We are one of the most recent generations exposed to social media on a daily basis. Most of us wake up, check Instagram, Snap-chat, Twitter, etc. and that is just a norm today. That used to be a norm for me as well. But, I decided to make a drastic change in my social life which I know will impact the future for me. Personally, I began noticing I was very co-dependent to my cell phone as I would wait for certain individuals to text me back or even notice me. I would stay up late at night just waiting for the snap-chat ding* or the text buzz. I was going crazy and in a super unhealthy state. At the end of the day, I knew in the back of my mind something was not right and change needed to happen. My Instagram account didn’t help as well, I would post pictures and photo-shoots with my friends and be upset and angry when I didn’t get to 100 likes, or 200. I mean, I had 1,000 followers… you would think that people would like me more.
I also experienced toxic cyber-bullying, most of my peers who followed me on Instagram we’re not even my close friends or didn’t even know who I was. I was living in this parallel that everything was fine even though it was not fine. The relationships I was having with friends were not even real as I was so focused on getting attention online, I even went to the extreme of taking my emotional pain out on the internet, and I was so focused on the lie of the “perfect life” that the internet has promised me by agreeing to the terms and conditions on Instagram. So, at this point in my life, I knew I was upset and scrolling through Instagram was not helping. I wanted real friends, not ones over screens that were somewhat meaningless.
Throwing caution into the wind, I deleted snap-chat and Instagram and took a walk outside. Honestly, it was relaxing and a bit weird. Not having people view your story or DM you every 10-15 mins felt relaxing in an unusual way. But this also gave me a huge benefit as I used to spend 7-8 hours a day on my phone just SCROLLING. I mean come on, that is a huge distraction. With deleting these apps, I can focus on my studies, help work on meaningful relationships with people face-to-face, and honestly, sleep better. Social media is addicting, and if this is “quitting cold turkey”, I’m glad I did it.
I challenge everyone who is reading this to take a break from social media. I am not saying to delete your Instagram or Snap-chats: but to take a break for a day. Put your phone on airplane mode for a weekend maybe , put your phone down for a day and go outside, read a book, go hangout with people who truly love you most.
At the end of the day, what is more meaningful, texting someone or talking to someone face-to-face?