As most of you may have heard about by now, there’s a movement brewing…a movement to leave social media.
When Essena O’Neill made a public announcement that she was quitting social media, she opened the door for conversations about how detrimental these seemingly “real life” outlets actually are. (If you haven’t heard about this, click here).
Even though part of me knew how fake Facebook and Instagram really are, I appreciated reading Essena’s testimony, about how lonely she felt and how there was no purpose behind what she was doing, besides trying to get people to “like” her.
I mean, wasn’t she the ideal woman/model/entrepreneur? She was exactly the type of girl I would stare at and compare myself to. I’ve become addicted to websites that make me feel bad about myself, yet create a longing in me to come back for more. I’ve begun living a life where I would rather whip out my phone and browse through a stranger’s neatly-posed photos than enjoy special moments with my children.
The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized just how better off my life would be without social media. I actually had the thought “what will I do with my time if I’m not checking Facebook?” and that was reason enough right there to leave it.
I’m going to paint pictures with my children, play with them outside, come up with ideas on my own – without the help of someone else and their brightly displayed crafts that they got paid to create.
I have been letting technology change who I am…and I am going out on a limb and saying it has changed you too.
We live in a world where parents text or email at the breakfast table, people send text messages during corporate meetings. We remove ourselves from situations by turning to our phones; situations with real people, in real time.
We start to realize that we have trouble relating to others, and maybe ourselves, because even though we are constantly communicating with someone it’s through the lens of a computer screen.
When we do find that personal interaction, we realize it’s not the same. We can’t edit or delete what we are going to say – we no longer know how to be intentional with our words, or with our time.
Human relationships are rich. Have a conversation with someone! Technology can’t help you really know someone, it’s only good for quick snippets. You can’t grow a relationship with snippets.
We need to reclaim conversation. Reclaim personal interaction. Reclaim real life, and not the life you carefully reveal to your friends, not the one-sided parts of life that social media feeds you.
I am scared and excited to be taking this leap away from social media. It doesn’t deserve to control my life, that’s my responsibility. From Thanksgiving until Christmas (or longer!), I will be logged off of social media. I hope to document my time away here on my blog, and occasionally on Instagram, but I will not be checking comments or likes, only posting an update or two.
I feel refreshed even by the thought of leaving some of this chaos behind!