I took a break from social media for a while. I began to realize that part of my life had been reduced to selfies, hashtags and countless post about my personal life.
I wanted to write and share this blog post because after, my existence on social media will be limited and mostly blog related only. Rather anyone reads it or not, writing is what I enjoy doing whenever I feel like doing it. It is my release of the thoughts that often plague my mind.
I’ve always been an open book but recently a life event changed me. It changed my thought process. It shook me to the core and it opened my eyes to a lot of things. I actually despise Facebook (BookFace as I learned from a wise friend of mine) and what it has done to society, or rather what we have allowed it to do. Political drama, videos loaded with viruses that get shared millions of times (then people complain they got hacked or a virus…so stop clicking and sharing what you don’t know), memes of only God knows what, distasteful comments, arguments with strangers, warnings of deleting people (always makes me laugh…like are you going to zap them from earth too?), tacky photos of people who need to learn the word modesty, people who just troll you and never ‘speak’ to you or like a post or even engage….that’s so weird. Creepy actually. Sharing photos of shaming your child, which by the way is pretty shitty so stop it. God gave us our children to love so stop telling the world when they are not in their best moments. Are you willing to share a photo of you in one of your fits? Yeah, that is what I thought. So stop. The list just goes on and on. It’s all so daunting. It’s a debacle of what society has become. I am pretty sure there is someone out there on my social media page (maybe even a blog reader) who sees my post and rolls their eyes. What works for one, doesn’t work for others. Right? Now hear me when I say this….I don’t think I am any better than anyone else. I do group myself in the entire social media illness as well. And it is an illness. An addiction of curiosity, inquisitive, nosy and boredom that has ruined our lives. Yes, I’m talking to you too. Step on your toes? No worries. I got mine stepped on too (and it crushed me) and it woke me up. It made me take notice…a long, hard notice.
As I logged back into my account after a two-week break, nothing changed. I take that back. I changed. It was even more depressing to log on and scroll. After about 30 seconds I just stopped scrolling and logged out. I cringed at the fact how we have all become so careless with our precious lives. Post after post of negative, whining and complaining about God knows what. Not happy with the service you got? Post it. Mad that someone cut you off in the express lane? Post it. Got drunk and showed yourself to the world? Yep…post that one too with morning after regrets. Break up, got a new one, mad at the one you got? Post it. We, as a society have given new meaning to the word Post it notes. Not all shared things are so bad but if you really stop and look at it, most of it is a waste of time and honestly, no one really cares. They really don’t. It is just a way to ‘pass time’. Time that you, me, your kids, your spouse, your colleagues…everyone waste it scrolling, posting and snapping.
The Facebook app, along with other social media apps have been deleted off my phone for almost three weeks now. Can I just tell you how that my battery last 500x longer than before. I’m not on my phone anywhere near as much. Sometimes, I don’t even take it out of my purse or bag. I have learned not to care so much about the phone and who is posting what, than I care about living in the moment I am in. Having direct, eye to eye conversation with someone who is as interested in talking to me as I am to them. I can’t stand for someone to talk to me and text someone at the same time or have ear buds in. I was guilty of that at one time. When I begin to take notice of it in the last few weeks, it drives me crazy now. I just walk away because whatever you have to say to me, if it’s important, you will come to me face to face, undistracted and ready to have a conversation. If you bring out your phone again and do the same thing, I will again walk away. I am over this fiasco of what we call ‘interaction’.
For some, the social media scene has become what defines them. Deny all you want but to some of you, this is you. It was me. I denied it too. Then I seen what it was doing to society. Young girls feel they must have the perfect photo and pressure themselves into an even deeper sadness of false self-esteem. Young men are more addicted to porn than ever before due to the easy accessibility with just a click. Our youth today are more exposed to porn and have the ability, thanks to social media to even post their own sexual content through private, second accounts. High schoolers are posting photos of drug use, fights, filthy talk to their elders and the list goes on. Toddlers are placed in a seat with a digital movie, game or book while the parent sticks their own face in some form of an electronic device. All they know is to swipe. Hold tight because the day they swipe the wrong thing, is the day they can’t turn back because you can’t un-see what you have seen and guess what? You are the one who taugh them.
