Hey, Strangers… well, it’s really me that’s been a stranger. My last blog post was on February 14th, 2017. So you’re probably wondering where I’ve been for the last month and a half. If you’re not that’s cool too, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
I’ve been on a social media detox. Sometime in mid-February, I found myself feeling less than a lot of the time. My college career was about three weeks away from ending, the thoughts of my last semester of college consistently weighed on me, the job hunt was and still is brutal, and worst of all, everyone’s life on social media looked amazing.
Instagram is definitely my favorite social media platform. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and outside of video, I believe it’s the best way to capture moments. But with that said, Instagram was becoming toxic for me. I would scroll-and-scroll, looking at the awesome pictures of people, getting updates on their lives, and then subconsciously comparing them to me.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but Instagram and all social media are highlight reels of people’s lives. You can’t compare your ever day to their better or best day. But of course, I did it anyways.
I’m not sure if this happens to others, but because this is the year of many endings for me (i.e. college, college athletics, etc.) sometimes I find myself thinking, “Did I live it right? Did I make the most of all of my opportunities? Did I squeeze the life out of these past four years?” In some cases, I answer no and for various reasons, one of which being, comparison. Again, I would compare my college and basketball experiences to others and assume that because we all had different experiences mine had to be wrong.
Well, here is a piece of advice. There is no right way to live life, do college, etc. You are on your own journey, and so is everyone else. So with that realization in mind, I ultimately nixed social media for as long as I’ve been away from my blog. Well, I kept Pinterest and YouTube because I find Pinterest to be inspirational, and I don’t know how I’d live without YouTube, but outside of that everything else had to go.
The first few days were hard. I would pick up my phone and go to those apps just to find that they weren’t there anymore. I had either deleted them or logged out. By day four, it was like I never had social media in the first place. I loved it! I had more time on my hands, I could focus on me instead of the lives of others, and I got a chance to know myself better instead of comparing myself to other. I know it sounds cliche but it’s true.
It’s crazy what can happen when you’re not always checking up on people that you know, don’t know, secretly envy or even dislike. It’s crazy what happens when you’re not secretly plotting your next post on Instagram (I have been guilty of this in the past) or pretending to live a life you don’t actually live.
Now that I have my social media back, I feel like a lot has changed. I get on Instagram, once every two days… maybe, which is a significant improvement from 10+ times a day. I barely get on Twitter, unless of course there is a major event happening (an awards show, sporting event, etc.). In that case, Twitter becomes my go to. I get on Facebook just to check sometimes. I was never big on Snapchat. There is something about people knowing my exact location in real time that freaks me out. For all other social media, I probably don’t use it considering I can’t remember it now. With all of this said, my quality of life has improved tremendously!
I don’t want you to walk away thinking that you need to go on a social media detox to see life improvement. Though the results from my detox were great and I highly recommend it, that was my situation. I do recommend that you evaluate your social media habits and the value you put on the content you see.
Make sure your habits are healthy. Make sure you’re not comparing yourself, and that you realize people are showing you their best days. Most importantly, make sure you know that you’re freaking amazing, bring something different to the table than everyone else and that social media will never be able to fully capture or define that in a single post, feed, or account.
You’re on your own journey in life, so don’t allow social media to make you second guess if you’re doing it right. With that said, happy posting peeps! If you feel so compelled, comment down below any social media detox experiments you have done, if you plan to do one, and anything else you might want to add.
Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.