Have a good normal life!
Jakarta (ANTARA) - An iconic meme circulated online since 2015 shows an elderly woman pleased at watching something in a crowd, while dozens of people surrounding her -- also happy -- are busy on their phones.

Nowadays, the extent to which people are attached to technology, particularly phones, has lead us to interpret that the elderly woman is worthy of compliments, as she represents an “ideal” reaction to something that transpired amid this era of smartphones.

When it comes to smartphones, it is hard to separate them from the most commonly accessed application, social media platforms. The pictures of an event we witnessed or the selfies we captured on a camera phone are mostly posted on our cyberspace gallery.

A recipe of a birthday cake or succinct writings of thoughts of wisdom, both are projected perfectly on Facebook. A 3 a.m. random thought can possibly be posted in a 280-character-length tweet on Twitter, while selfies are finding a sweet home on Instagram.

Smartphones, with the installed social media platforms, are currently a daily necessity, despite not being purposely needed. Let us count the number of times we open Facebook deliberately and when we simply open the application since we are habituated to doing it.

Despite the recipes and selfies, it is beyond doubt that social media can be a “safe haven” for hoaxes, fake news, and hate speeches since some people upholding the notion of freedom of speech and others could, in anonymity, deliver any statements, good or bad.

In the digital world, it is easier for people to comment frankly, and by this, make it easier for bullying to take place.

Being too engaged in social media will affect real life in more ways than one, including affecting relations with relatives and friends.

Staying detached from social media is viewed as being impossible nowadays, yet we can learn lessons from the elderly woman that sometimes we need to take a step back from social media platforms to fully enjoy life. ANTARA throws a challenge to unplug yourself from social media life for at least a day or two.

Unplugging, even merely for a while, seems not easy--and it is. However, it could be one of the wisest acts to strike a fine balance between social media and real life.

The fear of missing out, or FOMO, could be pegged as one of the reasons behind it being difficult to keep oneself away from the digital, social media world. Missing out on social events is also another fear that people harbor.

A renounced psychiatrist, Andreas Kurniawan, recently tweeted through his Twitter account @ndreamon, “Coming back to greet #SobatOverthinking (means fellow overthinkers) after a week off from the Twitter land.”

Kurniawan, who gained 42.7 thousands followers since joining Twitter in August 2011, told ANTARA that he regularly took some time off from social media, like for a day or two, as he implies the “information diet”.

“Let’s say social media is a fast food station that provides fast foods that are not always considered healthy. When I do the information diet, I limit myself from topics that are being spoken about on social media, the fast yet uncomfortable-to-be-discussed information,” he revealed.

Kurniawan, who along with his close friends, set aside time every Wednesday to hang out and play board games, underscored that they will not use their phones or open social media applications during these activities.

“We are attempting to limit our access to the digital world, turning back to real-life communication,” Kurniawan noted.

It is a simple process to do the temporary unplug from social media. For Kurniawan, it is all a matter of his commitment to limit his use of the platforms.

The self-commitment, again, makes temporary escape from social media life sound more difficult to do. An account of a Twitter influencer, with 55.5 thousand followers, @bitxt, has developed a simple site to help people unplug from their social media life.

Conceptualized as “hidupnormal,” which means the normal life, this site’s homepage asks you straightforwardly, “How long do you want to have a normal life?”

This question prompts you to choose the date to get back your social media life, while during the period, the system forces you to not open your account.

The date is set, then the system issues a random, hard-to-remember password and it asks you to make password changes on your social media and email accounts, and log out!

Forget the random password. However, your unplugging process has not been done yet, as the system issues a random code for you to keep—just so you can redeem with the random password at the due date and have your account back.

“Have a good normal life!” the system notes in its last process.

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Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2020