I will preface this post with saying: this is just MY experience and it isn’t suited for everyone. I am not judging those who feel differently than I do although I know this will be shocking for some.
I am not connected to any social media (outside of Pinterest). Done and done — the secrets out. [insert gasp]
And what a relief it was!
There was a scenario that caused me to exit the social media universe, but it was entirely my choice. I was not an obsessive Instagram-er or Facebook junkie… they were on my phone and it would be a habit to check out the ‘happenings’ when I woke up, had a break, or was going to bed. With saying that, I didn’t realize what the effects were until I left them all.
Facebook was the first to go and the only thing missed was birthdays — oh wow I had return to use the good ol’ calendar to reference who was born on which day, scary! A few years later when Instagram become the #1, then Snapchat, I didn’t ever think that there was much wrong with either — I could follow who I want which was mostly friends and family, and I wasn’t posting very much myself because that wasn’t of interest for me.
Then I deleted them both. At first I couldn’t figure out what to do with the few moments in time that I would once use those apps. And then I felt like I was sort of missing out on all the cool recipes or events that I used to see. And then I started to hear the shock factor from others about the fact that I “didn’t have Instagram!” which made me feel like I was missing my arm or something. But, none of those feelings persuaded me to re-join.
Once I got over the hump, I felt more than relieved. I’m not the type to feel bad about myself, although I can be pretty critical. I am not the type to compare myself to others in an extreme way, although I still do it. I’m not the type to look at everything and believe its’ exactly as it looks, although I can be gullible. I’ll tell you, all of these things are happening when you are viewing what the rest of the world posts to be their everyday lives… all in their perfectly curated memory book of their best moments of their everyday lives. I could tell myself all day long that I knew that all these moments were the ideal shots in anyones’ day, but until I stopped seeing them, did I start to see the difference in me.
What a difference in how I spend my time. I actually read the news. I call my friends and family to ask what they’re doing and how they are. I have a calendar and agenda I use to document whats’ going on in my life. Suddenly time means more when you have to actually experience it. My mum — who does not have a cell phone — would always say “if I’m not home, you don’t need to get a hold of me, I will call you back when I get home” and having a cell phone for over 15 years, I couldn’t imagine NOT having one… how can you not call home to a loved one when you’re at the grocery store and need to know if we need milk!? BUT, she’s right in theory. Why do I need to view someone’s life through photos or videos or ‘moments’ without them sitting down with me to share their experience over a cup of coffee? Why is it we feel so entitled? I understand the world we live in is so demanding that social media serves a purpose for proving technological advancements and it captures the moments we have no time to share personally, but what about making that time? What about not expecting the information to show up in front of us to know what so-and-so is doing today?
I don’t miss any of it. I do still actively use my Pinterest, which some may say is still social media… even this blog could be. But I feel like I am learning while I Pin and type because I am using it for that purpose.
So many times we see peoples lives through rose coloured lenses that we forget to be in the moment in our own life. I’m sure that many people can do it all and can block out comparing, and over-sharing, and over-looking and manage to use social media on a minimal scale but I dare you to break up with it for a few days and see how you make up that time. Social media can serve as inspiration and connection, but what did we do before it? What can we do without it? Find your own inspiration from nature, magazines, the news, conversation, perhaps your own thoughts! It’s amazing what we are missing out on while our faces are so far into our phones and tablets.
I still feel a little left out sometimes when everyone’s talking about what so-and-so posted or that how funny that video on Snapchat was… but then I remember that people were happier so long ago when they had to wait for that letter to arrive in their mailbox from their family or loved one a million miles away. Patience creates excitement and in an instant world, a little patience goes a long way. And, I have realized that all you have to do is ask someone to share with you what they are talking about and then you’ll know… no need to get sucked into the trend. And if you can’t let go of the trend of social media, try to take a break and limit how much you feel you need to know about someone elses’ life.
Take time to focus on your life and live in the present moment.
I dare you.