here that I was giving up social media for a week, and 7 days later I'm here to tell you what I learned.
For the past week, I haven’t used any social media. This means no Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube, and Bloglovin. I did this because I have been finding myself too wrapped up in the digital world, and I needed some space to clear my head. I realized I was becoming that person with their phone out all the time. I was beginning to spend more time looking at what other people created online instead of actually creating. I was looking for validation in the form of numbers and likes and followers when all that really matters is if I like what I am doing. I always swore I would never become one of those people who lives their life through a screen but that’s exactly what was beginning to happen. So I decided to give it up for a week. And it was incredible.
I carried a book with me everywhere so I would pull that out if I was bored or waiting. In the evenings after I had made dinner and done homework, I would normally open my laptop and see what was happening online. Instead I pulled out a journal I hadn’t used in a year and began to write. I fell asleep reading a book instead of scrolling through my phone. I woke up feeling peaceful because I wasn’t starting my day by seeing what was going on in social media. I found the time to give my room a deep cleaning, something I had been telling myself to do for months. I felt so much lighter, both because I had gotten rid of so many of my belongings and because I just had time to be with my thoughts. The loneliness that I at first felt without the constant stream of notifications and updates quickly transformed into a peaceful stillness that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
My week without social media showed me what was good and bad. Things like Pinterest and Youtube are great because I go to them for inspiration- I just have to make sure I use them in moderation and don’t let them stop me from actually creating. But I realized it was other social media like Instagram and Snapchat that were just not putting me in a good headspace when I used them. Both because I was comparing myself to other people and because I was using them to somehow validate that I was “living”. Instagram especially was just leaving me with bad vibes,- I was tired of other people’s contrived photos to prove their life was cool and I was tired of feeling the urge to post pictures to prove I too was living an exciting life. I’ve decided that now I’m going to approach Instagram in a different way- I will only follow the people that really inspire me or who I actually want to see their posts, and I will only use it if it is coming from a place of wanting to simply share a beautiful moment or something creative- not use it if I am just trying to prove that I’m “living”. Because I’m not truly living if other people have to see what I was doing for it to matter.
After this past week, I have decided to make some changes. I’m going to spend less of my time looking through the internet at what other people created and more time doing the creating myself. I’m not going to rely on numbers or likes for validation. I’m going to live as authentically as possible, and not have to use #liveauthentic to prove that I am.