Why I am Taking a Break From Social Media this Holiday Season and Why You Should Too:
Alright, alright, I admit it: I experience a conflicting mixture of embarrassment and extravagant excitement run through my veins when I document, capture, or frame some part of my life in picture perfect form. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest—you name it and I most likely not only have it, but have also unfortunately become far too obsessed with it, (picture an unhealthy subscription to meme pages and a instant reflex that pulls out my phone at the sight of anything relatively noteworthy). But my common 21st century obsession makes sense after all, right? I mean who will know how magnificent my life is or my belonging to an illogical social hierarchy without evidence—perfect, irrefutable evidence? (I joke, I joke).
Now that I have admitted my little obsession with social media, I have something else to admit, (and this one is not all fun and games). No, this is a heavy and honest confession that I am weary-
I am utterly weary of giving in to outlets that I have used to continually perpetuate the lie that my happiness is in anyway correlated to capturing my worth or portraying my social status to the world.
There are so many things to do, people to meet, and places to go—yet in a world buzzing with information, I feel trapped by society’s constant pressure to share or be shared to. I want to feel more present.
I want to lift my self-obsessed head from my phone just enough to notice and deeply love brokenness; to courageously put into practice what I value--and to learn to adore PRESENT over picture perfect.
I feel passionate about so many things right now. I want to dive head into the unique research opportunity that I have at my finger tips. I want to passionately pour into my blog and utilize my meek, yet authentic online voice to make a genuine difference. I want to practice serving others sacrificially--completely free of expectations. And so I feel a deep sense of trust. I trust that God gave me these passions for a distinct reason: He desires me to whole-heartedly pursue them without any hinderance or reservation, knowing that my intention for the pursuit of said passions should be to bring Him glory.
So what is the problem? I have passions and I know how to use them right? Well, yes and no. Yes, I have revetting passions stirring inside my heart patiently waiting to be utilized, but the unfortunate problem is that I have chosen over and over again to either stifle these passions altogether or pursue them half-heartedly because I have spent too wasted time and energy comparing and competing.
The solution to my complex problem of constant comparison and distraction from pursuing my true passions will not be simple, and in fact will most likely involve a process of painfully surrendering my perfectly formatted expectations for my life.
But, dream with me for a second, and imagine what if—what if, the first step in addressing my complex problem could be surprisingly simple? What if the first step for anyone who wants to be a better steward of their time or who feels fed up with society’s obsession with social media, is to re-orientate their perspective on life by cutting brief ties with social media?
So, whether this is necessary or not, the first step to addressing this problem is going cold turkey off of all social media for the next 10 days. After those 10 days I may or may not continue my cold turkey strike indefinitely, but in reality I will probably start phase two of my detox: learning how to use social media in the potentially beautiful way I know it can be used for. Because as a photography who thrives on the bliss of capturing and kindling both my own and my loved one's lives and the various memories that comprise them, I truly believe that social media can be used in a beautiful way—but a way that is nevertheless reorientated, instead of a destructive outlet that perpetuates lies about my self-image.
Regardless of what I choose to do after my first phase, my game plan for over the next 10 days is to consciously address three irrational myths I have fed myself with the intention of writing about how and if I was able to address them during my 10 day fast.
Three myths about social media that I hope to address and potentially refute over the next 10 days:
- Myth #1: “I’m far too busy to compare my life on social media. In the little time I spend on social media, it doesn’t have an affect on my spiritual/emotional well-being.”
- Myth #2: “Constantly using social media improves my interpersonal relationships. I will be out of touch with my friends and family if I can’t connect via social media outlets.”
- Myth #3: “I am limiting the expression of thankfulness for the life I have been giving by not sharing it publicly. Without documenting something in its picture perfect form, I won’t be able to remember how precious something actually was."
Well that is all for now, but as a final note: if you feel passionate about what I have said and want to join me on phase one of my social media detox, please feel free! But either way, stay tuned to hear about all the lessons I know I will learn.