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How did your life change after leaving Social Media? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Shovan Chowdhury, on Quora:

My friend Rafiq’s Facebook status read, “I got a job offer from Google. Now I am the happiest person in the whole world.” A group of friends of mine posted a picture of themselves travelling in Brazil while they were in the Amazon rain forest and they wrote on Facebook, “Our lives would be meaningless if we did not come here.” Another friend, Saidul, posted a picture on Facebook with his beautiful Latin wife in Daytona Beach, Florida enjoying their moment. Their newly bought BMW 5 series 528I sedan was parked a few meters from them.

I was sitting in darkness in my small rented flat, scrolling through my Facebook news feed on my smartphone. Load-shedding was going on. No wind was flowing through my small window. I was feeling really hot and suffocated. I was cursing my life. I was sweating. I felt broken, aimless, I had a poor CGPA, was unemployed, and was frustrated and severely jealous to see other people’s success. I was addicted to Facebook and spent ten to fifteen hours every day on it. Moreover, I was habitually using WhatsApp, IMO, Viber, and Wechat just as often. I even checked my WhatsApp messages before starting my exams. I used to upload photos to Instagram. A lot. I loved to tweet every day. I used to check notifications, update my status, comment on things, text and make phone calls while walking, sitting on the bus, and even crossing the street.

My colorful life started to become gradually lost. I finished school with a poor GPA. I had lost track of my life. I was involved in a virtual relationship and rejection made my life difficult. I was losing concentration, was depressed, and became jealous and disturbed to see friends’ successes on Facebook and Instagram. I had severe chronic depression and frustration. I decided to deactivate my Facebook account and limit my other social media activities. Social media works like a drug. You can’t leave it easily. I could not concentrate on my studies for a few days and felt the urge to get back on social media, but I was determined not go back to my previous life. I was getting used to my new life. After leaving social media, my life has completely changed through some realizations and several activities:

  1. Meditation: Every day, I have been meditating for one hour. My mind becomes constant and hassle-free. I have found inner peace.
  2. Aim for eight hours of sound sleep: I tend to go to bed early and wake up early in the morning. I enjoy the fresh air in the early morning, which I missed all the time when I was always on social media.
  3. Simple life, high thinking: After leaving social media, my life became simple, but it is full of higher thinking. I have stopped having such high expectations from life and myself. I don’t think I have a right to get whatever I want. Whatever I get, I consider it a bonus. Life becomes easy with this theory. I believe that virtual life makes the rest of life complicated. There is no need to use social media to be a social person. Excess use of social media makes us unsocial.
  4. Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get: I agree with this famous quote from the movie Forrest Gump. I missed the beauty of life due to my social media addiction. I was busy with my virtual life. I did not try any new things. Now, I am free. I can observe the beauty of life and realize that life is like a box of chocolates. You don’t know if the chocolate tastes good or bad until you taste it. Try to get new experiences from life; you don’t know what amazing thing is waiting for you.
  5. Building positive habits: I have built powerful habits after limiting my social media activities. I have built positive habits like positive self talk, thinking before I act, reading at least three pages a day, meditating for one to two hours every day, practicing public speaking, writing every day, etc.
  6. Removes distractions: My mind is distracted all the time when using social media. Now that I have limited my activities in social media, I feel surprised that there is less distraction. I can focus on any activity with full concentration and finish any work without distractions.
  7. Becoming a good listener: If you want to successful in life, you have to be a good listener. I always use to text, update statuses, tweet, check-in, comment, upload pictures in social media while talking with other people. People were always disturbed about my activities. Now, I am free from my social media addiction. I can talk to people with full concentration, listen to every word, maintain eye contact and give an appropriate response while communicating with other people.
  8. Avoiding procrastination: Procrastination made my life almost collapse. I am getting rid of this problem. Now, I always schedule my assignments, never miss deadlines, maintain a daily schedule and try to be proactive all the time.
  9. Using a productivity challenger app: I downloaded an app “productivity challenger” from the Play Store. It’s called Pomodoro. The technique it uses is a timer to put work into intervals, usually in twenty-five minute time frames with short breaks. You get several ranks and achievements after successfully completing twenty-five minutes three to four times. It helped me to enhance my productivity and to utilize my time. I studied regularly, with a proper daily schedule and my grades improved. I still use this app to focus on my work.
  10. Running: I started to run every morning. Running gets rid of my frustration. I started feeling better. I started to run more and more. People think that I am becoming insane. That’s why a young guy runs in the early morning, every day. Running is becoming my best friend. I am running to prevent depression and to forget my problems. I am finding the true meaning of life.
  11. Reading self-help books: I never read a self help book. Suddenly, I started to read self-help books after leaving social media. I read The Power of Now by Echkart Tolle. It has changed my perspective. It has helped me to focus on the now. I then went on to read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. It gave me outstanding feelings about life and helped me learn to be positive all the time. I have already read over one hundred self help books.
  12. Got a job: I put all my focus into finding a job after leaving social media. After several rejections, I got an ordinary job. It helps me to stay busy in life, be independent, and fight depression.
  13. Helping people: I started to help people in various ways, and I try to give positive vibes in people’s lives when they’re frustrated. I have been trying to help and mentor people by motivating them. Though my salary is very low, I try to help poor children continue their studies.
  14. Found my life’s purpose: I started to write on Quora despite hundreds of limitations. I use Quora wisely so that I don’t get addicted. Recently, I started my own blog, shovan7

Your worth is not measured in likes, comments, notes or followers; but in your ability to love, keep comments to yourself, take note, and lead.

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