So this one time…a few months back I decided to take a hiatus from social media. I didn’t have some major epiphany, I didn’t join a convent, I didn’t get pregnant; I just wanted to take a break. I found that my “quick” moment to click through a few snaps and scroll my time line had increased from the intended 5-7 minutes to more like 20-30 minutes of unproductive time that I would never get back. That’s when I realized I needed to give it a rest.
Unlike many millennials I didn’t announce my social media break on my social media pages. Although I can understand its purpose in why people do it, it’s definitely one of my pet peeves. I suppose the thought behind it is “no one cares that you’re leaving, just do it”. So that’s what I did. I deleted all my social media apps off my phone, and guess what? I didn’t die!! Well what do you know? People do still have lives even when they aren’t broadcasting it on social media.
Another pet peeve of mine regarding our generation is the dependence many of us have on our social media sites. Don’t get me wrong, social media is great; it connects us to things and individuals like never before. Not to mention it’s a great marketing tool and it gives us something to do when we’re on an elevator with strangers. However, our dependence on social media is just that, we’re dependent. There seems to be this unspoken notion that ‘if you don’t post it didn’t happen’, and that is absolutely insane to me. We get so caught up in snapping, tweeting, Facebooking, and IG’ing the moment that we forget to live in it.
*That's Tweetable* There seems to be this unspoken notion that 'if you didn't post it it didn't happen
Well I have a secret, living life off line is possible; I’m living proof. During my break I still ate picture worthy foods, I went on a vacation that was very snap chat appropriate, I took great pictures while out with friends that would easily yield 50+ IG likes, and I thought of some great quotes that would have been shared and retweeted all over Facebook and twitter. I did all those things, and enjoyed every bit of them withOUT posting it. Without the affirmation that how I was living was “up to par” according to social media’s standards. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but comparison is the thief of joy. There will always be someone who posted a better looking dish, a more quotable quote, and went to a better event; and that shouldn’t dictate how you feel about your life, but the sad thing is that for many people it does.
I’m glad to say that my motivation for going on a break was related to lack of productivity and not lack of joy by way of comparison; and I’m also glad that I still enjoyed my life even without posting it. I decided to get back on social media after a 2 month break and I can honestly say it made a difference in my productivity, I spend less time scrolling aimlessly, and I’m not as annoyed by some of the ignorance that’s sometimes displayed.
No shade to my millennial counterparts who tweet, snap, and IG their lives; more power to you, I truly admire your dedication. I appreciate the virtual, but I had to reconnect with the tangible. If it makes you feel better, my new “pass the time” hobby became beating my own high score at solitaire and free cell on my phone. The reality is that we all use things to help pass the time and we sometimes need to have those moments that don’t require much thought; I’m not saying that social media can’t fill these moments, but I am reminding you that your life will still exist outside of it. Give it a try, I promise your life will still be as interesting as it looks on social media.