So what is this urgency of having instant gratification? Why have we become a society who have downgraded the gift of human interaction. It’s truly on the edge of extension. Don’t believe me? The next time you are in a crowd of people, put your phone away and just watch. You will begin to see and feel the sadness of every head bowed and I can guarantee you that they are not praying. Eye to eye contact. Speaking properly to work out conflicting issues. Having respect for others privacy. Dinner with no electronics at the table. Enjoying an event with no phones. Why are we so programmed now, to be so embedded in others lives? What are we seeking? Who are we trying to keep up with and the biggest question is why can’t we disconnect? What’s the deep connection to disconnecting? I’ll tell you what it all boils down to. It’s selfishness, self-absorbed and it’s scary. All of it. Agree, disagree. It’s the reality of a digital addiction and we are all feeding the dealer.
So by now you may be asking, “What are you doing? Writing a blog is part of social media so why are you doing it?” Yep. It sure is but what I have learned is a simple method my mama uses for losing weight. She says to just back away from the table and get a smaller spoon. Mama is always right. Always. The same concept applies to our social media addictions. We back away from the phones, the laptops, iPad and so on because those are our ‘tables’ and we just get smaller desires (spoons) to engage. It’s refreshing for me and it’s easy once you learn to live again.
Recently someone approached me and said, ‘I haven’t seen you on Facebook lately’ and I swear I wanted to cringe. I felt like being sarcastic and saying ‘Oh yeah…now you have to have a real, human interaction with me and we are forced to actually talk’. Rolling my eyes here. I am thinking to myself at this moment that it is sad that people can’t engage properly in person but they can engage through the internet better. Put the damn phones down and go see someone. Call them up. Don’t text them for an hour when a simple phone call would do. Make plans and get back to living. Say what you want but the reason depression, suicide and addictions are on the rise is because we have become a society that keeps our noses in social media…constantly. We don’t get out there and truly interact with others so no wonder we can’t recognize the signs. We don’t engage personally enough to even know there is a difference. When something happens, then we are all shocked and THEN we POST IT to be a friend, tell someone you love them, take notice. I call BS on it. Be there in person people…be engaging and LIVE LIFE.
Benefits Of Less Social Media
- More Free Time – Instead of checking to see what everyone else is up to, I am keeping up with me, myself and mine.
- Clarity – Discovering your true interest without comparing it to a constant stream of others ideas.
- More Productive – The kicker. I get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time. That quick glance no longer turns into an hour of wasted time of likes, shares and scrolling.
- Inspiring – Without social media, I am more inspired to simplify other areas of my life as well
- You Truly Reconnect – Once you disengage from social media, you begin to have a deeper meaning of reconnecting with the people around you.
- Freeing – I think social media can be just like any other addiction. It binds you, strangles you and weighs you down. Walking away from it, disconnecting is so freeing and you will feel like you can breathe again.
- Sleep – How many times do you say you are going to bed, only to go to bed with your phone next to you? You pick it up, say you are going to check one thing and then before you know it, it’s 2am and you are still scrolling, messaging, reading, shopping or whatever it is you do. Lay the phone away from the bed. Across the room. Go to bed and mean it. Sleep is important and it improves your quality of life.
As I end this blog post, I want to tell you that there is not one thing wrong with using social media occasionally. Why do you need five to seven different sites and apps on your phone? All those passwords…ugh. All that information. It’s too much. If you are on it all the time, always facebooking, snap-chatting your life story, Instagram or what other app you use to your benefit (or not), then I urge you to let it go. Let it go and live your life without telling the world your every move. I promise you that once you begin to do that, you will see how much you are really missing and the moments you are truly missing aren’t on social media.
Peace, Love & Hugs