My Social Media Break

Part 1: Initial Impressions and the Why

Do you ever get the feeling that everyone else is doing something more… exciting, adventurous, bigger, interesting, better (or whatever the adjective may be) than you? Or that their progress on life seems to be ahead of your own. It’s tough, and especially with the world of social media (or social comparison media I should say) at our fingertips. One click, scroll and update away from allowing ourselves (if we are not careful) to feel that our own efforts in life aren’t good enough.

I know for myself personally, that the “Social Media Comparison” has been a challenge for me lately, as I look at what others my age might be doing and compare it to my own life progress it’s hard not to feel discouraged or that I am behind in some way. As well, if you’ve been following my journey you’ll recognize it’s that not good enough experience knocking again that is messing with my own life’s contentment. On another note, I’ve also found myself comparing my artistic progress to others in the mix of it, and feel the “will I ever get there” vibes. Indeed, it is a discouraging and disappointing place to be in, but it is precisely the place I found myself recently and what spurred me to take action and begin what I’ve called my “social media break”. As I am writing this now I can picture how this particular break-up conversation might go in my head “It’s not you… it’s me. Well, it maybe a little bit you and me as well, but still it’s time for us to spend some time apart and figure out what’s important.”

As it turns out, what’s become most important for me has been refocusing my attention on what goals matter most to me, aside from what everyone else is doing and getting clear about how I wish to move forward in my own life. It’s also given me the opportunity to truly reflect on where I am at, feel present and learn how to make better use of the free time I’ve gained this summer being out of classes; and spend that in meaningful ways, like creating steps towards future independence, doing more art, finding time to reflect and read more. In terms of art, it’s given me the opportunity to appreciate my own practice, reflect on my progress I have made and recognize just how well my skill is developing.

The Other Side of the Media:

However, the other side of this experience is equally important in that it’s opened my eyes to see just how addictive social media can be. For real though, since taking this break from social media there have still been times where I’ve struggled not to get hooked in (and big ones for me you might say is Instagram and Youtube). In which, the act of just simply checking this things before, had become an involuntary action, meaning that I might not have even noticed it happening, but since taking this break I have become more attune to just how often I am reaching to check for the latest updates and posts, and make an effort to intentionally stop myself from getting on it any further. Suffice to say, that over-all there’s definitely come some real good from taking on this experience; even while those first few days or weeks were challenging. I often wondered if I could make it, but then find myself feeling clear about the purpose of the break, my path in general and the plan with this technology moving forward. One that I am working on day by day, but am pretty sure a part of it is that my relationship with those platforms are going to be different. Different, how? You ask. Well, more intentionally in that I hope to figure out my exact intentions with it and hope that it becomes a tool I use versus a tool that before may have been using me.

All this to say that outside of social media I’ve gotten a great opportunity to foster some real self-growth and find contentment in my own journey.

All for now fellow readers,