About a month ago I took a (much needed) break from my social media. I got a lot of questions about my hiatus so I thought the best way to address them all was to write a (really late) blog post.
(I’m always late to everything else in life so my blog posts have to follow suit, no?)
Anyway, I have decided that I don’t want to write this all formal-like and instead I’m going to write the way I talk. (This blog just got way more chill and personal haha) Onward with the Q&A/responding to comments!!
K, why did you quit social media? Are you crazy? Are you becoming a hermit?
Wow, a three part question, fun. Okay, let me answer this one by one. Yes, I’m a little crazy…but then again, who isn’t? And a hermit? Well, I am an introvert with a grand total of like 10 friends (give or take a few) and prefer to stay at home 97% of the time so yes, hermit is a really good way to describe me.
Now the interesting part of this question, why? Well to sum it up quickly, I hit a boiling point. Social media is meant to be a lens into the lives of others, right? But it portrays their lives through rose colored lenses and if taken too seriously can become really dangerous. I hate to admit it but it started to get to me, bad. I was constantly comparing myself to everyone’s social media lives. They were prettier, skinnier, had more friends, were smarter, more successful and so on and so forth. I would find myself constantly wishing to be something unrealistic and even though I knew in the back of my mind that it was all fabricated, I couldn’t help but continue to pull myself down. On top of that destructive behavior, I found myself quickly becoming addicted to social media. I would scroll through my feed for hours at a time and constantly refresh it, hoping for something new to pop up (even though I knew it wouldn’t). I would be on my phone while waiting in line, before class started and even while watching TV. I would easily get distracted and found myself becoming less and less productive as time went on. I felt myself disconnecting from the real world and eventually I just had enough of it. I couldn’t let myself slip further into the hole of obsessive, self destructive behavior I was already in. So, I decided the best thing to do was quit, cold turkey. I posted a little note on all my social medias informing people of my absence (in case they tried to contact me) and because I put it up into the public sphere, I had to do it. I deleted my apps the next day, turned off all my notifications and the rest is history.
Wow, you’re so brave! I can’t imagine ever doing that, I’m proud of you!
Thank you but I don’t think any of this took bravery. I’m honestly disappointed in myself and still can’t believe I got to that point but I still appreciate the support. As for not being able to do it, I think it’s a lot easier than people realize. All it takes is a little kick and you can do it too (only if you want to of course).
Was it hard? Didn’t you have social media withdrawal? Did you feel left out?
I’m not going to sit here and say that it was easy, because it wasn’t. The first week was the hardest and yeah, I did have a little bit of withdrawal and FOMO (fear of missing out), which was weird, but after that first week it became a lot easier. The first day of hiatus was kind of false hope, it seemed pretty easy (probably because I was super motivated that day) and I stupidly thought ‘Hah, this is easy, I can do this forever.’ BOY WAS I WRONG. I also had to log on to Instagram once a day for my Korean class, which made this hiatus a lot harder. Everyday I would log on to my Instagram, go straight to my Korean class page and comment whatever I needed to for that day and log off. The first week I had the urge to scroll through my feed before doing my Korean work but I stopped myself and eventually didn’t even bother to look at my feed (Success). Remember when I said that I was constantly on my phone when I had a few minutes? Well, now I couldn’t do that. That first week I would keep refreshing my email and checking my messages while waiting for the bus or class to start since I didn’t have any social media to scroll through. I even downloaded a game to try to fight the boredom, but then I got bored of it so I gave up with that. My poor mom and best friend had to deal with my constant life updates and texts because I felt so empty without the social media. Wow, this sounds so bad when I read this… It’s a little pathetic, isn’t it? Anyway, back to my story. After that first week of feeling lost, I slowly got better. It became easier to just live my life and not look at my phone and I started to feel free. I remember at one point I accidentally left my phone in my sister’s car and she went to work. So I couldn’t have my phone for 8 hours and didn’t notice it was missing until she brought it back to me. Without social media I started to rekindle my love for my other hobbies. I started to read again, I started to write more often (not on my blog, I meant personal writing), I started coloring again (because I am a literal child), I had more time to dance, sing and watch shows/ movies on my list. I started to notice my surroundings a lot more and felt more connected with nature. I had time to treat my mind, soul and body. I reconnected with myself, giving me time to heal and love again. I didn’t bother with what other people were doing and lived my life how I wanted to. I never once got FOMO after that first week because I never knew what I was missing out on. I found that the people who really cared about me and wanted to be part of my life would take the time to message me and I easily found who my real friends were. Social media takes away human connection and gives you a false sense of reality where you think followers are your friends. I quickly realized that my real friends were the ones who talked to me even though I didn’t have social media.
What did you learn from all this?
Well first and foremost, I learned about myself. As cliche as that sounds, it’s true. I felt like I went back to simpler times and now I know what I can/can’t handle, what I like/dislike and who I am close to. I also learned that I wasn’t the only one with a social media addiction. When I was out and about, I realized that 90% of the people around me were on their phones. While I waited for the bus, I would take in my surroundings but many people around me were scrolling through their feeds, like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to put anyone down and obviously, they are all allowed to live their lives however they want, but I did notice how disconnected from reality everyone really was. I know it is a generational thing and in our world it is almost impossible to survive without at least one form of social media but it’s still crazy to be on the outside of it and see what it was like. It was just eye opening to see how much people rely on and use their phones. I’m not going to force my opinion on anyone but I think it would do some good if everyone took a little hiatus every once in a while. It could be a few days to a few months, whatever they feel like is needed, but it really does change your perspective on life and I highly recommend it. I, for one, will definitely be doing it again.
If you liked your time off so much, why did you come back?
Like I said before, it is almost impossible to survive in this world without social media and honestly, I did miss parts of it. I really missed editing photos and making a theme for my Instagram and sometimes it was easier to chat with people on snapchat (especially if they didn’t have my number). However, I probably could’ve stayed offline a lot longer. I just decided it was a good time to come back and reconnect with society. I still don’t go on social media often and don’t pay attention to my phone all the time. I have gotten back into my Instagram editing (which was more of a hobby/stress reliever for me) but I will definitely be taking more breaks in the future. My month of hiatus was incredible but I decided everything is okay in moderation. I use social media for my internship so it’s practically impossible not to be on it, now I just practice moderation and am so much happier. I go on social media every so often but it’s no where near where I was. So, mission accomplished!
Well, I think that’s it for my most asked questions and comments so I’ll end the post here but if you still have more questions, I’d love to answer them because I love talking about myself (clearly, as if this blog wasn’t evidence enough for that).
Till next time,