We caught up with part-time travel blogger, full-time business owner and newlywed, Sona, to talk about how she switches off in such a digitally influenced world…
NB: Do you think social media has a positive or negative influence on a woman?
S: Negative & positive. I feel women have a bad habit of comparing their lives to other women on social media. It’s as if we are expected to live up to a certain standard of life, especially in Dubai, you need to have this bag or that car! I have friends and family who have suffered from anxiety and depression due to cyber bullying and vicious comments on social media and that’s when it gets out of control. In the same breath, social media is a great channel to get inspiration and information from. The main aim of my page is really to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds through travel.
NB: Do you feel social media has an impact on your relationship? Do you spend more time on social media then with your partner?
S: Oh it definitely affects our relationship sometimes ! About 3 years ago when we first started dating Instagram or Facebook wasn’t really about posting, so it never really affected us. When we are out for a special date or spending time together alone outside , my husband has told me to enjoy the moment I am in and to post content on my social media later , we’re the complete opposites – he’s hardly active on social media ! On Thursdays since it is the beginning of the weekend night , by 7pm we make sure to switch off completely from our phones for a couple of hours to spend quality time with each other or friends and family.
NB: How important is taking time for yourself and why?
S: Extremely important. If I don’t take time out for myself I know I’ll have a breakdown – it’s happened before. I think everyone needs to take at least one ‘timeout’ every two weeks. We live such fast-paced lifestyles that we need to recharge in order to work to our best ability – it can be anything from the gym, to going to the salon or going for a sauna/steam.
NB: How do you feel while browsing the various social media channels, are you happy with what you read/see in your feeds?
S: I’ll be honest… I see the same things over and over again! Social Media has turned into a platform where people don’t share their real self or fresh content. I feel it’s the same brands, the same beauty products, the same event – it used to annoy me, but then I realized it’s really not a big deal – you can be happier without it!
NB: Could you last a day without your phone?
S: I’ve never done an entire day, but I definitely could. Let’s start with the N.Bar Digital Detox challenge first!
NB: Speaking of Digital Detoxing, what do you think about it?
S: I definitely want to try it and see if it actually reduces stress and anxiety, plus it will encourage me to talk to people face to face! It’s a great initiative that I think our generation needs whilst living in such a digital world.
NB: Do you find that social media distracts you from doing your work?
S: I’m a very focused person, so when I am working on specific projects I am fully focused on that. I had a huge conference a few weeks back and I wasn’t on my phone because I knew my full attention had to be there in that moment actually talking and interacting with people face to face.
NB: Do you follow any influencers and why/ why not?
S: I follow a lot, but I’ve also had a clear out and unfollowed a lot because everyone posts the same content! I follow influencers for fun and for inspiration.
NB: Describe Social Media
S: A Dynamic Community!