As a millennials, social media has been a must for the majority of our lives. Unfortunately for many, these platforms promote unfair comparisons, the pressure to be larger than life, and the idea of being in others lives without really being in their life at all. Frequently, I would find myself having wet dreams about being completely free of any attachments to social media. The idea of forgetting I even had a phone was simply liberating, and a little unbelievable. But I’m here to say that is possible to survive this life without social media, and it can be quite rewarding.
1. “How will I keep up with my friends?”
Do you feel like you would be entirely out of the loop if you abandoned all your usernames? How would you know what that friend who moved to Colorado is doing? Here’s an idea. Try calling, texting, Skype-ing, letter writing, or heck, talking in person with the people you care about. I promise it will mean much more than a double tap.
2. “How will I know what’s going on in the world?”
Watch the news! Listen to an NPR station on the way to work. TMZ won’t let you miss out on all the latest celebrity drama, if you must know. Download apps like Circa, that keep you up to date on currents events.
3. “But I like taking and sharing pictures! I take pride in my moody edits.”
You can still enjoy your moody edits. Take as many pictures as you want! After all, you’ll have plenty of space without those massive space hogging applications. Instead, use apps like VSCO Cam to edit and save your pictures. Send a shot of your impressive sushi spread to your foodie friend. Share the photos from your trip to Europe with your best pal over pizza and beer. Their rolling laughter when you tell them about that one time you almost missed your train will be more rewarding than 11 likes.
4. “It’s an outlet for me to express my thoughts and emotions.”
Yikes. You’re that person on social media. But it’s okay! Those feelings have got to get out somehow. Instead of treating your profile as your public diary, find more creative ways to let off your steam and sorrows. Make short films, start a blog, get poetic, draw, paint, make music, you have free range. Anything is better than tweeting Drake lyrics at three in the morning.
5. “How else am I going to enlighten the masses with my impressively eclectic taste in music/film/books/fashion/food/etc.?”
I get it. You have amazing taste. The world should know about your favorite band’s demos, the best Wes Anderson film (in your opinion) and the most authentic bibimbap in your city. At least they should learn to appreciate and admire. The real question is, are you trying to sell your interests, or sell yourself? After all, not all 500 of your followers will share your intense love for 90s shoegaze or Korean cuisine. Think about who would actually appreciate your new found glory and share it with them directly. Burn a CD, have a movie night, or take them out for lunch.
6. “How will I creep on my ex? Or his girlfriend?!”
Don’t pretend like you can’t relate. We all have that one, or two, or three frenemies we need to keep an eye on for personal reasons. Instead of rehashing the past every time they appear on our feed, let go and move on with your life. They were trash anyway.
7. “This is my way to document my best moments.”
True, we do love our highlight reels we create on social media. To still enjoy looking back on these good times without feeling as if you’re totally curating your life, delve a little deeper into your creative side. Create photo albums, hang pictures in your room. Turn these memories into music or another form of art that will last longer than a 24 hour snap story.
8. “But I’m not this cool in real life.”
So your real social life isn’t as great as you make it seem? Take the time away from your phone to work on developing relationships with people in the real world. Break the rules and talk to strangers.
9. “I have no life without social media. What will I do when I’m not staring at my phone?”
This is prime time to discover what brings you joy. If you don’t already have an idea of what you like, try out some new hobbies. Take some classes. Get outside and explore. There are endless possibilities in the real world.
10. “But if I don’t post a selfie of me in the Grand Tetons, did I really visit the Tetons?”
Sadly, we have been conditioned to believe that if we didn’t post it, it didn’t happen. Prove this to be a big fat myth and enjoy living in the present. Engage all your senses in your experience and understand that every moment is fleeting, so enjoy the hell out of it.