I used to love social media. It was so easy to keep in touch with everyone from high school, university, different social and work places….it was great! I’m not sure when it stopped being great, but it certainly did. I felt like I was walking and breathing in one world, but mentally living in another - I’m here but I’m not here. Does that ever happen to you too?
Towards the end of 2017 I decided to take a break from social media. I deactivated my facebook, instagram and twitter. It took some adjustment to break the habit of scrolling through news feeds but once I got used to it, I loved it. I suddenly felt very in tune with my thoughts, my energy, basically everything I was doing and aware of everything I was not doing.
Observing the world of social media from outside, I began wondering:
- Should we really have that much information about each other’s activities, lives, thoughts...food? Probably not. I joined facebook in 2008, since then I’ve joined and happily used every other popular social platform - it was fun! Snapchat still is. But after a decade of sharing, updating status, commenting, tagging, liking, messaging….I’m wondering, what’s the point?
- I’m not sure if we’re allowed to say this out loud but I don’t think we’re meant to spend our whole lives having access to everyone we’ve ever spent time with. I mean, how can I reinvent myself if I’m still trying to be who I have already been? Can you truly venture into new experiences and phases of your life while you’re holding on to previous versions of yourself? To people who walked with you in a certain season of life? Are we really meant to be in each other’s lives forever?
- Who came up with this system of being classified as a follower or a followed? Life is about more than being a follower and/or being followed. People are so much more than those 2 basic categories.
- I spend more time watching people (instead of on my phone) and I notice things a lot more now. People are interesting - body language never lies.
- Likes do not equal validation. Please find your own internal source of self-appreciation.
- Why do I need to share what I think, do and feel with the world? Does it make me a better version of myself? Why do I feel the need to do this?
- I’m living in the moment a lot more now. I rarely take my phone out when I’m meeting up with friends or generally going about my life.
- I have no idea what my friends/family are up to when we’re apart so when I meet up with them the conversation is insanely refreshing! I’m hearing everything they share with me with a new level of intensity and appreciation - I don’t know who else they’re sharing information with but in that moment they chose me; I’m grateful for that.
- I don’t have all my friends phone numbers, I'm sorry about that.
- I take photos for my own personal memories. Is Google Photos awesome or what??
- This one is strange for me because I had not realised that I was not...free. I feel free. Free to be myself, in every situation I am in. Free to move how I want to and spend time how I wish to. Free to connect with whom I choose to, and genuinely want to see more of at this time in my life. Free to be one with my season in life.
- “Wait, is Amanda’s birthday on the 3rd of March or on the 5th?” It’s a lot harder to remember people’s birthdays without facebook, so if I miss yours, please forgive me!
- I miss all the funny, cute videos of animals and other cool short videos.
- I’m so aware of how much time I end up wasting watching those videos!
- Important information still finds me, somehow. Well, I know how - thanks mum!
It’s been 10 years of social media for me. Before this break, I did not know what it was like to be an adult without social media. I know it’s all fun and it probably isn’t that deep for most people but I guess my challenge to you is, why isn’t it that deep?? Why do we have to live the way we’ve always lived?
What is it like to be an adult who isn’t on social media? I must say, life is pretty simple!
For the record, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have been extremely useful for my various projects - Natrella in particular. I’ve connected with like-minded people and in a way, made new friends. I am continuing social media for Natrella purposes - twitter and Instagram but I have taken down all my personal accounts, on all platforms, including Whatsapp - everything with ‘Stories/Status/Follow’ had to go.