WARNING: Very cliche post…
I have recently cleaned out my phone and deleted all the unnecessary items like random editing apps or tools. Along with all the useless, was every single social media app. For years now, the thought of deleting my online social life has been floating around in the back of my mind, but I’ve always found an excuse as to why I benefited from so much screen time and constantly being in the “know” with everyone’s lives. “It is your main source of communication” or “but the daily dosage of memes…” were two very valid arguments that I had with myself over the years.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago when I really decided that I needed to take action on my mental health. Recently I have been in a bit of a funk. You always hear about the classic ‘roller coaster ride of life’ and if that’s true, gravity is truly doing its job on this ride. That isn’t to say that I am having a terrible time, I am doing just fine. Even at the lowest point of the coaster you are still enjoying it, right?
I found myself relying way too heavily on social media to give me my daily dose of entertainment and happiness. (very cliche, I know.) I am sure everyone can relate when I say that there were numerous times throughout the day where I was so bored that I would open Instagram, scroll for a bit and realize that I had already looked at everything, then proceed to clear the app, go to Snapchat, watch some stories, then go directly back to Instagram, and repeat. Over and over again as if I was expecting a different result. Not only was it a time waster, but constantly being on social media got to a point where I became extremely anxious and stressed out for no reason at all. I had this idea in my mind that it was important to be active at all times on every platform, showcasing the best moments of my day.
After years of this idea on how I should present myself online constantly weighing over my head, I feel like I am finally at a place where I can just give up the idea and stop trying to portray myself as one way or another. I need to truly be satisfied with the person I am when no one is watching before I try to prove it to people online, and now that I think about it, that has been my problem all along. I try way too hard to show everyone that I am having a great time. Moving forward in the future, I can guarantee you that I will in fact, redownload Snapchat and Instagram. I have no idea when that is, but at this point it feels really nice to wake up in the morning and have no reason to reach over to my phone. I go hours into my morning before I even glance at it.
Snapchat was a very difficult app to get rid of because among my age group, it seems to be the main source of communication, I mean how am I supposed to communicate with, “Da Boys” (unfortunately yes, that is the actual name of the groupchat with all my friends, and the only real reason for my usage of the app). I went about getting rid of Snapchat a few different ways with lots of trial and error. At first, I thought I could curb my social media addiction by hiding it deep in a “Utilities” folder with random applications like Tips and Contacts. However, when you are the one hiding the app and you have a deep desire to check Snapchat, it is exceptionally easy to find it again on the third page of the Utilities folder. To be honest, you were never gonna fool yourself in the first place. I then took it a step further and disabled my notifications in hopes of forgetting that I even had the app. Nevertheless, not knowing if you got a notification or not makes it worse and I ended up checking Snapchat more than if I had notifications on. After two failed attempts I came to the conclusion that I needed to just commit and get rid of the app completely. This was tough because I became so worried that people would try to get a hold of me and I wouldn’t get back to them. I ran scenario after scenario through my head about all the fun I would be missing out on, but if I am being real, I was never having fun in the first place. For a brief moment I even considered posting on my story something along the lines of, “I am no longer using this app, so if you need to get a hold of me, text me.” Come on Jack, Can you imagine if I really did that? I would’ve actually become THAT guy. I have a strong disliking towards those people.
I would be lying to you if I said I deleted Instagram a while ago. I totally just deleted it two days ago. HOWEVER, it has been a blessed two days with so much peace and content, and I feel as if I am living like a Bodhisattva. Instagram seemed to take up the majority of anxiety caused from social media, and that is because it was what I consumed the most. If you have even spent 5 minutes on the app, you would know that it’s just everyone posting about the best part of their day and I am totally guilty of that. I will for sure continue to post about the good parts of my life when I return to the platform in the future, but I will hopefully have a better understanding as to why I post what I post and have fun with the app. After all, that is its main purpose.
I am not saying that social media is bad in any way, there are definitely beneficial factors to it, but I have found for myself, that too much of it at once can do way more harm. I have seriously enjoyed my days as I fill up the passing time with activities like playing guitar, reading, going outside to rock climb, or even just sitting out on my back patio enjoying the weather while listening to some Trevor Hall.