I’ve been doing this thing where I delete my Instagram app for a couple days at a time to give myself a break from aimlessly scrolling through other peoples lives. I deleted my Snapchat app permanently and I only use my Facebook for our community watch page. I take breaks during the week. On the weekend I allow myself to redownload the app. Or if I am really “bored”, I will download the app for a day or two during the week. When you find yourself knee deep in the explore page of someones account you’ve never heard of, but are meticulously judging or admiring their life– I think it is time for an intervention. I am actually doing very well with doing, what I like to call “intermittent social media detoxing”. & to be honest most of the time I don’t miss keeping track of other peoples lives.
There are a couple reasons why I have decided that this is a good idea to try out.
Besides the wormhole I often find myself sucked into that I mentioned above. I often read blogs or even social media posts of people admittedly saying that they only post the good stuff, the perfect curation of their lives best aspects. I mean, I am pretty guilty of that, if I’m honest. My life is mostly swell and I am usually always doing something that I want to document. But, for instance, I haven’t publicly shared anything about my miscarriage last month. So, in reality no one knows about the emotionally suffering I went through over the past couple of months. To be fair, I did make a cryptic post after going hiking with a girlfriend about clearing my mind and mentioning, “this too shall pass”. I have honestly gone back & forth in my head one hundred times about whether to post my story to my Instagram or not. I am stuck between wanting to show some more realness in my life & to hopefully to reach someone going through the same thing or I can’t decide if it is worth exposing my emotional vulnerability.
Recently it has been clear that many people don’t show the raw and real stuff that they are actually going through on a daily basis. With that being the case, if I am in a particularly low mood one week, I find myself becoming envious of these people who aren’t even being real and aren’t showing us a realistic image of their lives. I am aware enough to know that this isn’t healthy. Consistently doing things that aren’t healthy leads us down a path that is not good, I am sure we all know that much.
Another reason I like to partake in this intermittent social media detox is because more recently I have found that the people I actually care about aren’t the ones who are posting pictures. So, essentially I am scrolling through bullshit from people I either a. don’t know or b. haven’t seen or actually talked to since high school (it’s been 9 years). To sum it up, I am filling up my free time and brain space with people I don’t even know or like. This is what made me realize how silly social media can be and how silly a lot of us are being while using it. I was getting sick of seeing the girl I met at a mutual friends party one time and connected with, literally post multiple pictures per day along with a whole story of every single meaningless thing she did that day– which always happens to the be the same thing she does every day– not to mention half of the pictures are “throw backs” and not even really what is going on in her life at the moment (this is just one example, not individual calling her out). I personal believe there becomes a point when you are over sharing because maybe you are missing something in your life that is leading you to broadcast these events to the whole planet. Or maybe that is just our generation. We really haven’t known a life without social media.
Another point which needs no further explanation — social media is down right, fucking addicting.
I will say that I am not completely against Instagram and social media. One thing I do like about social media is being able to look back on my posts. I like the nostalgia of remembering that snapshot in time. I post things that are significant to me. I am not one (anymore) who posts just to see how man likes I can get. This is another iffy subject– those people on social media posting shit solely for the likes– we all know why you posted that picture don’t act like we are so naive. I do like being able to scroll back through my own page at any point in time and go down memory lane. Social media can be the perfect digital photo album.
Of course it is also nice to share what is going on in my life with friends and family that aren’t always available to spend time with. I have found that being away from from social media has led to me slightly feeling out of the loop. Or maybe it is a feeling of potentially being out of the loop. What if my friends announce they are finally pregnant? What if one of the few people I follow that I actually like gets engaged? I will miss this moment and then feel like an asshole for not congratulating them. The other day it was one of my co workers birthdays and I had no idea until 2 days later when I logged back into my Instagram– it is the little things like that where social media plays a positive role in our lives. This also makes it a sad thing. We can’t even reach out to people personally to share our exciting news– the only way we can find out most things these days is through social media or word of mouth after it has been posted on social media. Don’t get me wrong I have been just as bad at sharing news this way. I have gone on to recognize these patterns and decide I want to make a change in my ways.
I feel good. My brain feels less cluttered. I feel better about what I am doing and what I have to offer the world. I don’t feel as sub-par as I typically do after spending hours of my day processing information from other peoples lives. I don’t think I will be able to give up Instagram and social media permanently but a lil’ detox never hurt nobody!