I made the surprisingly effortless decision to remove social media from my personal life last week. It all came down to whether the time and energy I was spending on Facebook and Instagram was adding to or subtracting from my life at present. All signs pointed in one direction…
I don’t need to be ‘liked’ anymore.
You know how I feel about journaling – It’s my go-to in any time of change, confliction, and self-reflection. I dug into my feelings for letting go, my hesitations, and my reasons for holding on.
Here is the reality of the role social media has been playing in my life:
Social Media takes more from my life than it gives. Checking my phone, reading my feed, and scrolling through pictures has become habit. I do it mindlessly, compulsively, and without thought or intention. It is a distraction from my work, my present moment, my focus. My time and energy have become valuable to me, and how I choose to spend those things reflects that value.
It encourages comparison. It’s hard not to compare your life to the highlight reels featured on social media. And it’s hard to remember that what you see from others is only the best, only what they’re proud of, their accomplishments, and the snap shots of why their life is awesome. When all you see is the ‘filtered’ aspects of everyone’s life, how can you not start to feel down about the very unfiltered reality of your own? And even though I know all this to be true, I still, deep down, on some level, compare.
It takes presence and satisfaction away from the moment. Too often have I found that when I am doing something that I love, half of my attention is taken by photographing and thinking about how I will post this activity on social media. When I’m enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in nature, I feel like I need to share it. When I go out to eat, go on a date with my husband, explore somewhere new, or do something cool, I act on the belief that it isn’t cool unless everyone knows how cool it is. It didn’t happen unless it’s on Facebook. More and more, doing what I enjoy is not just about doing it, it’s about how I’ll look because I do it, what the ‘hive mind’ thinks about me, creating a certain image, and sharing my own highlight reel – instead of moving through life by what I think is awesome and being fully present for it.
It gives too much power to validation and approval. My success, my beauty, my accomplishments, and/or my life is not measured by how many ‘likes’ I get. I do not need to be validated for everything that I do. I am perfectly capable of measuring my own success, happiness, and self-esteem all by myself – and social media makes me forget that. It hurts self-esteem, it undermines my personal power, and it clouds my intentions.
It does not foster genuine relationships. If there was one reason to stay active on my personal pages, it was so that I can stay in touch with people, so can keep tabs on all the people that I love – especially those that live far away. But even though I see what all of you are doing, and posting, and how awesome your lives are, I don’t really reach out. We don’t really talk. I take our relationship for granted because I it seems like I interact with you every day. So maybe, since we’re not going to see each other on social media every day, we could get together over the phone, or even email, and have a real conversation. I’d love to hear about how awesome your life is, and I’d love to tell you about my own.
I am committing to a slower paced life. For me, living life more slowly is dependent upon limiting my interaction with technology. I am ready for patience, for presence, for taking in the fullness of every moment, and for practicing life without instant gratification. I’m choosing not to take part in the hustle and bustle anymore and I’m not staying busy to just to stay busy. I am committing to moving slowly, mindfully, and with presence and intention.
It is a response to my need for change. Honestly, something had to give. It had become clear to me that right now, I need to let go of a few things. Social Media was high on the list of what I just don’t have space in my life for right now.
You’ll still see my profile up, I need it to keep active with my business page. If you’re family, you may continue to see photos of my travels, or hear from me via Facebook.
I’m here, and I’d love to hear from you!
Want more inspiration and insight on Social Media? HERE is the video that gave me the final push.