A Guide to Protecting Myself


The other day a close friend of mine complained about the burdens that social media adds to our daily lives and asked me how I’m able to avoid it.

And so, here is my guide to protecting oneself from the tiring communication chaos:

*Turning off my phone’s notifications

Even though I’m a person whose mobile sound notifications are always off (and who even wishes that all the world’s phones would be silenced) I did, for a while, have the visual notifications turned on. I felt myself physically overwhelmed when WhatsApp message notifications crowded my screen, despite the fact that most were from people I cared about. I was filled with peace the day that I turned off my screen notifications about three years ago. If I do continue using a certain application, I use it according to my own rules! Throughout the day, I only check my phone during certain times, engaging in the necessary information exchange or laughing at the jokes of my humorous friends, after which I quietly retreat from my phone.

In lieu with this subject, I recommend reading Melis Danişmend’s The Seven Day WhatsApp Nonuse Experiment.

*Designating a time for e-mails

I read my e-mails only on my computer and only during certain times of the day, usually in the afternoons. Since I’m most productive in the early morning hours, I avoid doing passive activities like checking my e-mail and instead prefer to focus on active tasks such as producing new ideas, developing solutions, and generating content. I think when we’re not seized by the illusion that someone might die or that an entire project will falter when we don’t answer our e-mails immediately, we can prompt those around us to reevaluate the concept of ‘urgent’ (whose true meaning we’ve completely lost) and the actual function of a phone. If you’re unable to harness the need to incessantly check your e-mails, then remind yourself of Jocelyn K. Glei’s comparison: “If you had a neighbor who went outside to check their mailbox every ten minutes, wouldn’t you think they were crazy?”

*Living without a television

We parted ways a long time ago. This separation has contributed greatly to my ability to make as much time as I want, for the things that I want.

*Reading the news in the afternoon

Unfortunately, we rarely come across good news regarding our own country or the world. Ever since being literally drained by the sadness and worry that came from reading negative news in the morning and losing the inspiration and mental health that I needed to continue my day, I began doing this activity in the afternoon. At least I feel a bit more prepared to commiserate with the world’s problems after I’ve spent the morning doing things that are good for me and those in my vicinity.

*Correctly choosing the things I follow

We live in an era where the amount of people who squander their own lives by following those whose lifestyles they criticize is increasing. I believe we need to free ourselves from this stupefying situation, most comparable to a drug, and specify the materials we allow into our minds through a much healthier manner. Even though I lack the need to sift because I’ve chosen not to use social media, I still ask myself if the things I encounter are actually worth reading.

*Staying away from the desire to record

Even though I’m not as assertive as the late Umberto Eco, I still frown upon the need to record moments. Apart from hindering the enjoyment of a moment due to countless photos and videos, I believe the issues of being photogenic and the chaos of sharing, all create an unnecessary congestion.

Hoping we never forget that everything in life is a choice,

Begüm

 

Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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