This Is Why I’m Giving Up Scrolling

Keep scrolling

Tap, tap, tap.

Scroll, scroll, scroll.

A friend checking into a shopping mall. A marriage. Baby’s first birthday. An advertisement for an Indian restaurant in Vienna. Random philosophical quote with a spelling error. New brand campaign, meme or GIF on the latest trending subject. Some food that’s bright red. A shocking video or two. A dozen pictures clicked with the same background and people starting petitions (oh, not for the dozen pictures).

Basically a blur of text, images and videos that increasingly make less sense with every scroll because the brain stops processing them. And yet the fingers tap away, hoping to derive some cathartic pleasure out of the act. Maybe there will be light at the end of the tunnel, happiness at the end of the Facebook feed. But more often that, all that awaits us at the end of the feed is loneliness, a sense of lost time, and tired fingers.

It’s not just Facebook, of course. It’s all those zillion competitors and me-toos, the ones with the unique ‘motto’ and ‘purpose’, the companies whose offices are getting swankier by the day. Instagram for all the breakfast photographers, the paparazzi, the fashion gurus. LinkedIn for the highbrow and the corporate and those who want to be highbrow and corporate. Twitter for the newsy, the hashtaggers, the ones always up to date and in-the-loop.

There’s something for each one of us, each one of us for something. And scrolling through our social feeds is our unsaid, tacit pastime for all odd moments in the day – when stuck in traffic, in a boring meeting, before going to sleep, on a dinner date, idling on the toilet seat. Yeah, they made notifications and alerts so you could choose what’s important and demands attention. But who needs that when there’s scrolling through everything as an option?

There are some of us who genuinely enjoy all this time spent being social. Some of us do it because itโ€™s part of our job. And some of us do it to not be left behind, to not be left out. When we were kids, our parents would impose restrictions on our screen time – how many hours of TV we could watch, how many hours of video games we could play, etc.

But we are adults now.

Sensible, smart, health-conscious, positive-thinking adults who can do this for themselves. Adults who go to sleep texting on their smartphones even though they just read a news story that mentioned ‘no screen time before sleeping’. Adults who think others are having a good life because they posted a happy picture with the hashtag #perfectfamily. Adults (like yours truly) who unwittingly start their mornings reading about heinous crimes and hatred on their social media feed, and go about the day obsessing about that-thing-they-read.

Worth it? No.

Well, I am terrible at adulting. And I agree with the kitty up there – maybe I am not very good at scrolling either. So this is one thing I am going to do. I am going to seriously curtail this tap-tap-scroll-scroll motion of my fingers and let my phone screen age gracefully through the years. Social media is supposed to make you want to be social, not make you want to disappear into a cage and lock yourself from the world.

Bring on the books. Flipping is such a comforting movement.

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10 thoughts on “This Is Why I’m Giving Up Scrolling

  1. Reminded me a lot of this: https://alphabetworld.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/2544/
    This was in 2012. Then I re-activated FB in 2016 and deactivated again in a few months…because nothing and no one had changed on FB. It continued being everything I’d listed, only worse. Not to mention all the “hate” and “violence”. Jesus. I just DO NOT understand why, when you see a RATHER disturbing video, you have to “like” it (if not share) to make others “share” your misery!

    And for this reason, never been on Insta or the multitude other sites/apps. Have a linkedin account i update every time my job changes ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a twitter account I only used as a means to create hits to a certain person’s account ๐Ÿ˜€ have an instagram acocunt I created, used for two days and completely forgot about (not planning to remember or er-login). Was on Pinterest for two days, trying to find a good gown design for my future sister-in-law. And in all of these, including FB, I realised you can scroll, not get any value out of, and realise 2-3 hours just went y without you even realising!

    Ironically, Social media makes 99% of us un-social! Sigh.

    • Hey! Thanks a ton for sharing your honest thoughts about the dark and disturbing world of social media! ๐Ÿ˜€

      It can bring people together, give us new ideas, etc., I grant it all that, but ultimately, like you said, the value we are getting out of it doesn’t justify the disturbed and drained feeling it can generate. Seriously, what’s with sharing any random stuff you found online without even verifying its authenticity? Why add to someone’s misery, ignorance, dogma?

      Love your last line there – social media is indeed making us unsocial. Sigh!

  2. True that. I feel social media thrives on over positivity or extreme negativity . It’s indeed a lot of time wasted doing unnecessary scrolling .

  3. Flipping is great alright!

    “Social media is supposed to make you want to be social, not make you want to disappear into a cage and lock yourself from the world.” – couldn’t have put it any better. I am seriously considering uninstalling those apps.

    • Ah yes, Pinterest does offer visually appealing, creative content, as opposed to the tedious and depressing stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good to hear from you, Jyoti – how have you been? How is the new book coming along?

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