Ever since I was stalked, I deleted all of my social media. I felt safer knowing he wouldn’t be able to know anything about me. I was a freshman in college at the time and it seemed all my friends and everyone around me had some form of social media. They all expected me to have one too. When I deleted mine for good, I found several unexpected things happened:
1. My coffee was hotter.
I thought it must be because there was a new barista at the Starbucks I frequented, but it took me too long to notice that it was in fact because I was drinking my coffee right away instead of spending several precious minutes looking for the right angle to take my morning pic.
2. I was actually early to things.
I found that I was often early to things, instead of rushing in last minute. It took me some time to realize this was because I was no longer spending time taking selfies of my #ootd before leaving my home.
3. I missed calls from my chiropractor.
My “chronic” neck problems ceased. I spent less time looking down, (literally and figuratively) and more time looking up at the world around me. My chiropractor was concerned at my lack of appointments.
Before eyes start to roll onto the floor because another millennial is hating on social media, let me talk about some other, possibly more significant, differences in my #socialmediafreelifestyle. (Is that hashtag too long?)
4. I lost the “look at me” mentality.
When I would post something on any one of my social media platforms, it was for a response. It was for a like or a comment. I wanted a reaction. If something did not receive a certain number of likes, it was taken down. I wanted others to “look at me.” I needed the approval from others to feel like I was good enough.
5. I started only being in competition with myself.
When scrolling through someone’s Instagram page, I couldn’t help but compare my own. Whether it was a comparison of their body to mine, or a picture of their meal v.s. what I was eating that day, it weighed on my mind. I no longer spent time in competition with these virtual people. Without a page to summarize my life, I began to feel sort of mysterious. Each day I get to write and rewrite my own story. I am the sole author, and I don’t have anyone to compete with except myself.
6. I saw people.
Instead of scrutinizing a photo of someone online, I now try to really see people. Things I may have picked out about someone before to try and make myself feel better, now appear less as imperfections, but as things that help make them who they are. Even if I find what might be seen as an “imperfection,” I can no longer see it as anything but beautiful, because they wouldn’t be who they are without it.
7. I have much more time for me.
I have learned to be my own best friend. I relied so heavily on other people to make me feel worthy without first being kind to myself. Now that I don’t spend time online, I have more time to get to know myself. I can do the things I have found I love, like writing. I have more time to spend with myself now, and I don’t need an audience to do it.