I was missing out on. But the information I needed found its way to me and I was also able to get out what I needed.
One of the trickiest times was with a writing gig and the communication should have been in real-time. Like real time would make it easier and quicken the process but I did the whole email thing (and now I’m a believer, like let’s do more emails) and everything worked out. I got out everything I needed and kept on with my break.
We are a generation that’s overly saturated with information. That was one of the thoughts that crossed my mind before and during the break. Everything is mostly at the touch of a button and most books will tell you, you weren’t created to be bombarded by opinions and updates every minute. And I liked that.
Insecurity is best combated by being genuinely happy for others
I have mentioned that taking care of my mental health was a big motivator, haven’t I? Well, I’m not big on updating my life happenings on social media. When you are not getting all those praises (clearly because no one else knows), it’s easy to minimise your own achievements and look to everyone with envy and all that.
I thought, logically, since this was a channel to flood my mind with what I’m not and don’t have, I’ll feel better offline. And I did. Honestly, I did! I didn’t think much about my phone in that month and my nosiness into other people’s lives was shelved, hopefully for good. That was freeing. The space to be myself without every which thought about it.
But just because you are not seeing it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And like I said about the info vacuum, you’ll still find out. So you have to purpose to be content with where you are, owning your timeline (which is my theme for the year 😅), to free you up to cheer for everyone else.
I should get offline more often
I should get offline more often!!! I mean here I am with five lessons from a few weeks. Imagine what I could pick up in longer😌.
Anyway, without ideas forming my thoughts, I tapped a little into my creativity. I have thought of doing a podcast🙈 on books. (My goodness, I’ve fallen in love with podcasts, which I will probably get to in a later post).
And just had time to think rationally about somethings, examine some beliefs I’ve held onto, and been mostly present in the moment.
I’ve tried out phone calls (something I’m usually not into) and found an appreciation for other things in life. Being offline is good for a perspective shift.
If all fails, try a book
Try prayer first! Then a book.
Most of the time when you head is consumed by everything else, you just need to step out of your life for a moment. I assure you, a good book is guaranteed to do just that for you; make you forget your problems, shake up your emotions (I suggest getting books that will make you laugh if you see feeling down) and just teach you something new.
I think what I regret is that I didn’t read as much as I had wanted during this time. If you are wondering why, read lesson 1 again.
So, this has been a little bit on the longer side, thank you for sticking with it.
Anyway, I missed this platform. There were so many thoughts I wanted to dive into and share but I figured I would love me more for sticking to my break. But I’m back now. Committing to two posts a week – the Wordsmith Wednesday on everything writing and the usual Sunday Post on my stray thoughts.