I know what you are probably thinking, Audra why in the world would you permanently delete your social media? And here I am with the answer:
Everyone reading this post is a living, breathing human being. We all come from different backgrounds and every one of us has a story to tell. Here is mine.
I get nostalgic about my childhood when I think back to simpler days. This was before the massive increase in cell phone usage, social media didn’t exist along with other materialistic items such as hover boards (that don’t even hover). I am thankful that growing up I wasn’t distracted by these things and I spent time surrounded by people I cared about.
I would play outside almost every day in the summer with my friends or my siblings. We would ride bikes, play in the park and build forts in my backyard. I lived in the moment and wasn’t constantly comparing my daily activities to the lives of others.
Now it saddens me to think that I can’t go a full day without checking my phone every few minutes. Since the first day I got my cell phone, I have become so focused on my own self projection to others that I failed to enjoy the moments passing me by. I have become a slave to my phone.
I can see the positive sides of social media. I mean sure it can be entertaining and at times it is fun to see what others are doing and posting. But at the same time it brings so much hurt, envy, and greed. Here’s what I have found.
- It provides an unrealistic look into the lives of others. I often hear people talk about how “perfect” someone that they follow on instagram or twitter is. “They are seriously goals!” they will point out to me. But I challenge this notion and want people to think deeper. People only post on social media what they want others to see, and often times this only includes positive aspects of their life. Someone that can appear so happy can be struggling or going through so much. It is important to look beyond surface level appearances.
- It creates unnecessary pain and drama. Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of logging onto a social media site and seeing that some of our friends have decided to hang out and post pictures- without us invited. Back before social media, this concept was completely avoided because people weren’t constantly updating others about their lives. Not to mention the countless times people start fights over social media. I must admit that I have been guilty of “subtweeting” people a few times but this behavior is passive aggressive and just plain mean.
- It insights a consumerism mindset. I am not saying that I am a perfect person or that I haven’t fallen victim to consumerism, however the excessive nature of wanting high priced items is completely out of control. Twitter pages are especially notorious for this. I have seen tweets with millions of retweets stating, “I need this 200 dollar makeup kit in my life” or “I’m going to die if I don’t get a hover board for Christmas.” It is not wrong to want things or value high quality items, my problem with this topic starts when people claim that they can’t live without these luxury items. There are a multitude of people in this world who go every day without even basic items such as running fresh water. Get off your high horse and educate yourself about true need please.
- It encourages people to compare themselves with others and creates envy. It is so hard not to compare yourself to others when you are using a social media platform. I truly believe that this is one of the reasons why so many people suffer with low levels of self-esteem. They are trying to reach levels of perfection that are not humanly possible. People are so obsessed with their number of followers or how many likes they get on a post. Why? The answer is pretty obvious, we like to be liked by others. The problem is that social media provides self assurance in such an indirect and impersonal way. I truly believe that you will never feel fulfillment from others through a social media platform.
- It distracts people from real life. This may be the point that saddens me the most. I walk into a restaurant and what do I see? A couple on a date. Neither of them talking. Both on their phones. The person sitting in the corner of the room? On their phone as well. The group of friends eating together? They are all taking selfies to post on their snap stories and posting pictures of their food to instagram. What ever happened to having a genuine, real conversation with someone in person without the distraction of technology? I worry that future generations will not understand the simple pleasure of talking face to face with someone you care about- not having to worry about a clever caption or when you will post your picture together.
I am not at all stating that I haven’t fallen victim to these things listed above, because trust me I have and that’s how I know they exist. I feel that I have wasted enough of my time and energy posting by tapping on a glass screen to a virtual world that isn’t tangible. And I am sick of it. I no longer want to be so distracted by my phone that I forget to experience life. Audra Weigand is saying “no”.
Thank you social media for teaching me that life cannot be lived through a screen.
My philosophy is that if people in your life really want to know how you’ve been, they will make the effort to reach out to you. They will call. They will plan a get together. You don’t need social media to stay connected to those you care about.
When I look back on my life, am I really going to care about how many likes I got on a certain photo or how many followers I had? I sure hope not. I want to remember the people, the experiences, the moments that left me completely speechless. The times when I took in everything there was to see and made the most of it.
So here’s to a fresh start and living in the now.
Worry less and smile more.