Selfies. Hashtags. Filters. Snap stories. Followers. Retweets. Likes.
Isn’t it crazy to think these words — most of which did not exist when we were first brought into our world — now consume so much time in our daily lives?
Social media is a curious thing. Wonderful, sure, with the power to do real good. But it is also mesmerizing, almost hypnotizing.
Don’t get me wrong; I love social media as much as the next person. It’s ability to allow us to live in real time, to be constantly connected to the entire world around us, to share stories from one corner of the globe to the other, to keep us informed of virtually anything and everything, to help us stay in touch and reconnect with family and friends far far away… it’s amazing.
But lately I’ve found myself checking social media more than I’m interacting with real people. Every spare second I get, I automatically turn to my phone, without even thinking I scroll through Instagram posts, watch the highlight reels of my friends via Snapchat, check up on the world via Twitter.
I’d check and re-check every few minutes as if something terrible would happen if I missed even just one post.
I tell myself it’s how I keep in touch. I like to know what my friend are doing. I like to know what the major news outlets are tweeting about the latest happenings of the election. It’s important to be connected. I need as much information I can get.
But I have felt it over these past few weeks starting to consume me.
Perhaps it has to do with where I’m at in life right now. I won’t deny I’m vulnerable, stuck between two phases of life, trying tirelessly to find myself with no real idea yet of where I’m headed. I’m confused, situated between fear and passion, between dreams and reality.
So I turn to social media to create a facade. I live my life through the lenses of others, finding pleasure in the happiness they post — real or fake, it all seems better to me than my current reality. And I find validation through my posts.
I pretend it’s all okay, that I’m okay, that I have it all together.
But it’s not, I’m not, I don’t. It’s taken me sometime to allow myself to acknowledge this, because in this world we don’t have time to seem weak.
This is me saying: I am weak. But I know that strong, passionate, determined girl is in me somewhere.
So — I’m taking this time to unplug myself from the outlets I’ve allowed my reality to succumb. I’m not cutting cold turkey, because I really do believe social media can be good. But in my life it was becoming too much, distracting me from who I really am.
So instead of turning to Instagram #motivation when I’m feeling down, I’ll turn to what I really need — self affirmation. Being able to make ourselves happy is, I think, the key to living a truly happy life.