Living without Social Media

Social media, like most things has its pros and cons. The good thing about it is that it created so many different jobs; so many new opportunities for people to pursue their dream jobs and do what they love. You’re able to connect with old friends and family members, especially with people that you don’t get to see as often. You can stay in touch with them, see what they’re up to, and communicate with all of them in an online setting from miles away. It’s all pretty cool until you reach the cons of social media and start to become addicted.

Social media was fun at first, but then we started living our lives based off social media. We are focused on getting the perfect picture in order to get as many likes as possible. All we are worried about is how many likes we get, how many followers we have, and it starts to become a competition with other people to have the most likes and followers. We are now more focused on social media than what is actually going on around us. We live our lives starring at a screen instead of living in the moment. We became addicted to the point that we can’t wait to post something; we are always connected and always looking for something to post. If we see something we think is cool, we don’t admire it and observe it, we think, “oh, I should share that on Facebook.” I would wake up in the morning, go on social media, workout, go back on social media, go on social media while at school, before and after class, go on after school, and one more time before bed, and maybe even some more in between when I got bored. That isn’t healthy. We shouldn’t be so glued to our phones and focused on other people’s lives and what other people think about our lives. We should be focused on our own lives and doing what’s best for us.

We no longer have decent face-to-face communication, at least not as much as we used to. We would be together with a group of people, yet alone on our phones and not communicating to one another. It’s actually kind of sad. How do you meet new people and make new friends if everyone is on their phones and not willing to talk to another? It’s a life I don’t want to live and I don’t want to be addicted to social media. I want to live in the real world, not the online world, so I decided to change my actions and the time I spend online.

A couple months ago, I limited the time I spent on social media and I love every second of it. It’s like the good old days. Life is so much better without social media. I deactivated my Instagram account and removed the social media apps on my phone. As for Facebook and Twitter, as much as I want to get rid of them, I decided to keep them for work reasons in order to promote my blogs and post on the pages I’m apart of since it’s a good way to spread the word and get a lot of people to see the content, but I go on them a lot less than I used to. I try to go on maybe once a week or when I want to post something, but even with that I post it and log off instead of scrolling through Facebook.

So, for the people I’m friends with, no, I’m not purposely not liking your posts, when I used to like a lot of them, and I didn’t unfollow you, I just hardly go on. If I happen to see something at the top when I log on, I’ll like it, otherwise I’ll most likely not see it because I don’t log on and see what people are up to. I prefer hearing about your day through face-to-face communication. I’m an observer and listener, I like hearing the stories and listing to the excitment. Or if I need to talk to you, I’ll send you a text message instead of waiting for you to post something, which ironically is using your phone, but I think is okay when you’re interacting with other people through back and forth communication. Now with Facebook, we don’t really have conversations, yet one-word or one-sentence comments like, “nice photo!” At least with a text message you can have a conversation and will most likely get a response back. At least, that’s what I look for when I send you a message. I send a message because I have something to say and I want to talk to you; I need to talk to someone. It’s not a one-word comment, I’m looking for a conversation and for you to say stuff back.

Now that Instagram is deactivated, I don’t think about it and I don’t care what’s on it. I don’t worry about trying to get a good picture and share it with my friends; I worry about having a good time with the people I’m with, living in the moment, making memories, and enjoying it while not being on my phone and distracted by social media and looking at posts from people I’m not with.

I barely post on Facebook now because I don’t care what’s going on and what other people will think. I don’t want to be focused on likes, constantly looking at my phone to see how many likes I got, only to be disappointed because I didn’t get as many likes as I hoped for. We shouldn’t feel like we have to share our lives and everything we do with the people we’re “friends” with. I’ll only post if something happened that I really care about and that I think is exciting that I want to tell people, but is easier to post to everyone then to send multiple text messages.

Without being distracted by social media and the online world, I now put my phone down more and barely even look at it. I observe what’s going on around me and have more conversations with the people I’m with. I’m with them because I enjoy their presence, enjoy being with them, and want to have fun. What’s the point of being with someone if you’re just going to be on your phone the whole time and not really with them, but maybe focused on getting the best picture to post instead of doing something fun to talk about another time? Don’t you want to physically remember a time well spent with the people you love? How are you going to do that if you’re with them, but not really with them because you’re too busy on your phone?

I highly recommend shutting down from all social media for a few days and see what it’s like. See what life is like without it. See how it affects your mental and physical health. Actually spend time with the people you are with and make better memories. Treasure every moment you have with them. If you enjoy the time without social media, then maybe deactivate some of your accounts for good. You’ll be surprised on what you notice and how life is so much better without it. It’s better to put your phone down and enjoy the time you have, not capture.

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