“Technology is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.”
-Carey P. Snow
Waking up, most people gravitate towards their phone. I can’t even count how many morning routine video’s I’ve seen on YouTube in which the first thing someone does when they wake up is grab their phone and do a quick run through on social media. The addiction to social media (and that’s exactly what it is- an addiction) is the most widely accepted and often untreated addiction in the world today.
It allows us to connect with others and stay updated on other people’s lives which can be a good thing for it’s intended purpose- yet, it still has its negative affects. Especially on the scale most people use it.
Over the course of this past summer, I was forced to take a break from all technology. Yes- Forced. Social media was becoming my world and I wasn’t choosing the most positive online influences for my life.
I was scrolling through feeds filled with happy life updates and plastic smiles. All of which wasn’t reality, because no matter how much the internet loves “real” people- people only show you what they want to.
Using social media as religiously as I did had a huge negative affect on what I thought of myself and on the decisions that I was making. It was controlling my self-satisfaction on the daily!
I battled feelings of envy, discontent, and self-dissatisfaction.
When I took a two month break from social media this past summer, a few things began to change.
In the quiet (you know- the world without technology), I finally got to hear my own voice; the voice that had been dominated and controlled by social media. I finally got to think about what I liked, what value I felt that I added (or could add) to society, and other things as well without seeing the opinions and views of others first.
I started to pay more attention to my surroundings and found that I was finally present. I was finally in my environment completely, mentally and physically. No cell phone, no internet, no distractions, no purposeless thoughts planted by social media that governed my mentality. I had conversations in which I wasn’t tempted to divert my attention, but entertained and engaged in at 100% focus (which equals a 100% me).
The one thing I felt the most though- almost immediately- upon removing myself from the World Wide Web was relief.
I no longer had the judgement of the internet over me like a thick grey cloud. My mind no longer sought the opinions of others in order to gain self-satisfaction.
Instead, I was given the freedom of using my own thoughts and opinions to gain a healthy self-esteem. In a way, I was able to revisit the days of my childhood. Where I could do anything I put my mind to & be the person I wanted to be because I believed I could. Not because social media put a label on me & told me what was & wasn’t acceptable for me to be.
When I returned to social media, I had a new perspective.
I determined that I didn’t care enough to post whatever I wanted-regardless of the attention it got, yet cared enough to start using the internet, social media, and my phone more positively, in a way that could truly benefit my life- not suck it up and let it waste away.
I decided that from that point forward, I would stop wasting energy and thoughts on people who were not contributing to my life positively. I started following accounts that would fill my daily feed with encouraging, uplifting, and actionable posts.
It truly did make such a big difference in my life since today, I can honestly say my self-satisfaction is no longer affected by social media. God’s word and my family are the only sources I turn to in order to guide me lovingly and honestly in what I find self-satisfaction in. Which is pretty important.
We can’t only depend on ourselves for self-satisfaction because that could result in either a vain mentality or a self-destructive mentality. Hence, why it is important to have a healthy judgement in your life- but that’s what we have Jesus, the Bible, and family for! Not social media.
I want to encourage everyone reading this post to consider unplugging yourself from social media. Even if it’s just for a week.
Evaluate where you get your self-satisfaction from. You may surprise yourself in what realizations you come to. You may find you get it from social media or something else entirely! Maybe it’s the amount of money you make, the position you have at your job, or the reputation you have.
Social media can be a wonderful thing- when used correctly and in moderation. Too much of it and you could get stuck in the mentality that you are never enough. That you always have to strive to be like someone else, or have what someone else has because that’s all you see on social media!
It’s easy to allow simple things like the number of “likes” on your posts or the number of “followers”/”friends” on your social media account to determine your worth and how great your life actually is.
It’s important to remember though, being satisfied with yourself and your life has nothing to do with likes, comments, followers, and friends- but EVERYTHING to do with you. By yourself. At the end of the day, Do you like who you are?
Are you truly self-satisfied? Or do you allow social media to decide if your life is one worthy of self-satisfaction?
It’s a question worth answering.