Day 7: Avoid All Social Media

What exactly is social media? It’s difficult to find a clear and concise definition, but basically, it is content created by the general public that is shared via online tools, such as social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter), video-sharing sites (YouTube), and blogs.

No matter the definition, social media is an amazing thing.

Thanks to Wikipedia — itself a social media site — I found this quote from a Cairo activist about the revolution in Egypt: “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world.” (Read the full article.)

But most of us aren’t using social media to change the world. Most of us are wasting time in cyberspace instead of participating in the real world around us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all of our time spent online is wasted. I use Facebook to connect with friends and family both near and far and share meaningful information with them. I use YouTube to find educational videos for my EFL students. I use this blog to stretch my mind and get myself writing every day. I don’t use Twitter at all. (Sorry Twitter.)

But taking a break from this onslaught of information is valuable, too — akin to turning off the television and phone and having face-to-face interactions with those around you.

Seon Meditation Museum, Jeju

So what did I do with my social-media-free Saturday? I went to a meditation museum. Yes, there’s a meditation museum on Jeju island. I recently learned about the place and wanted to check it out, but that’s not why I went. On this day, somewhat ironically, I went because I was invited to be a FOF (foreigner on film) for a story by the local TV station. In Korea, they love showing foreigners participating in Korean life, so it’s quite normal to be a FOF. (P.S. I just made up “FOF.” Do you like it?)

It was a super funny experience. First, we left the museum and went to a 500-year-old Confucian shrine where we pretended to meditate. Then, we went down to the beach where my married male friend and I feigned to walk romantically along the sea together.

Later, we did actually meditate for a short time. Then, we looked around the museum, where I got inside a coffin and promptly freaked out. Then, we went to the museum’s café to eat organic tofu burgers with freshly picked lettuce from the greenhouse outside.

Of course, I would have done all those physical things without the help of this challenge, but mentally, it felt good to know I was taking a break from my cyber world for a little while.

Were you able to make it an entire day without social media?

To see what’s coming up next, check the 30-day Challenge List .

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