Like most 22 year-olds, I use all the popular social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, but I never expected my innocent use of these platforms to turn into a detrimental addiction.
What started as a way to share moments of my daily life with friends, turned into an unhealthy way of measuring my self-worth. I began obsessing.
“Who liked my picture?”
“Why didn’t they like my picture?”
“How many likes am I getting”
“Who saw my story?”
“Did they think it was interesting?”
“Who opened my snap?”
“Why didn’t they answer”
“Who is looking at my profile?”
“Who unfollowed me?”
“Do I look good enough in my posts?”
“Would I get more likes if I looked better?”
I’d ask myself these questions at least once a day, and definitely every time I posted something to social media. The answers to these questions became all I’d think about. It came to a point when I knew that something had to change.
Since when had my presence on social media become more important and more valued than my personality, my integrity, and my intelligence? So I decided to take some time to live social media free and remind myself of what’s really important – and this is how it went.
Within an hour of logging out of all of my accounts, I went into an all-encompassing panic mode. I immediately wondered if I was making a mistake. I found myself thinking, “What if someone is trying to get a hold of me but can’t since I’m not going on? Will people forget about me? Should I just check quickly?” I’d open my phone to instinctively go check my social media accounts without even thinking about it, just to realize I had deleted the apps. I was so tempted to redownload the apps just to check quickly, but I knew I shouldn’t and I didn’t – until about 12 hours later.
Although what started as a week without social media, in reality, lasted a mere 24 hours, it was such an eye opener. I quickly realized how much of my day I was generally spending on social media, which was astounding. I spend more time looking at how other people are living their lives rather than living my own.
I also very, very quickly realized how much I was overusing these apps – especially SnapChat- I became a serial-snapper and an expert social media stalker, and I hadn’t even realized it. (To all those I serial snapped, my sincerest apologies.)
Although social media is a very apparent and popular part of today’s daily life, I think it’s important to take a step back every once and a while to reevaluate and refresh. We can all get so absorbed in this spiral of social media and its important to have a life outside of the social media world, to spend genuine moments with your friends and family – because those are the moments you will remember with the people you love, not the likes and comments you got on your most recent Instagram post.