The lists of pros and cons of social media seems to go on and on in constant competition. I’m not going to bother making that list because it would be completely unnecessary – we’ve all made and heard the justifications ourselves. I recently “purged” of most of my social media and I really only use Instagram consistently now. I wasn’t sure it would make a difference – but it did.
I will spare you of the long story that pushed me to deleting all of the social apps on my phone. The short version is that I was feeling constantly distracted and scatterbrained, not to mention the weird self-inflicted pressure I felt to document & post every little thing that happened. Late one night I was completely fed up and deleted everything. For the next three weeks it felt wonderful to be able to say “I have no idea what you’re talking about” in response to someone asking about a viral video or pop culture reference. When friends asked “oh my gosh – did you see what so and so posted last night?!” I could honestly say I had no idea. And in that moment, I realized it didn’t really matter to me anyway.
How freeing to not have to report to anyone. How freeing to not have to keep up with everyone else. What really shocked me was how foreign it seemed to the people around me. When I explained that I was taking a significant break from all social media I got such odd looks and reactions. It seemed as though almost no one understood my why. Which made me realize that so many of us just consume, consume, consume (and post, post, post) and don’t even think about the effects that social media has on our lives and relationships.
Does it leave us feeling drained and inadequate? Sometimes scrolling through the daily updates just causes frustration or envy. But how often does it leave us feeling empowered and encouraged, or whimsical and cheerful? Not as often in my experience.
Sometimes I feel silly for putting so much thought or effort into what I post on Instagram. Like I am wasting my time or like others are judging me for always trying to make my feed look pretty and happy. It’s true. Sometimes I do spend a little too much time. Sometimes people do give me a little grief. But it’s not a big deal to me anymore, because I’m no longer posting things or editing pictures to make someone else happy. I’m not trying to make my life look perfect, and I’m not trying to make anyone jealous. My goal is to bring a sense of joy and peace everywhere I have a sphere of influence and it just so happens that Instagram and Facebook are two of those places.
Our goal as humans should be to leave an impact, an impression, an essence – everywhere we go.
I want my essence to be happiness, and my goal is to leave the aroma of joy anywhere I can. I’ve always tried to hold tightly to my sense of naïveté because I feel it gives me a bit of an edge. The first thing I see is usually the best case scenario or the best side of a person. I love that about myself, even if I’m not always right. Sometimes my opinions seem naive or unrealistically happy. But I don’t care – because joy gives life.