Late last year I was struggling with focusing, my self-image, and founding healthy relationships. I tried and tried to pin-point the reason my life I had built for myself was crumbling in a million pieces beneath me, but no matter how many times I prayed or journaled, nothing seemed to remedy a pull from somewhere deep inside my heart. I felt as if I was reaching for a sense of clarity that just did not live within me.
Out of pure frustration, I got onto my iPhone and deleted all of my social media apps. I began with Twitter, then Pinterest, followed by YouTube, Facebook, and ending with Instagram. After this occurred, I felt instant relief, then grief and loads of other emotions. I realized, I no longer had to look near perfect for a special picture that would occupy my friends’ screen for two mere seconds or find a favorite-worthy quote on Pinterest by a significant figure to tweet. Now, I could finally stop posing as this person I wasn’t just to get fifty plus likes.
After two weeks into December I was still going strong, school was coming to a close and I was finally learning to focus on what was important; school. I was devastated to find out that I hadn’t performed as well on the tests that I had worked really hard to prepare for. Instead of working harder, I broke and I began scrolling through Facebook, again. Ignoring the problems I needed so badly to face was extremely easier when I had a screen in front of my face.
I was needing to find myself, and the course I was on left me plummeting to the ground like the Wright Brothers first plane. There were several underlying personal problems that needed to be faced, but I was too concerned with what Billy and Suzy had to say about my newest Facebook post.
There’s something to be said about my generation and ones to come. It has a lot to do with relationships and the fact that our faces are glued to and buried in our phones. Teenagers are much more concerned with Taylor Swift on Twitter and not concerned enough with why our best friends aren’t eating or sleeping.
Our lives are so much more than bright screens and our most liked posts, they have value, exceeding value.
On December 31st I was talking to a close mentor of exceeding value and she told me “I am going to de-activate all of my social media accounts for the year.” Seeing an important figure in my life finally jump off the cliff I had only been standing on the edge of, and diving into deep waters, inspired me to dive into my own water, except mine is turning out to be ice cold! I asked her if I could join in, she said yes, and I didn’t hesitate.
I had already seen what a couple weeks without social media was like, but I wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge and de-activate all of my accounts. When posed with the opportunity I knew somewhere in my heart this was the right thing to do.
At this point some of you may be thinking “you’re a sixteen year-old girl, what could possibly possess you into doing this”
I’m not quite sure if it was fear, the allure of being different, or my subconscious telling me just what needed to take place.
Social media was consuming my life.
A situation of affirmation; allow me to set the scene:
My best friend and I were grabbing a cup of coffee before we headed to school one morning last week. I was so enthralled to finally sit and talk, but as soon as we sat down, she pulled out her phone and didn’t look up for the next twenty minutes. I had no clue how to react. There was nothing to do on my phone, so I sat and stared out the window.
If that is what future friendships look like, I want nothing to do with one, so count me out!
I am not suggesting that you drop all of your social media accounts out of the blue and then go out on an uninterrupted coffee date, but I do suggest taking time out of your busy schedule to catch up with a valuable friend who is ever deserving of your undivided attention.