The Reason I Quit...

I am a millennial with a handsome husband, an adorable toddler, my first house, and a DSLR. So why would I quit the largest platform that my generation uses to share their achievements?
Why did I quit social media? 

The first reason is the most personal. I became really disgusted with who I was as a person when I scrolled through my feed, I was either becoming envious of people and their lives as portrayed through various filters they chose or envious of the relationships that were displayed on my screen. I didn't like who I was becoming, a human being created in the image of Love, but horribly marred by jealousy. Since I made the choice to block out social media, and other people's stories, so much more peace has been allowed to flood into my soul. I feel as if there is only me, myself, and I in my brain. No others whispering "Jane had ice cream for lunch at the new place in town, what have you done today?" "Mary just spent her afternoon volunteering at the animal shelter, you're a failure." It takes every thing that I have accomplished during the day, be that dishes, laundry, or even just keeping up with Cubby and makes it feel worthless and inconsequential. Now that I don't compare myself to other people, my self esteem has grown. I wouldn't say that it's grown by leaps and bounds. But it's inching along.

Secondly, I didn't like the fact that social compels you to get more likes, more comments, reach more people, post more so your following can grow more. I didn't like the feeling that I HAD to post things. I didn't like the way it made me feel about myself or my actions. Some people might say, "Well wouldn't it be mentally healthier to learn self control? And keep social media but limit your time on it?" Perhaps, but for me, I think that quitting cold turkey and diminishing my addiction to the screen, and then eventually allow a little bit back at a time. 

I have also come to the realization how much smarter I feel, when I'm not on social media. I had two books, they were good sized books too. They were over 500 pages long each of them....actually more like 800 pages each. That length of book would have taken me, the old me, the pre-social media me, about a month to read. Give or take. But both of these books had been partially read for more than a year. They were just sitting on my shelves, practically begging me to get my head out of my phone, and just to pick them up and dive back into them. And I finally did. I deleted my social media presence and within a month of deletion, I finished not just one, but both of those books. It's absolutely brilliant what our minds can do when they aren't being slowly turned into vegetables, by blank white screens scrolling through and liking things. 

I feel so much smarter, I feel so much more alive, I've started blogging and writing again. I like that about me.  I like that a lot. And I want to see more of that person coming out and yeah I used to be an avid, -- I wasn't a book worm, I was a book dragon! Omg you could not keep me and books apart. And you know now that I've deleted social media, at night before bed, instead of scrolling through Instagram I am finishing books. Studies have clearly shown that you get so much better rest when you go to bed after being off screens. One study recommended at least 30 minutes of zero screen time before bed to ensure a better night's rest. And admittedly while I am not the best, at doing that, I mean I still have Pinterest and Youtube, but I definitely want to read more before I go to bed. And I have noticed that I'm feeling more rested in the past 4 months. 

Did you know that according to this study done, the average person spends almost TWO HOURS per DAY scrolling through social media. As a mother that number translates into, if my child napped for four solid hours a day, I could pretty much conquer the freaking world. But especially being a new mom, people aren't lying when they say you blink and you miss it. I don't want to be looking at other kids growing up, and miss seeing my own kid. I would look up and he would be in the middle of doing something completely new and I'd be like "OMG when did he learn to do that?!" and it's terrible. That's the worst feeling in the world as a mother, to think that you are missing something of your child. I'm glad I stopped now, because holy crap I don't want to be missing entire ball games because Im too busy live streaming them for the rest of the world to watch and here I am missing them. It's terrible but it's the truth. 

I love spending time with Alex as well. One our highest love languages is quality time. We have gone on more dates in the last 4 months  than ever before, he's so funny it makes me remember why I fell in love with HIM, instead of looking at all these other men in my feeds, showering their girlfriends or wives  gushing... to actually get  to spend time with my own guy and go omg he's actually a keeper. Screw John for getting roses, my baby just bought me cotton candy HECK YEAH. That's a true story actually. 

To top it all off there is less judgement or the feeling of possible judgement in my life. I firmly believe that words are power and that words, when placed or seen by certain people, can turn into ammunition against you, same with pictures, and captions, some people are out there to get you. And nothing you ever do or say is ever gonna be good enough for them. So I just got tired of putting that kind of power over my life in somebody else's hands. So screw it, they don't get to know what I think. They don't get to know how I'm feeling today. There's a difference between privacy and secrecy and as I've gotten older and matured, and I definitely want more privacy. It's something I crave. 

Like I said, social media is being misused daily. I think there is an epidemic of that. Social media was meant to be used for sharing things with people that you really love, but at the same time, isn't it also a little true that we can be guilty of shoving how great our life is down each other's throats? To quote Easy A,  "I don't know what your generation's fascination is with documenting your every thought...but I can assure you, they are not all diamonds."  Yep, that's basically Twitter. That's my generation and society as a whole today. Most certainly, not all diamonds.

Why did it take me this long to post to share my decision to get off social media? At first I just wanted privacy. I felt as though announcing that I was leaving would draw unnecessary attention and defeat some of my reasons for getting off social media. I wanted time to myself but I also wanted to give myself some time and space. I wanted to approach my decision from all the angles. I wanted to dig deep, list the things that were uncomfortable and heavy on my soul.

I sincerely hope that this essay will be able to provide some food for thought. Let me know in the comments below if you struggle with use of social media or have considered deleting some of your profiles! 


Popular Posts