the other day, i was mindlessly scrolling through instagram (as i am so very often) when i came across a beautiful girl's profile. i quickly went from checking out her page to staring at all of the pictures she had posted, but that wasn't the problem- i didn't stop there. later in the day, i found myself internally comparing myself to her and thinking about her more than i'd like to admit.
feelings of inadequacy.
feelings of jealousy.
of not being enough.
"why can't i have legs like her?"
"i wonder if my boyfriend wishes i looked more like her."
and so on. then all of the sudden, my own voice popped into my head and it said "i have too much of myself." now i know that might seem dramatic or unrealistic, but it's true. i had never really experienced my own voice speaking to me (or maybe it wasn't my voice at all. maybe thats the point of this whole story...) anyways, i was surprised to hear myself say that and it almost instantaneously took me to the bridge in the christian song "more of you and less of me and more of you and less of me.." and then almost directly after that, i felt guilt. i became overwhelmed about how much of my daily schedule was solely based around me. now don't get me wrong, everyone needs to take care of themselves and feed themselves and love themselves (as i am a huge preacher on self love), but i realized what i was doing was having the opposite effect.
all of social media focuses around one thing- you. i'm ashamed to admit the role social media has had in my life, but for the purpose of my story, i will share with you all. i spent, at times, hours editing my pictures to my liking. it would ruin my day if i saw that someone i knew unfollowed me when i thought we were friends. i would go to events whether it be dinner, concerts, or clubs solely to get a picture to post. i would get up in heaves if i got ready for an hour and didn't get a picture that was perfect out of the twenty that i took. i would plan around pictures. i felt noticeably worse about myself when i didnt get good feedback, and vise versa, i felt noticeably better about myself when i got an ample amount of likes or comments. social media was, for all practical purposes, taking over my life. not in the exxagerated way of a girl shaking back and forth without her phone, rather a girl crying in bed because no matter what effort she put in, she never felt like enough.
after the beautiful essena oneil posted her social media rant, (which is a great read) i've wanted to gather the courage to follow in her footsteps and live a life free of social media. i cut down from having a twitter, snapchat, Facebook and instagram, to deleting all of them besides Facebook and instagram. (arguably the most popular) but i couldn't find the right time to be rid of all of my social media. i mean, in a way, it's a part of me! i enjoy sitting down and sharing with the world my thoughts. but at a certain point, it becomes toxic. it becomes old. and what i've decided throughout all of this is that i want less of myself and more of christ.
how would my world change if i spent more time focusing on the goodness of the lord instead of slabbing a filter on my picture?
how would my world change if every morning, in the first moments of the day in my grogginess, my first notion was to reach for my bible instead of my phone?
how would my world change if i decided to go on a trip and not worry about getting dressed up so that i could post a picture?
how would my world change if i learned how to engage in meaningful conversation with someone, without getting a notification?
i'm not gong to lie and say that i am sure that if i delete all social media that my live will drastically change, but i can say that i am sure that my life will not drastically change if i do not
delete social media.
i'm the type of person that sees black and white, without any in-betweens. what i've come to realize is that although social media isn't necessarily bad, it is not good. it is fun, and entertaining, and popular, but so are a lot of toxic things. so without further ado, the reasons i have decided to delete all of my social media.
i remember as a little girl running around the forests of my backyard until my tiny feet couldn't take me another step. i remember taking in the smell of mom's fresh made cookies. i remember being so utterly amazed and awe-struck by God's creation. and now as i sit on the beautiful warm carribean beach with salty air filling my lungs, i notice i'm attached to my phone like it's the cause of my oxygen. and i can't help but think,
"when did I lose my sense of wonder?"
when did i become so technology obsessed that i don't enjoy a tropical island? i can't pinpoint the moment it happened, but my guess would be the overuse of social media. i felt the Lord telling me to seek him. and i had a thought-
if i spent half the time seeking the Lord as much as i do on social media sites a day, how much would i grow?
the answer can't be pinpointed, but it can be ensured that spending time with the Lord will reap many, many more benefits than social media ever could.
now i'm not saying that social media is bad thing because it can be used in the right purpose, but i believe that that right purpose is rare. i mean, everyone is posting the same thing. a girl with her friends all dressed up, a swimming pool picture, animals, food, etc. at a certain point it gets old. think about something- if you had a day where your schedule was completely free and you had nothing to do, how long would you spend it on social media? an hour? three hours? all day? i'm absolutely not saying that you have to choose between social media and your religion. every single person is different.
what i am saying is that i am convicted.
i'm convicted because of how often i think of reading the bible as a chore, and checking my phone as a hobby.
i want to rely on God's holy word for my encouragement, not a comment on my picture.
can you imagine if you were as addicted to the Bible as your were to your phone?
if your teacher noticed you weren't paying attention in class to find a bible under your desk?
or to feel incomplete without starting your day with God's word, the way you do when you can't find your phone?
i want to be completely and totally engulfed and obsessed with my creator, not my own creation on a phone screen.
2. comparison is the thief of joy, my friends.
oh how this sentence resonates with me. i've written a handful of comparison posts (my thoughts on social media, what i want to tell every woman, comparing yourself to others) on how toxic comparison can truly be. when i think about it, i don't remember the last time i closed all of my social media apps and felt good. or refreshed. or even happy. let's just take a step back for a second- if a stranger came up to me and asked me if i had to spend multiple hours a week doing something that made me feel noticeably worse about myself, i would tell him it would be absurd to waste so much time doing it. but for some strange reason, social media is a phenonenom all young people have come to accept without questions, even though it only causes feelings of negativity for the majority.
however, on the (rare) days that I do end with Gods word,
i feel renewed.
like a princess- since , after all, my father is the king.
there are millions of reasons why social media can be toxic, but the one that sticks out to me is that social media is not real life. whether it be through ads plastered around the mall, magazine covers, social media, tv, movies or books, we are faced with an unrealistic expectation for women especially. the difference with social media is that it is always with us. we can't escape it. it's people that we know, that we follow, that we're jealous of, that are the root of our self-esteem problem. so why do we put up with it? i'm taking a stand against it.
i don't want to settle for this mediocrity that i'm living in. i want to build intentional and life-changing relationships with people about big and holy things, not just the latest trending tweet. i want to travel the earth and let my feet get blistered from all of the streets i have walked, not stopped to take a picture to post. i want to go on a mission trip and not have to post a picture of the faces that i fell in love with to prove to others that i went. i want to have a bible verse stick out to me and messily scribble it into a journal to keep for the years to come, not take an "artsy picture" to post.
i want to be the best version of myself. i don't want to look back at my life at 80 and realize how many hours upon hours i wasted trying to fit in to this world's standards. i want to indulge into the things that really matter.
i will not continue to let social media define me.
i will allow for God to fill the void in my heart that i have let social media to for so long.
what this means for me and my blog--
i will be logging out of my facebook and instagram, and deleting the apps so i will not have a way to get on them. i define social media as a site you can post something and get likes/comments/shares etc. therefore, i will not be deleting my blog or my portfolio blog, so that i can continue writing and sharing my love of words/photos with the world. i will continue posting on these sites (and possibly a new youtube channel!). if you have any questions as to why i am keeping these and deleting the others, feel free to contact me from any of the links below.
i am deleting my social media for an extended amount of time, at least lasting the duration of the summer- i'm not sure if this will last forever. i'm praying that throughout this i learn how to live a new life, apart from social media.