Going Social Media Free
The other day I felt like I was balancing on a tightrope. I caught myself becoming overly irritated at the smallest things. My thoughts were running through my head in a loop of negativity and I needed it to stop! I felt my mood improving after going on a short walk, however, I wanted to figure out what had triggered these tumultuous emotions.
After thinking through my day, I realized that on this particular morning instead of hopping out of bed to start my day with movement, reading, and journaling, I laid scrolling on Instagram. This one act had propelled me into a wormhole of negativity. Instead of setting my own trajectory and intentions for the day, I was filled with other people’s lives, ideas, and thoughts. When we don’t take the time to identify what is important for our lives, we are left impressionable to what other people are saying is most important.
For the next week I put in place a few measures to make sure I did not fall into any mindless scrolling. The first thing I did was charge my phone in another room. This kept me from grabbing my cell when I first woke up. The second (and arguably more helpful) thing I did was log myself out of Instagram. Every time I impulsively clicked onto the app without thinking, I was faced with a login. This small act was enough to break me out of the autopilot I so easily fall into during lull moments of life, like waiting to check out at the grocery store. Instead of becoming absorbed in my phone, I started to appreciate simply standing and observing the things happening around me. It felt both invigorating as well as unnerving to be untethered to a device, as if the small shield I used to avoid standing alone was suddenly pulled away. Only, instead of feeling anxious without my phone, I found myself enjoying the small interactions with the people around me. Smiles behind masks and nods of acknowledgment binding together patrons of the local chains.
I do not think social media is negative. I love the tool as a way to keep updated on friends’ lives and learn from people I appreciate. However, like anything on the internet, Instagram can be a ticking time bomb of negativity and people yelling from every corner. I find that in order to live my happiest and most balanced life, I need to limit the amount of time I spend on the apps or take breaks from it completely.
The world is made more beautiful when we live out the unique callings within our souls. Use social media as a catalyst to gain inspiration and connection, not as a tool of self-doubt or frustration. I challenge you to log out of your Instagram to give yourself a check when you click onto the app. You might be surprised at the increase in your positivity and decrease in stress. Not to mention the time added back into your day!
Alina Gersib - Contributing Writer