I remember being in 7th grade and begging my parents to let me have a Myspace. All my friends had one and I could not imagine my middle school life without one. Once they finally let me have one, I spent all my time customizing my profile with my favorite songs, my favorite pictures, and my favorite friends. I remember feeling so relevant being connected to so many people and being able to show them the best parts of myself. Back then we didn’t have smart phones to be constantly connected to, or many different social media platforms that constantly needed updating. But, social media was still one of the most important things in my life. Since that day in 7th grade, I have been wrapped up in social media. My phone is constantly glued to my hand. I am checking it at stop lights, in lines, in the bathroom, anytime that I am not completely entertained. Not only does it take up all the empty spaces of my life, but it also consumes a lot of my thoughts. If I’m going anywhere I am looking to see if there is any good photo’s opts. If I am getting ready it’s because of the small chance that someone will take a picture with me that they will post. If I don’t post a photo on Instagram or Snapchat in awhile, I’m worried that people (who honestly probably don’t give a crap about me) are going to think that my life is boring and I am not successful.
It’s hard admitting all this because I tell myself, “This is just our generation.” I don’t think I’m the only one either. I see people at the beach, restaurants, parties, taking 30 minutes to take photo after photo, trying to get that perfect picture. I never really judge these people because I know I am the same way. Everyone is trying so hard to portray themselves in a certain light. I know why we do it, for likes and follower and to feel relevant. The idea that 300 likes means that 300 people are thinking about me, is something that I subconsciously cannot get enough of. I don’t know why I think this because I know that everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives and their own selves that they’re probably just liking my pictures to hopefully get likes from me. Pc4pc, still why anyone does anything on social media.
I’ve been recently planning trips. I started thinking about what I wanted to do when I got there and it was honestly really hard. What do I even like to do? Do I like to see beautiful sights? Yeah because then I can post a picture of it on Instagram. Do I like to go shopping? Yeah because I can have cute stuff to wear in my pictures? Do I even really want to travel, or do I just want to seem like I have an exciting life on social media? Realizing these things is absolutely terrifying and I started to wonder if anything that I chose to do in my life was real.
So, all these crippling thoughts and realizations, led me to the idea of getting off of social media for a week. I know a week, wow, so brave, but you have to start somewhere. I knew this would be difficult because my main form of communication for my job is through Facebook. So I decided, okay I’ll just delete all the social media apps off my phone and only go on Facebook once a night to check for my work.
Surprising this week wasn’t that difficult. During the week was easier because I was so busy with work that I didn’t really have to time to post or look at anything. The weekend was a little bit more difficult, especially when I was out with friends. I wanted SO bad to post how much fun I was having on social media. If the world didn’t know I was livin’ it up at a drag show, was I really even there? At the end of the night I survived not posting anything and still had a fun time, wow crazy.
I noticed that throughout the week I really didn’t care to wear makeup or look my best. I mean who’s going to see me except my two friends and my dog? It was really hard during those boring moments, like at stop lights or walking my dog. Once I got over being bored, it became sort of stress-relieving to just have time to be in my head and think about things I never had time for.
There were sometimes when it became actually inconvenient to not have my social media easily accessible. Like when I needed to look a place up, or to get ideas for sometime. Most businesses solely rely on their social media outlets to promote themselves and share information. I also didn’t have an easy way to communicate to all the people in my life. If I wanted to get a mass message out, or get a large amount of people’s opinion on something, I was SOL.
So what did I learn from this week? What is the point of this article? I do not believe the answer is going cold-turkey and cutting yourself off from basically the world. I think it would cause more inconvenience than self-discovery, at least for me. However, I do think we need to be more conscious and aware of ourselves. We need to be deliberate in our actions and our thoughts. Focus on what is important and what you REALLY want. Remember that these people you see on social media, that look like they are so perfect and put together, are probably not and probably spend too much time making themselves seem that way.
I know that almost everyone could probably write this article themselves, because these ideas are not profound. But maybe reading these words from someone else’s brain will make you feel not so alone and pathetic, because I’m pretty sure almost everyone in our generation is on the same level of pathetic. I hope all of this can help you remember yourself and what is important to you, because writing it definitely helped me with this. Sometimes it’s good to take a break and almost look down from your life, away from the screens. Or hey, just cut it all out! But if you do, please still read my blog? Okay thanks.