Saturday, June 11, 2016

Can I Survive without Social Media?

So I challenged myself and I accepted.

Aaron and I lowered our data package on our phones, canceled our cable, and even disconnected our wifi... We went OLD. SCHOOL. It's been two weeks now, and I have to say I don't know if I'll ever want them back! We both figured this would be the case. So, after too many months of talking about it, we took the plunge. Life feels so much fuller now! Already. Seriously, that may come across cheesy, but it's the truth! We've went on nature walks, gotten new bikes (and used them!), spent time at the library, coffee shops, parks, worked a lot in the yard and around the house, visited more friends... and planning movie night is fun again! Oh, and let's not forget the fact that I've had a ton of energy to fuel my new active self that didn't seem to be there before. Less technology + More of everything else = A simpler, yet more exciting, life.

Now, I'm thinking if I do away with the majority of social media... ... ... Only good can come of this, right?  Everything other than this blog - and anything that assists in my writing goals - frankly, has gots-to-go.

I've deactivated accounts, removed them from my phone, logged out of the apps in hopes that I wouldn't log in as often due to the extra effort. Still, they're always right there at my chubby little fingertips... and they know that. They always manage to open that app before my brain even processes their actions. I know you know what I'm talking about!

Me and my bestie were talking about how simple things were just a few years ago. Drama was a lot less common, relationships were fewer but better, life seemed to have more meaning. Today, you can't go 48 hours without someone being offended at you or someone causing you offense. You have hundreds upon hundreds of friends and followers on the internet, but have no idea who to call when you're having a horrible day.

A lot of people in my generation feel that life doesn't hold as much purpose and meaning as it once did... probably because we spend more of our time searching for validation and approval from a status than doing something that really matters. I know firsthand that this is something we do, but don't care to admit. I get it. Really. It's a little embarrassing.

I'm going to take a moment of silence to reflect back honestly on my run-ins with Facebook. How many times has someone's tactless comment caused me aggravation or pain? How many posts have made my blood boil because of the insensitivity streaming for all to see? Can I even count how many times I've seen a double standard going on right before my very eyes? On the flip side, how often have I opened the app just to see how many people like my new profile picture? Did anyone think my status was funny? Is anyone reading my blog? Just within the last couple of days I've gotten notification that a couple of people have "unliked" my blog page. Talk about "hot sauce in an open wound..." (Thanks, Jess. I'll forever use that now.) It crushed my spirit, made me long for support in other places, and did a good job convincing me that it's best to stay to yourself and expect nothing. But, you know what, I don't like those feelings. At all. And, if social media didn't so eagerly pass on all this information, I'd be none the wiser. And all the happier.  It's like a disease, people. One in which the symptoms slowly creep in and take a while to notice.

If that's not bad enough, look back several months and determine how much social media and phone time has cut into your goals and dreams. When I do, it makes me a little nauseous. Five, six, seven years ago... Well, I had more time to clean my house, more time to work on recipes, and more time to invest myself into things that I would be thankful for later. The recent past has more Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram than I care to admit. I'm definitely not saying they're bad things to have. They're not. However, with our natural need for approval and acceptance, I'm afraid social media is going to be the very thing that makes us feel like we'll never be good enough. It wasn't meant for anyone to have 300+ people know all about their day to day life. I mean, seriously. It's like Reality TV. How many of us think it would be better for those families to just keep their lives private? Same goes for us, I think? Some people are going to hate your new haircut, get annoyed by your food picture, and openly express their disdain of your last statement. Remember when times were simpler? When you only told like three people what you made for dinner last night? Your "approval" rating was probably much higher, right? You didn't have much negativity presented about your appearance, because there wasn't very many people looking at you! And your opinion was much more easily expressed and respected among your close family and friends than it is by someone you haven't really talked to in seven years. Needless to say, the very thing we seem to think we're going to experience more validation from is the very thing that's taking it away from us.

So- for the next 21 days (it takes 21 days to break a habit according to scientific study) I will be refraining from viewing Facebook or creating statuses. The only exception being, as I stated before, blog posts. BUT- I won't be checking to see who read them- unless you comment on my actual blog or Kristi Said It page. My personal life will be kept, well, a little more personal.

Once this time passes, I'll let you know how I did and how I'm doing. I'm pretty eager to see how much better I feel about myself and the people in my life. As the last two weeks have already proven to be much more exhilarating, I can only imagine how much more this new "simpler" couple of weeks ahead will be able to offer me. If you decide to try this, let me know and I'll include your statements on my next post. I'd like to take a poll just to see how many people thought life was better/worse/the same... So if you're interested- reach out to me! (Just not on my personal Facebook page!)

"There's gotta be more to life than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me." - Stacie Orrico

Here goes nothing!


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