We are often told to disconnect from our devices to be present. To me, that is an interesting choice of words. I don’t view taking a break from the digital world as disconnecting, to me it feels like I am connecting to the present again. I am a millennial and grew up on the internet. The digital world was my escape from the world around me. Growing up, I did not have many friends and did not enjoy my time at school, I also did not feel so connected with my family. To be able to log into a world and find people with similar interests as I was a lifesaver. I struggled for years trying to understand that there is always too much of a good thing, internet included.
The Importance of Breaks
Social media is a powerful and damaging thing. Especially in the current digital age. We now live in a time where it is almost required to constantly market yourself (whether you are trying to sell or not). It is easy to start comparing yourself to Facebook friends, IG models, and etc. It even begins to make you feel even worse when you begin comparing your followers and engagement to others. Usually, when I realize I start getting anxious or depressed by what I am seeing I acknowledge the feelings and take a moment to come back to my life. Always remember, we never see the real lives of people via social media. Social media is a beautifully curated feed that you want others to see.
It became too much for me. The thing that saved me at a time in my life was also destroying me. I would become jealous of my peers or even random people on the internet. I would begin to question my very own existence going through my feed. But how? It is so hard to choose to even remotely go off the grid! I mean, if you don’t post it on IG did it ever happen? I knew for me, it was beneficial to not be so plugged into every social site. First, I said goodbye to Facebook. That was a hard one, after all, it was the gateway to the world we live in today. (Full disclosure: I deactivated then reactivated my Facebook several times until I finally deleted).
A few weeks ago, I decided to not post every personal detail of my life on IG. I believed that it was best for me to not depend on outside validation and instant gratification. I also realized that I was still comparing my life to what others were showing via social media.
Connecting improved my quality of living. Now, my feed is intentionally chosen and I can happily scroll through without comparing my life, body, or choices. Most of the posts I see are full of affirmations and healing. Choosing to use social media less is not disconnecting from anything. It is all about reconnecting with the world around you and choosing to be present in your life. So keep taking photographs and selfies, continue capturing moments. Whatever you choose, do what is best for you and your mental health. Put your wellbeing first. I for one still love IG and you will find me photographing and posting things that make me truly happy.