“Distracted from distraction by distraction”
We all have a love hate relationship with social media, right? One minute it’s the best thing since sliced bread, the next it’s the biggest pain in the butt. As useful as social media can be in our everyday life, it can soon turn into something negative if used in an unhealthy way.
For me, social media went from something fun I used every now and then to a part of my everyday life. Whenever I was in between tasks, or even tabs, my brain would say “What’s happening on Snapchat?” or “Has anyone followed me on Instagram?”. The truth is, the platforms weren’t the problem; I was. I allowed social media to become my default brain space and control how I perceived my life
Social media can make you focus more on what you portray to be real instead of what is real.
You have Snapchat, right? Don’t you just love how the flower head band filter covers your unlaid lace frontal or how the hearts filter makes your skin smooth and changes the colour of your eyes. None of those things are real yet somehow I feel more confident taking pictures with those filters than I do without. Snapchat and other social media allowed me to present a filtered version of me.
I preferred that version of me over the real me. Granted, the Snapchat filters are entertaining to use but if I’m being honest with myself I was using them as a way to gloss up my reality. To give the illusion that things were “perfect”. That I was “perfect”. But I’m not. My skin breaks out sometimes, I have a few acne marks, my eyebrows are barely there and my wig isn’t always laid. That’s normal. That’s real life. Feeling confident in spite of your flaws is much more important than pretending you have none.
Social media can make you more worried about what other people think of you than what you think of myself.
With Instagram, I always felt like I lived a double life. I had one account for the old me, the one my friends and family knew about, and another account for the new me. The Lydia that was on a journey of self discovery and documenting it on this blog for others to be encouraged. I was happy for the rest of the world to see this new me but not my friends and family. Why? Because I wasn’t quite sure what they would think of this new journey I were on. Would it make sense to them? Would they approve or think I’m silly?
With two taps on my phone, I could be the old Lydia one minute and the new Lydia the next. I had nothing to hide but for some reason I felt the need to. I was afraid of being judged for my attempt at evolving. But that’s what Instagram is about, right? What other people think. If you are not confident in who you are then being in that kind of environment isn’t healthy. We need to find validation in ourselves first before seeking it from others.
Social media makes you spend more time watching someone else fulfil their dreams instead of working on yours.
YouTube, don’t you just love it? It’s the go to place for practically anything.
From movies and music videos, to DIY’s, reviews and hair tutorials. YouTube is amazing but it can also be one of the biggest distractions. At least for me it was.
From the channels I was subscribed to, to the videos I searched for or recently watched. Everything I saw or that was suggested to me was curated for my particular interest – and my particular distraction. YouTube knew what types of videos would keep me watching based on my history and I fell for it every time. I wasted time watching other people live their lives instead of working on mine.
Social media should be there to serve you, your needs and your growth. When you start to feel like it’s taking away from you more than it’s giving to you, its time to leave it alone. So I did. I logged out of YouTube and deleted my Snapchat and Instagram as part of my new year resolution.
Our time and energy is too precious to be wasted on things that don’t contribute positively to our everyday life – both online and offline. Worry about missing out on what other people are doing can lead us to miss out on ourself.
If you plan to take a social media detox I encourage you to use this new found time wisely and revaluate your presence on the internet. Are you being true to yourself?
Till next time.