Benefits Of Quitting Social Media | 5 Lessons Learned From A Year Off Instagram
BENEFITS OF QUITTING SOCIAL MEDIA |
5 LESSONS I LEARNED FROM A YEAR OFF INSTAGRAM
1.- Reality Vs. Virtual Reality
There is a huge difference between real life and the virtual reality we are all living in our curated squares. I learned it is imperative to our mental, spiritual and physical health to have boundaries on social media. Instead of pretending to live and watch countless hours of other people living their lives, I need to make a choice to live in my present and real life! Even the hard moments that I am trying to avoid by buffering through social media, I am learning to accept and process those emotions rather than go and distract myself from my own issues, problems and pain. Easier said than done! I know! This year I started going to therapy regularly and it's changed my life!
2.- You have to become your very best friend and cultivate real friendships with real people.
I learned that the people who "liked' all my photos and engaged with me on social media didn't actually follow me to my real life after quitting social media. Some friendships stayed on the gram. That's entirely okay. I'm not coming from a place of vindictive sarcasm, I'm simply stating an observation of what I experienced. I believe it is imperative in this "virtually-connected- but-HIGHLY-disconnected-in-real-life" era; to cultivate a sense of true friendship with our own selves and really go after the relationships in our life that we want to cultivate. As with anything in life, friendships don't just grow magically. We must choose to be the friend we long for to others FIRST. Also, more isn't always better. I made a list of the people who really love me and have encouraged me through thick and thin and it was a list of few people including myself and Jesus. So it doesn't always have to be 100's of friends in our life. I encourage you to take a good look at who you surround yourself with and how well you're cultivating a two-way friendship where both people are engaged and showing up for the friendship! Even if to start with, the two friends you can count right now are Jesus and yourself. That's an excellent start! Jesus will always fill us the way no one else can!
3.- Why are you on social media?
If you don't have a strong why as to your use of social media, you start doing some pretty silly things! And by "you" I mean me! I'm talking to myself in retrospect, may all my findings meet you with respect and love! Your WHY can be to share your family with your family. So then don't feel bad when there's only one "like" on the picture. Let's release people from the job to fill our cup! If you're an entrepreneur, make sure you know who you're talking to and why. This will save you from posting unauthentic content (trust me, this is where I feel like I got into trouble a year ago)! I kept posting for the eyeballs, rather than creating for God, myself and the person I believe I am creating value for like from the beginning! I got scared of the "platform". But God is showing me to humble myself before him and he will give me the strength to keep taking steps to become the most authentic version of myself! And that when I Instagram for HIS glory, I don't have the pressure of eyeballs. My why is sacred and the glory and praise go to Jesus in everything I do! He allows me to fail without feeling like a failure! Growth requires failure and trying again! So here I am trying again!
4.- Don't take yourself so seriously.
It's an app made by people to keep your attention for a very long time. Essentially it's a game. Play with caution and be carefree! If you're a recovering perfectionist like me, then you'd know what it feels like to want your squares to look "perfect" and experience anxiety before posting a photo! This didn't' happen to me at the beginning of my journey but as I started getting a tribe of amazing people "watching" me, I felt crushing pressure I've never felt before! Friend, no one is perfect other than Jesus! Gram your life as if you're gramming for the Lord! (Libier-enians 11:11) hahaha totally kidding that's not in the bible! Just a joke! Choose to be lighthearted. Play as if you're a little kid! When we come from a place of playfulness we are able to create more purely and add less anxiety to our lives. Nothing is worth feeling scared of being exactly who you are. Those who don't like you, won't and you can't change their mind. But if you like you then create from that space and allow those who get you to get you and delight in you being exactly who you are! So be honest with God and yourself. Post from a place of belonging and worth rather than for it! You are already 100% loved by God. 100% accepted and 100% seen. He loves you and is crazy about you. He is your worth and no one or nothing can take it away!
5.- The moment you want to quit is the moment things are about to get good.
When you feel the most difficulty and adversity don't quit! It's a sign of a turning point and God's word is true that "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18) I know this scripture is also referring to heaven but I believe that it also applies on earth! So don't quit and keep moving forward. Most of the lessons learned in the valley will be applied at the mountaintop! Every season is necessary! Although I "quit" social media for a year I didn't quit on learning about God and myself. I didn't quit my dream of living my life for Christ as an example of what is possible with him!
Instagram can be so fun and I do believe it is a great place to find a tribe and community. As I came back I remembered why I loved it so much. Just be cautious that you are spending more time enjoying your real life and meaningful relationships! I love you so much! Thank you for reading!