June: Social Media
No social media for a whole month….what was that like? It was…refreshing.
I was a tad nervous about deleting social media from my life for a whole month. My addiction to it was getting slightly out of hand. Not only was I scrolling through Instagram during every free moment, but I was beginning to see the world through everyone else’s eyes. I would look at a moment for how it would be received by the public rather than just taking it in. I know – disgusting. I knew it was something I needed to pump the brakes on, so I took it to the extreme and deleted it for the month.
The first day of no social media was kind of tough. I found myself reaching for my phone when I was waiting in line or stopped at a red light or about to go to sleep and then putting it back down because I had no use for my phone without social media. But after the first day, I really didn’t miss it. I didn’t even really notice it was gone – which was a definite surprise. I thought I was going to really struggle through the month of June, but it was breeze (a very light, refreshing breeze!).
So here’s what I’ve concluded after the month:
When we get wrapped up in social media, we look at every moment as a sharable moment.
I got to experience a lot of cool things in the month of June. It was a great month – maybe even one of the best! And it took me a while to get used to not viewing every experience as a moment to capture and share. As soon as I weaned myself off of that, I began to be truly present and fully experience the vibrant life around me. For once, I didn’t feel like I was experiencing something with a group of people. I could just be there and soak it in.
One of the reasons it was a pretty cool month was getting to go to Bonnaroo for the first time. There are many amazing reasons why the experience was one of the best times of my life, but I have to attribute some of it to being free of social media. Bonnaroo was 100% out of my comfort zone, but I embraced it and leaned in to everything it had to offer. I attended concerts that blew my mind. I’d never even heard of some of these artists, but they made me fall in love with live music again. I went to an EDM concert and LOVED IT (bet you can’t picture that one!). I laid down under the stars and listened to a Tom Petty Tribute show with new friends that heightened all of my Bonnaroo senses. I slept on the back lounge of a bus where all I had was a paper towel roll for a pillow. I had the time of my life, and I did it all without any of you watching! I love you all, but some things are only meant to be experienced first-hand.
Don’t forget that social media is a quest for validation.
Social media is full of our most fabulous moments. I’m not going to post an ugly picture of me or a picture of me doing something mundane like taking out the trash. I went grocery shopping with my sister the other day and decided to take a picture of her reaching for a bag of chips because these are the moments we don’t capture. They aren’t glamorously shareable. Taking the picture felt weird because there was no reason for me to capture the moment. It was a normal, unsharable moment. I’m okay with social media being a display of our finest moments as long as we are aware that that’s what it is. What we choose to post is going to be our most flattering moments. As long as we keep in mind that we are simply looking at everyone’s highlight reel of life, then we won’t get caught up in thinking our lives are boring or not as good as that girl with the good filters.
And the last point I concluded is that none of us actually want social media in our lives. Apparently, 71% of millennials have already taken a social media hiatus. If you all deleted it from your life, I think you would feel the same thing I did – “eh, I could take it or leave it.” But here’s the thing – We won’t permanently delete it from our lives because FOMO (fear of missing out – I had to explain this one to my dad the other day and he loves to use it now). Social media is a necessary evil. I 100% believe that if we all decided to get rid of social media, none of us would miss it. But because the rest of the world is doing it, we are going to do it, too.
The month of June ended 5 days ago and I just couldn’t bring myself to integrate it back into my life. Each day, I would plan on opening the apps and just couldn’t do it. Dreading the way it will seep back into my every moment, I held off as long as I could. Tonight, I’m really going to do it. My hope is that I’ll be able to integrate social media back into my life while keeping it at a healthy distance.
Thanks for reading,