Snapchat and Instagram can be overwhelming — in a good and bad way. We all know people who have actually built relationships with a few of the friends-of-a-friend following them. But we also have used up hours scrolling through our photos, deciding which one makes our eyebrows look the most snazzy.
But in the past couple of years, I slowly realized that social media’s appeal was slipping away from me. I’m completely offline now, as crazy as it sounds.
I didn’t have any major epiphanies or grand realizations. It happened gradually. As one of my favorite Austen novels reads, “I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
Trust me when I say that I’ve seen some things on social media that have changed my life, or at least made me bend over laughing. But if I was honest with myself, the hours I spent looking through other people’s photos and memes was a time vortex I refused to pull myself out of.
Maybe it was simply a matter of laziness, but posting became a chore. There was too much drama, too much pressure and I found I really didn’t want to deal with it all. So I stopped.
I certainly didn’t cold turkey it, but I have noticed some changes over time. For one thing, I have time to do other things, like binge watching Netflix or Hulu. Or picking up new hobbies.
I started baking more, instead of just saving the pictures of cute recipes. I tried to make an effort to read legit news articles and discovered a bunch of new authors I love. School-wise, I have noticed I feel more motivated in the subjects I’m passionate about.
After almost a year, I have also noticed I’m less involved in the drama around me. Note: it is almost impossible to get into a fight with a friend over something silly they commented on your photo if you aren’t on social media.
In many ways, my life is simpler. I don’t have to ask friends to do my streaks when I don’t have cell service. No longer do I spend two hours on Instagram in a mental coma. However, it is bizarre to be on a different wavelength than many of the people I hang out with.
It can be weird when I’m out in public waiting for something, and I don’t have Snapchat to just pull open. Ironically, the lack of the distraction can be distracting in itself.
Giving up social media isn’t something everybody is drawn to. I’m not even sure I will last. What I do know is that I feel lighter. And for now, I’m sticking with it.