I'm finally off of my one-month social media break.
It was a glorious month, let me tell you.
Sure, there were many occasions in which my curiosity threatened to have me open an app or two, but my perseverance allowed me to put it away and focus on why I made the decision to stay off social media in the first place.
I've never had a great relationship with social media. I was late to the scene when Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter became necessities on one's phone. I never saw the obsession with followers, likes, and creating one perfectly picturesque "aesthetic" that's supposed to describe oneself.
I'm the kind of girl who goes the opposite direction when something is trending or popular. And in this case, it was social media, particularly Instagram.
It's been a love/hate sort of relationship all along. I thought at the beginning that it was supposed to symbolize sharing photos of you and your life, what you had for dinner, what your cat was up to.
I think it was, at the beginning, intended for photo sharing, but it's now turned into this multi-billion dollar company that thrives on marketing, ads, and cultivating this niche where anyone can be someone.
Popularity can dictate fame. Likes equal dollars. The right filters and the proper editing, coupled with accurate timing and powerful hashtags have the ability to put you on the world's stage. And trending!
What irks me more though, is that this platform encourages our obsession with image. Unfortunately, that's a side effect that comes alongside our advances in technology, and is often hard to challenge, especially when it's so relevant in our lives.
I could go on and on about my stance with social media, but how is that doing anything to change what already is?
That's where my social media break comes into play. I know I don't have the power to change this industry that is obviously succeeding on image, but I have the power to make change within myself.
I don't think I've ever gotten a positive vibe whenever I've logged on/off Instagram, or any social media. It's hard to explain, but I'm left either feeling not good enough, wondering why not as many people liked my photo, or I continuously perseverate over thinking that my hand looks like a claw in a photo, nit-picking original photos for their lack of perfection.
And I'm a bad arse chick with classy confidence! So for me to admit that I feel this way is a big step in my personal change.
I feel that surely there are other people out there like me with similar stances on social media, maybe not those particular reasons, but it could be comparison, harassment, or low self-esteem. Whatever the reason may be, the simple solution that has worked for me, has been taking a break.
It's simple: you delete your social media apps. And I'm telling you, it's liberating.
With all this spare time on your hands that would otherwise be spent staring down at your phone, you have the opportunity to see the world not through your screen, but through fresh eyes.
I am lucky enough to live in a place that blooms on the idea of simple living, and one's connection with nature, so it's been accommodating to me, but anyone can do it with the right mindset.
It's healing and it really does remind you of all the things out there one neglects when spending so much time obsessing about your marketed online persona: like reading, writing, hauling wood with your dad, watching basketball, shopping with your mom, and yes, even napping!
It's my personal stand, but I hope that someone out there will feel compelled to take that stand with me, if it moves them as much as I.
I was disconnected from social media for a month, but I ended up having a better "connection" with myself without it.