Deleting social media was one of the best decisions I’ve made, yet also one of the hardest. While I knew I’d be missing out on a lot of things in terms of my social life, I had a feeling that it would the best option for me- and it was. Here are the main reasons why I chose to delete all my social media applications.
- A complete waste of time.
As I look back on the past few years, I see how much more time I’ve had to spend with my family and how many more opportunities I’ve had to do the things I love to do.
At first all of the freedom was hard to deal with since I felt like I had way too much extra time on my hands, but once I learned how to keep myself occupied without using my phone, I never felt bored again and I was able to enjoy the space around me more.
Countless hours were spent scrolling through content that made me feel insecure, jealous, and unhappy, and those hours didn’t help me grow or benefit at all. We have such limited time in our lives, and I was able to realize how much I wanted to make the most of that time. I wanted to spend more time in the present doing the things that make me the happiest.
Photos in all shapes and forms are taken roughly between 1/10th– 1/2000th of a second. In that small fraction of time, we put all of our misery, our insecurities, and our faults on a shelf and we force the biggest brightest smiles across our faces.
What people see is the misleading, external version of ourselves; the happy, smiling, fulfilled person that everyone aspires to be, and that is the image that we judge and that leads us to infer that one has the ‘perfect life’. We become jealous, end up in anxiety and depression, wishing we had the same life as the person in the image. What we don’t realize is that the person may be deeply miserable and they use their social media platform in order to gain approval and attention from society whether in the form of likes, comments, or followers.
3. It led me to become regretful.
I can’t remember how many times I was asked to participate in an activity whether it was a family outing or a birthday party, and I simply declined. I used to have much rather stay in my room and scroll through Instagram or message my friends on snapchat than attend a social event.
I reflect on those times and I now understand that I could have made some incredible connections and friendships, but I instead avoided almost every possible opportunity and made the lazy and incredibly easy decision to stay home and do absolutely nothing.
4. I realized how my screen time affects the people around me.
Very similar to what I said above, one thing I remember better than almost anything is how disappointed my family was when I couldn’t put my phone down even for just a second to say hi to someone or meet one of their friends or clients.
I would have my face buried in my phone for hours and when I’d finally put it down and look up at my family, they would have these confused, disturbed, or defeated looks on their faces, and it eventually hit me that what I was doing caused them to feel this way.
My grandparents used to try to talk to me when they came to visit or when we were in the car but I was much too caught up in what I was doing on my screen to engage in conversation with them. Now that they are getting older, I find it more and more important to take advantage of the time I have with them and learn as much as I can from their experience and insight.
I assume that they were very disappointed considering how hard it used to be to have a relationship with me, but ever since I’ve reduced my screen time they’ve been greatly appreciative to get closer to me, and learn about my life, who I am, and hear what I have to say.
5. I couldn’t stop comparing myself to others.
Comparing myself to others is something I’ve struggled with since I was very little. Whether it’s school, sports, body image, or lifestyle, I learned that there are millions of categories and other people out there to compare myself to, and I fell into this trap that I could almost never get out of.
I learned that these comparisons I made were unfair and unreasonable. I needed to learn to find happiness in my own life and not within someone else’s. I had control over my life, and my life only, and I had wasted much too much precious time and energy moving farther away from happiness, and dragging myself deeper and deeper into an empty, miserable hole when I realized I could instead be grateful for my life and learn to accept and appreciate it for what it is.
6. Life was on the verge of meaningless.
My life used to feel completely purposeless. I sort of did what everyone else did, and followed society around like a servant or minion. I had no appreciation for anything that was going on, and I was constantly looking for what was wrong with my life. I never felt good enough and I had nothing unique to offer (or maybe I did but I was to scared to say/do anything without being judged).
I felt powerless and unable to change my situation and was desperate to find a solution. I sat down one day and without second thought, removed all of my social networking apps from all of my devices. I took 3 months off and was able to find some clarity and gain some wisdom. I reattached myself to social media (I really don’t remember why but it truly was an addiction) but deleted it permanently shortly after, and I now have absolutely no desire to turn back.