How I Rediscover My Mojos Simply By Spending Less Time On Social Media

ByAzleen Abdul Rahim

I used to spend countless hours daily on LinkedIn. After I created my Twitter account a few years later, it got worse. I partially blame it on my job. Being a marketing strategist, I just need to be digitally social to fulfil my long-lasting tasks. I guess in this era, social media has become an integral part of our lives. 

Those days, I didn’t mind getting constantly bombarded with a stream of updates, notifications, likes and followers. The more frequent, the better actually. That was how I managed to gain a decent following on LinkedIn. The reality was different at that time. I need a better income, and to secure a better income I need a large circle of professional network to support my intention. The bigger the circle, the better.

However, things are a little different today. The reality has somehow changed, in a big way. Here, I’d like to share with you my journey of moving away from the virtual limelight, from being a hero on social media to embracing a zero presence, and how this transformation has helped me rediscover focus, reality and purpose that I believe is the life changer. 

Those early days

I never like big crowds or large gatherings. I don’t feel comfortable at all. Despite that, in the name of building a large pool of networks and becoming the go-to person for marketing strategy, I must be active one way or another. And I found a way to do that, exactly the way I want it—LinkedIn. I don’t have to join any gatherings or be physically there at the networking sessions somewhere, all I have to do is to be active online through LinkedIn. 

I found the platform way cooler than others and perfectly fit for my cause. It was a novel and exciting way to connect with new friends, share life’s highlights, and explore new ideas. The platform was built for professionals like me as a stage to showcase my insights, a few achievements, adventures, and aspirations. The positive reinforcement from friends and followers fueled a sense of validation and boosted self-esteem. In time, all of these will then be translated into more followers, more friends, more visibility and paid projects.

But as time passed, I started to realise that this constant effort consumed me in a big way. It’s just too much as my life began to be moulded by it. And this is not what I want and there must be a better way. While searching for a better way to stand above the crowd digitally, I just continued growing my online presence through LinkedIn and Twitter. But the urge to quit grows by the day.

My business was growing rapidly at that time. To change this effort now might threaten the growth and I need to be careful. 

The awakening

The effort of hunting for more validation, more connections and friends and more paid customers truly consumed me. I woke up one day and realised that I am closer to my devices than my loved ones. This is not good.

Feeling guilty, that day I decided to take a break from the internet. Somehow it went on for two weeks. I went ghost, totally off-grid and away from my devices. No smartphone and no Macbook, nothing. I do nothing except spend time with my wife and kids while finding ways to stay productive as a marketing strategist and entrepreneur without being addicted to social media and devices per se. We went on a road trip, a long drive going up north, headed east coast, scrolling down the coastal road to the most southern state of Malaysia and back to Klang Valley.

While on ‘vacation’, I was evaluating my position, the impact should I leave social media and ways to balance the game to ensure everything is uninterrupted. I realized that I had lost touch with my own long-term life objective. I yearned for a sense of purpose and authenticity, free from the pressures of maintaining an online persona. It was then that I made the courageous decision to delete all social media apps on my mobile devices. I started with Instagram. Then Facebook. In the last couple of months, I deleted Twitter and LinkedIn. I use them only on my Macbook.

Embracing this new norm was tough during the first few months. Initially, the transition from being a ‘hero’ of marketing on LinkedIn and Twitter to zero was challenging. I felt that I was missing out on ‘important’ updates. That’s right, I felt I’m being left behind. This went on for easily two months. However, as time went on, I began to realize the benefits of this newfound liberation. I wasted less time looking at my mobile phone all the time and somehow I managed to regain control over my time and attention. I channelled my energy into meaningful activities. I can easily write two long-form articles per day, spend quality time with my wife and kids, read meaningful articles and books, as well as do some other offline stuff. 

Rediscovering the mojos

I can easily write two long-form articles per day, spend quality time with my wife and kids, read meaningful articles and books, as well as do some other offline stuff. Yet the most important discoveries are these. 

One, I am living in the moment. And two, I learn how to let go.

It seems that these are the biggest benefit of all. I am now cherishing the little joys and embracing the imperfections that make life truly beautiful. There is no more having a meal with my eyes gazing over the mobile phone and scrolling the feed. There’s no more talking to a person while my fingers are on the device replying to a comment. The absence of social media also significantly helps me get rid of this FOMO small feeling, you know.  There’s no more ‘comparison’ and ‘competition’ but instead I learned how to let them all go and embrace self-acceptance. 

I began to explore my passion for writing more deeply. I found out that the connection level I personally have with writing is deeper, and more meaningful this time. This bridges me to a new journey I am now on. I want to build an asset where people can learn practical insights into entrepreneurship, marketing strategy and life through reading. Through my years of reading, observation and experience, I will have all this information in a single place to ease people finding them.

You know what, I think I just rediscover my ultimate mojos.

To recap 

I admit, breaking away from the social media frenzy was a transformative journey for me. I managed to break free from the pressures of maintaining an online persona, break free from being a social media junkie and learn to let things go. It somehow opened up a new path allowing me to discover a meaningful life. 

In other words, I discover a new reality and purpose. 

The decision to embrace a minimal presence on social media might seem daunting, but it offers an opportunity for better creativity and a more authentic life. I’m not sure about you, but that is what I truly feel and I am glad about it. That being said, if you find yourself yearning for more quality of life and making it meaningful, consider taking a step back from the social media universe and seeing the magic that unfolds when you invest your time and energy in the world right in front of you.

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