I Deactivated My Social Media for Two Weeks and Never Felt Better
Warning: The following may be in an insecure tone
Engagements, new jobs, condos, and babies flooded my Instagram and Facebook timeline for the longest. Being in my mid-20s, it all seems fast to me, but that’s a different story. I’m not even someone who wants to get engaged or pregnant right now. I’m 25, recently employed, and still live with my mother (I love you, mom). So going through my timeline every day really made me feel like I lacked accomplishment. I felt like all of my following were 100 steps ahead of me, while I’m catching my breath trying to keep up.
“Showing off your newest car, handbag, watch, condo, or remote island beach house is no longer considered vain, shallow, or superficial. It’s now considered lucrative.” — S.A. Osborne
Engagements and babies are meaningful, so they should be posted. But, S.A Osborne proves how shallow social media can get. Not to criticize or attack anyone, but social media reminds me of L.A. — everyone is so desperate to be seen, and that is just the truth. It is an environment of people competing with one another on who’s life appears to be better than the next person. Users do it for opportunity, like the fact that influencers have to do it for money. But the ones, who aren’t influencers, flaunt for personal reasons. Social media is a space to show off, and prove to people that he or she is doing well in life. So posting materialistic things is a way of surviving on it. It lacks authenticity, but why do I still let it mess with my self-esteem?
I stopped feeling attractive. I mean, who’s going to post a bad picture of themselves? But everyone just seems so perfect on social media — the beautifully done makeup, flashy outfits, glamorous settings, and perfectly done hair. The quality of the picture comes out crystal clear, not one pixel in sight. Then boom, 300 likes in two hours. I posted selfies and got a decent amount of likes and a whole bunch of heart eyes comments. But when I looked at a new post from a friend or influencer, I felt stupid as hell about my picture. The quality of my photo looked like shit, and I noticed multiple imperfections in my face.
Also, I’m diagnosed with FOMO (fear of missing out). Social media made the condition worse. The past year, I laid low and stayed in, most weekends. I went out sporadically. But for the most part, I’ve stayed in. I’m an extravert, so I love going out. But between figuring out my stomach issues and not having too many friends in my area, I stayed in a lot, this year. So looking on social media and seeing everyone out, every weekend, made me feel like the biggest loser. However, the times I’ve gone out, and I’ve always done this, I have an incredible time until looking on social media. I assumed everyone had a better time than I did, which really screwed my head up.
I know everyone else can relate to this next reason, and this is pretty much phones in general, but I stopped knowing how to genuinely deal with quiet and awkward situations. In a silent elevator ride with a stranger or being at a party with people I didn’t know, my safe haven was to scroll through timelines, instead of dealing with the situation and feeling the environment out.
Another reason I needed to get rid of it, because my inner Joe from the show, You came out. I couldn’t stop stalking my ex. I checked his likes on Twitter and Instagram photos. Then I went to his tagged photos on Instagram to see if a girl tagged him in a picture. I tried his Facebook, too. But we were not friends, so there was only so much I could see. I sound psychotic, I know. I hope I didn’t lose y‘all, yet. But don’t worry, the last time I went through his social media, I realized I hit rock bottom. So I pressed the deactivate button for all three platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
It’s only been two weeks now, but I honestly feel so much better. I enjoyed my Halloween weekend without comparing it to others. I‘ve been writing and reading more, like I need to be doing. Instead of having the urge to press one of the apps, because I can’t anymore, I go to Medium, Wordpress, Black Enterprise, Buzzfeed, and etc. I’m way less distracted now, when I need to get my writing done.
Remember the days when social media was healthy? I miss MySpace these days. You were only able to use MySpace, when you were physically using a laptop or desktop. So when you were out, you weren’t on it. MySpace gave us the opportunity to connect with others online, while still having to be social and present, in person.
Or even decades before MySpace, during our parents generation things were healthier. No one then, knew what anyone was up to after high school. The only way they would find out is at reunions. Something about this generation, knowing exactly what everyone is up to after high school or people out of their lives in general, just doesn’t sit right with me.
Social media is still a great opportunity, creatively and financially. So, because I just got hired for a job in sales, I have to be back on for research and networking. But it strictly just has to be for networking and posting my content. I won’t use it to post my own personal life or see what anyone else is up to. I’m going to have stricter rules, now- social media will only be used as a 9–5, so no nights or weekends. It will be a job and used to get information.