I have a love-hate relationship with social media. It’s a massive part of my life, and for years, I spent hours consumed by my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.
I often compared myself to the people I followed, feeling discouraged by their successes, highlight reels, and perfect bodies. It had a drastic impact on my self-esteem. I appeared confident on the outside, but inside, I was very insecure. Why wasn’t I like the people I followed on Instagram?
Social media often creates an inaccurate perception of someone else; it may seem like their life is picture-perfect, but it’s not. Nobody’s life is. Knowing this, I finally decided that I needed a social media detox. For one month, I deleted all the social media apps off my phone—and I couldn’t believe how much better it made me feel. Here’s what I did, learned, and noticed about myself during the process.
I Stopped Comparing Myself to People
I was sick of constantly comparing myself to others; that’s the main reason I stepped away from social media. Once I signed off, I finally stopped focusing on the things I didn’t like about myself and started to genuinely appreciate my own daily routines and lifestyle. Once I no longer measured my life by everyone else’s standards, I began to accept myself for who I truly am.
I Didn’t Need to Impress People
Similarly, I also discovered a new kind of freedom: not worrying what others thought of me. I had always spent so much time trying to figure out ways to please people. For every social media post or caption, I sought approval from others, even though I couldn’t make myself happy. When I stopped putting all my energy into worrying about other people’s opinions, I learned that what I did for myself mattered more than what I did for my so-called followers.
I Reconnected with Myself
Social media is meant to connect people, but it can also make you feel disconnected, especially when you focus on what other people are doing instead of your own life. When I unplugged from social media, I spent more time thinking about what I liked and what was best for me, rather than what other people might think. Taking time to reflect and reconnect brought me a sense of peace that I didn’t feel the need to show off online.
I Focused on My Own Experiences
Once I cut out social media, I had some newfound free time on my hands, so I was able to fully immerse myself in activities I love, including writing, reading, and taking walks. By focusing on what I was doing—rather than worrying about documenting everything for Instagram—I was able to create authentic memories that I’ll never forget. Trust me, it was way more interesting.
I Found Motivation in Song Lyrics
I love listening to music, and all of my favorite songs have lyrics that make me sing along. In an effort to continue reconnecting with myself, I wrote some of the most inspiring lines on sticky notes, so whenever I read them, they make me smile and boost my confidence. One of the best ones is a quote from the song “Good as Hell” by Lizzo, which says “Boss up and change your life. You can have it all, no sacrifice.” Those are words to live by.
Ready to take a social media break of your own? Follow these steps to get started.
By: Larry Stansbury