I stopped using social media for a month and here are 9 positive lessons I learned:
- Enjoy the moments you get to be apart of and fully immerse yourself instead of wishing you recorded them for other people to see
- Don’t automatically pick up your phone during socially awkward moments of silence and dull conversation; put away and dive deeper
- Detach your self-worth from outward love and approval ; love yourself for who you are, and your body for what it is
- Be more intentional in your relationships and facilitate sincere conversations with people you think you know really well
- Don’t assume friends are doing well from photogenic pictures and 10-second videos; put meaning to ‘keeping in touch’
- Form your own opinions instead of cleverly articulating someone else’s
- Take pictures because you love them and want to capture the candidness life has to offer
- Let go of the pressure to persuade your followers how adventurous and artsy you can be; you are both
- Don’t compare your journey to others’ journeys; not everyone is getting married or working their dream job (there’s always a few that happen at the same time so it feels like everyone, but you are most likely in the majority)
A month isn’t a long time, but it made a significant difference. A month ago, I was waiting by my phone, hyper-vigilant about how many likes and views I was getting. I was watching friends’ Snapchat videos, wondering if I wasn’t invited because I wasn’t actually that likable. Every time I exited a social network, I’d open the next one, continuing this rotation of opening and closing apps as if anything would have changed within the last 15 minutes. Surprise! That cute couple is still together. That girl from college still turns up every weekend. That friend is still dancing in the car (LOL totally me)… Nothing ever changed. I was still me; they still them. But I noticed the more I used social media, the less content, less creative, and less confident I was. Scrolling through timelines became less about keeping up with people I cared about, and more of a place for self-loathing, pondering why my life didn’t look a certain way.
Gradually, I let these minuscule, fleeting things equate my value, and it’s a bad habit I think we all fall into every now and then. It’s hard when our world glorifies money, beauty, and success. But I know that my worth and my identity isn’t rooted in the things of this world; it’s rooted in Christ. He goes before me; to Him my heart belongs and in Him my treasure is stored. I know that I exude love and that I’m full of life and that I’m fearfully made and that I’m beautiful every single day, without the fashion and the makeup and the Insta likes. I just had to be reminded. And what a sweet reminder God’s love is.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4