After watching viral videos like “Look Up” time and time again, I finally decided to step up to the challenge — how long could I go without social media? I was eager to see what life was like without constant notifications.
With a little bit of hesitation, I deleted all of the networking apps on my phone. That’s right; I no longer had easy cellphone access to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram.
At first, this “challenge” was only meant to last for a week, just to help separate myself from the rest of the world. Now, more than a week into my own “look up” experience, I refuse to re-download those apps.
To explain why, here’s a list of three important life lessons I learned on my social media hiatus:
- Life is beautiful.
In this generation, a majority of us (myself included) are guilty of taking life and its innate beauty for granted. We are so absorbed in ourselves and our online profiles that we often forget about the things and experiences that truly matter. For example, not being so involved with what was happening inside of my phone took away a lot of the unnecessary distractions. Being more attentive meant I could spend meaningful time with my family, fully understand schoolwork/homework and even focus more energy on myself.
Being “disconnected” allowed me to really open my eyes and see the miraculous thing called “life” happen all around me. I am more in tune with my surroundings now than I ever was before.
2. Sometimes, ignorance really can be bliss.
For me, one of the worst parts about social media is having to see how exciting everyone’s life is. While sometimes it can be nice to know what family and friends are up to, too much information can often lead to feelings of jealousy – whether it’s because they went on a stellar vacation or did something as small as a night out on the town, the photo evidence and exuberated status updates can be overwhelming. I know I’m not the only one who thinks so. One of my favorite quotes explains why this is: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Without the mindless resource of social media, we don’t always have to know everything that’s going on. For me, this helped create peace of mind and the realization that my life is great just as it is. I don’t have to go on fancy trips or hang out downtown every night to prove that.
- Positivity rules.
Technology and social media are commonly used as an outlet for anger, frustration and complaints. This is because there is an “audience” of followers who are capable of giving unconditional sympathy and attention. As humans, we naturally crave these things, even if our means of getting them aren’t exactly ethical. For example, on Twitter, users complain about life on a near daily basis. If you have a Twitter account, you are probably a witness to this.
I didn’t even realize how negative social media is until I stopped using it and became happier and more positive. Believe it or not, life is so much better when you have a positive outlook on things. I am more inspired without social media, which is strange considering social media is marketed as a platform for creativity and inspiration…
For anyone struggling with their perspective on life or are simply looking for a little challenge, I highly recommend taking a “hiatus” from the world of social media. It’s easier than expected and the results are potentially lifechanging.