I have always had this strange love/hate relationship with social media…
Since the days of Myspace and IM, I would repeatedly go on random little vacations away from the world of altered photos and ‘status updates’. But I would always get sucked back in.
It is addicting, and honestly I would always feel like shiitake after.
I would spend valuable time comparing my life, body, hobbies, and career to others, and half the time these “others” weren’t even people who I socialized with or who cared about my well-being. I always felt like I could be doing more, doing better, or just doing something else. I didn’t even acknowledge the positive things I had going on in my own life, because I was so focused on the ‘great things’ everyone else on the internet was doing.
Everyone always puts their best foot forward on social media. I know I always did. No one posts that they didn’t get the job they wanted, or snaps a selfie mid-allergy cold/just woke up/bad hair day/just cried over American-Idol/bad spray tan. But these are all normal moments in life, so comparing yourself to other people on social media is unrealistic and impossible to live up to.
There have been studies done on the negative affects social media has on one’s mood and well-being. I am no expert, but I have seen the affects in my own life. Which is why I chose to disconnect…completely. Cold turkey.
It wasn’t easy. Sadly, there were many times that I picked up my phone to check Facebook or Instagram out of boredom and habit. Eventually I grew used to not relying on social media to fill up awkward silences or late-night boredom, and as a result I began to have more time to read, my sleep improved, my happiness improved, and my overall mindset about my life and my decisions changed for the better. It sounds extreme, but it is amazing what disconnecting myself from social media did for my happiness and health.
My decision to disconnect from social media is entirely personal, and I did what I felt was best for myself as an individual. I do see the benefits of social media, such as networking, connecting with old friends/family, and exchanging new and thought-provoking information.
As with everything, there are the pros-and-cons.