Every morning, I would gravitate towards my phone and almost robotically open up my social media sites without even thinking. I felt as though I had to catch up on anything I must have missed since 11 PM the night before. Maybe I missed one of my friend’s gourmet dinner photos or their precious selfies. Oh, and don’t get me started on the Kardashian’s Instagram accounts, because honey, trust me, I know how to keep up.
But why do I have to go out of my way to quickly catch up on other people’s lives? Nothing is wrong with having a social media account, and nothing is wrong with checking out the latest Hollywood dish. In fact, I love seeing posts from family and friends, and I am also guilty of magazine subscriptions. But even good things can become bad when your life revolves around them.
My Husband and I have recently decided to cut out social media for any purposes other than blogging and groups. Before this, I was spending many hours of the day on Instagram, and I opened up the app every single hour so I could view any new posts. I talked to most of my friends in the most impersonal way through these social media apps, and I also compared my life to other people through the apps too.
I would sit on the sofa with my Husband while scrolling down and blabbing away about things that shouldn’t even matter to me. His habit was Facebook, and he was just as bad as me. One evening, I mentioned something about one of the Kardashian’s to him, and he gave me this bizarre look and I just KNEW he was wondering why I cared so much about that stuff… all while he was scrolling through Facebook of course. But only three weeks ago, we decided to delete both of the apps and do our best to keep away from them. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, because we both had to get out of the habit of grabbing our phones to look for the apps that were no longer there. Now, I can say that we are both better than ever. I have had enough of scrolling through our phones while we are having a meal together. It gives us more time to have meaningful conversations and talk about our OWN lives. And I know he is feeling good without me filling him in on the latest Hollywood scandal. As a matter of fact, I am feeling good not knowing the latest Hollywood scandal.
My mind is a lot clearer, and I do more meaningful things with my time rather than scrolling through my phone for hours. And get this… I actually have to TALK to people now. I know… that is extreme living. I enjoy it because I feel more connected, and much less impersonal.
Since I am not looking at Instagram profiles of people showcasing their life highlights, I have no room to compare my life to theirs. I no longer care if anyone knows what I’m doing, and I find it better not knowing much of his or her plans either. It’s always bad when I know every detail about someone’s life because of social media, and then it’s hard to come up with things to talk about when I see them in person. They say, “Hey, did you hear about the awesome stuff I did yesterday?” and then I say, “Yeah… I saw the novel you wrote, and 2 photo albums you uploaded.”
Cool, that’s the end of that conversation. You get the point.
Since being off of social media, we have missed a few life announcements, birthdays, and several other important things. But the good thing is that instead of commenting on the post with everyone else, we can send a text or make a phone call, and learn how to be personal all over again. That’s the way life was before social media, but many of us have forgotten. There are more gratifying moments in our lives besides waiting around to get more likes on our posts.
I think there are great benefits to these social media platforms, and it helps make life easier in many ways. But I had a few problems, and I needed to unplug myself to detox from those issues. Sometimes I need to get my face away from my screen and look at everything else around me. Mental health is an import aspect of our lives, and many of us don’t realize we are being affected by social media until we unplug for a while. And it is worth it.