Today’s post is a little different from the rest. I wanted to write a little bit about struggling with freeing yourself from social media. Where did I get this idea? Let’s just say… someone recently told me they needed space/cut me out from their life because (paraphrased), “I wasn’t being a supportive friend because I voted ‘no’ on her Instagram poll twice when she’s trying to run her business.” That was at least my take away from it after our conversation. Oh yeah, let that sink in.
I’ve totally been there. I’ve obsessed over my followers, my likes, my comments. I’ve spent over 10 hours a day on Instagram in the past. You think I haven’t? Of course I have. I know what it feels like to give in to social media, to completely let it control you & your happiness. You start comparing yourself with other people: “God, her & I posted at the same time. She already has twice the many likes as me,” “Why does she get asked so many questions when she does those Instagram ask things?” “Wow, she looks so perfect. I need to eat less.” “She’s on another vacation? Why don’t I have that much money?” “How does she have such expensive clothes? God I’m so poor.”
Those are very valid thoughts, but those thoughts are rooted in insecurity. It’s okay to be insecure, but you need to recognise it. I recognised mine, worked through it & instead of using it as a tool to talk badly to myself, I now use my social media to empower myself & others in the community that I have created. I am an advocate for things I believe in. I tell it like it is. I don’t sugar coat anything. I even show everyone my before/after edits to make it a point that social media is nothing but an illusion. So don’t waste your time on an illusion on a tiny ass screen. You have such a fulfilling life waiting for you.
So for those struggling to free yourself from social media, for those who’s a little too attached to their phones at the dinner table… what did I do to help myself?
Don’t Post On Your Story Right Away
The Instagram story has become such a convenient tool for us to post our whereabouts during the day. I love using it – it’s a great way to update your friends. But I realised I was then so focused on tagging people in the story, choosing the filter & geo-tagging after I took the photo/video. Then the moment became all about posting it, disconnecting me from the real world. We’ve all been in the presence of a friend that’s always looking at their phone when hanging out. You know how it feels to know that someone’s not really present. I now take a video/photo & save it for later so I can relish in the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I encourage photos to cherish that memory forever, but I leave posting it for when I’m on the train or when I’m home relaxing. This also won’t create a subconscious that you’re doing it just for the gram.
Avoid Asking/Posting polls
You have got to know that polls are not the end-all-be-all answer to your life altering question. First of all, if you are contemplating something that matters significantly to you, you should reach out to your immediate family or friends, not the social media world. If you can’t take no for an answer, or know that you’ll be hurt by one of the answers if people were to choose it, then you already have your answer to your question. If you want validation, make one of the options something witty. For example, I asked if people would come to a party if I threw it for my dog Mochi. I knew that I would roll my eyes at the people who clicked ‘no’ because Mochi’s so cute, so I made the answer ‘I’m not worthy’ instead of a ‘no.’ Some people are also just messing around on polls because it’s fun, & because they can. If you’re going to post a poll for a very important question, know that you’re setting yourself up to be in a vulnerable place where you might get feedback that may upset you. People are also entitled to their own opinions. So don’t take it so seriously!
Instagram runs on algorithm
Yup, you heard me. Instagram runs on algorithm. If you didn’t get as many ‘likes’ as your last picture, it’s probably because your followers didn’t see your picture on their homepage. It’s nothing personal if your best friend didn’t double tap your picture. Who cares if no one likes it? As long as you like it, that’s the only validation you need. Feeling good about yourself because you love yourself. Not feeling good about yourself because others love you.
I’ve limited the time I spend scrolling through the homepage. I follow a handful of people, so it’ll take literally forever to go through everyone’s photos. Give yourself a break. You don’t miss anything by not scrolling.
Post Things That Make You Feel Good About Yourself
Only post things that make you feel whole & raw. Not anything that make you feel whole IF someone comments & tells you they love that part of you. If you even doubt something about a picture or video, don’t post it. If you have to edit your body in a picture, don’t post it. You’re digging yourself into a deeper hole & associating social media with perfection.
Again, I’ve been there. I’m right here with you. Try & make social media a positive extension of yourself. A platform to share what you love & the things you believe in. It’s easier than you think.4 I Love This! ♡