Social media is a two-headed beast. Social media has forever changed our lives and how we interact with one another. Social media, essentially, is what you make it. In my case, social media became one of the main triggers of my anxiety. Although I love the potential it has with moving us forward as a society; I hate the bullshit that comes along with it. And let’s be honest – THERE’S A LOT OF BULLSHIT!
The whole doing everything for likes, fraudulent lifestyles, and unfair and unrealistic pressure it puts on us all is just not my cup of tea. So on October 28th, 2018 – I deactivated all of my accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
My Breaking Point
I have to be honest, I felt super conflicted about taking a social media hiatus for quite some time. Before I became a blogger, I actually wouldn’t have thought twice about doing so. But, since launching my blog and releasing my novels in 2017, I felt that was no longer an option. For some reason, I kept feeling the pressure to keep up with other influencers and be seen. I feared that if I wasn’t constantly posting, sharing, or interacting with my followers, I’d be forgotten. I’d scroll other feeds and feel inadequate, like I wasn’t doing enough, or doing things right. Nonetheless, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being uninspired that I knew all too well. Frustrated with myself, I finally had enough and decided to go “black”. I had no clue as to when I would return.
As soon as I chucked the deuces up to my social media, I felt a huge weight lifted from my chest. Suddenly, I felt like I could breathe a little easier, had more time to focus on myself, and could just get back to simply being me. Believe it or not – I did just that. I began focusing more on my own personal growth, developed healthier eating habits, and have made some lifestyle changes that I’m extremely proud of (stay tuned for those posts!). During that time, people that have followed me started reaching out to check on me, send their kind words, and tell me how much they missed my posts on a nearly daily basis. It was a complete surprise! I couldn’t grasp that others cared so much.
What I Learned
At the beginning of this post, I said that “Social media is what you make it.” For a long time, I had forgotten that simple notion. But it’s so true! I can choose to use social media to my benefit. Like as a tool to learn and draw inspiration from others, and interact/foster relationships with my followers. Or, on the other hand, I can be consumed by what everyone else is (or isn’t) doing, focus on mindless drama and gossip, or waste my days being hung up on what I don’t have or should be doing better. Either way – I’m in control of how I use my platform and what I put my energy into. So when I reactivated my accounts on December 7th, 2018, I had two key rules: (1) always be true to myself (2) never stop having fun.
I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has struggled with social media and the many woes/pressures that may come with it. And I definitely don’t have all the answers when it comes to balancing your happiness and not falling down the negative slippery slope that is ever present on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But I’m much more comfortable and confident in what I’m doing right now and I’m happy to help others with what I’ve learned. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Set boundaries – I think it’s good practice to limit how much time you spend on your social apps. I used to check my social media as soon as I woke up and until I went to bed each day. Now I refuse to do so.
- Be more present in the moment – It’s ok to put your phone down and just enjoy what’s going on around you. You’d be surprised at how much free time you’ll have when you’re not glued to your phone.
- Remember everything that glitters isn’t gold – Often times, many of us feel ourselves competing with people that are FRAUDING! Yeah I said it. When it comes to the net, you never will know what’s real or not. So just just focus on yourself and being better than you were yesterday. (Check out my thoughts on that here).
Have you ever taken a break from social media? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your story!