My #ScrollFreeSeptember Experiences

Picture © Royal Society for Public Health RSPH.

I told earlier, that I am participating Scroll Free September campaign, that was apparently founded by the Royal Society for Public Health RSPH of the United Kingdom. I got inspired, because I have been struggling with my social media presence, and this campaign offered me a good way to test how it felt living without social media. At first it felt like having withdrawal symptoms, when not allowed to scroll or even open the applications. But after a few days it started feeling better and a normal way to live without these external stimuli. I started feeling more relaxed, and have had more energy to other activities. Of course there have been other stressors during September, but I think I feel a lot better when concentrating better to activities I am currently doing. Social media definitely makes us multitask and increases our restlessness, and that is definitely not a good thing.

I have made a couple of exceptions in scrolling. I have used WhatsApp, YouTube and my own webpage normally. I haven’t missed Twitter or Instagram at all. Of course I have longed for my Facebook friends and my LinkedIn network, but this month has made me realize the importance of living primarily real life – not spending my time in virtual reality. This test period has also helped me in figuring out how easily we create addictions and how hard it is to challenge these habits and manners.

After my #ScrollFreeSeptember experience I am probably going to abandon Twitter and Instagram. Similarly I am going to decrease using Facebook and LinkedIn dramatically compared to time I used to use in them. I was even thinking about whether it could be possible to live without internet connection at home or not. Why do we have to live online, or do we? Hmm… What do you think?

#ScrollFreeSeptember made me quit using social media for a month

It’s the first of September, autumn in Finland. School has started, and I must say we have had an excellent start for the new school year.

For me, along with many people around the world, September means time to quit using social media for a month. I believe we all should do this kind of a change for a while. Although we don’t admit it easily, many of us feel pressure of being online all the time. Even our self-esteem may be built of thumbs, likes and follower amounts. That is something I am not going to accept. I want to breathe freely, be myself and live my life in real world noticing other people and environment we are living in. Sometimes life isn’t perfectly filtered, but so what. Who wants to live perfect life in perfect world?

Easy step towards freedom

The first and only step was to log out all the social media mobile applications. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn… Everything, except my website, that I am going to keep updating during this period.

Ville Kilpiä eduskunta parliament
Live communication instead of virtual world. Me and Anton having a chat before our visit to the Parliament of Finland last week. Photo © Tanja Saar – all rights reserved.

At the same time it means decisions about what to do with all the time I am not scrolling, communicating virtually or thinking about social media contents? Well, as we all know, time is money. Time has it’s value, and we constantly make tradeoffs between different activities with values and opportunity costs. We keep deciding whether we want to see a movie or read instead. When at school we can think about what could we do with all that time, and how much money could we earn if working instead. Even sleeping and taking it easy have opportunity costs. So quitting social media for a month means a tradeoff between time used to social media, and time and freedom to do something else.