My instagram and twitter accounts are no more. I took them down just over a month ago as an experiment in disconnecting from the world in order to find contentment- then never bothered to reactivate them.
I noticed something about myself in early May – the sheer volume of people living “better” or “more adventurous” lifestyles on their social media was overwhelming me. I was getting down on myself: my appearance, my early bed time, my drab food.
I was discontent.
So I decided to stop being so connected all the time.
First, I deleted the apps on my phone. It really curbed that early-morning check in to see how wonderful everyone else was and coincidental complete ripping of my self-esteem to shreds before even getting out of bed.
I’d still check in throughout the day, but then I noticed it was effecting me almost the same as before that first step. While I was working away the hours behind a desk without even a window view, others were road tripping, sipping lattes and meeting childhood heroes at Disney World. It left me feeling bored, restless, over it (which, as you know, is really bad for a personality like mine).
So I decided it was time to just get rid of the temptation to covet others’ lives and deactivated Twitter and Instagram. If only for a couple of weeks, I was determined to stop focusing so much on the lives of my acquaintances and strangers I somehow found myself following.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Losing my ability to lust after my friends’ adventures and creep on on-again-off-again was amazing. After the several weeks of check-for-notifications withdrawal, I stopped thinking about Twitter and Instagram altogether.
I still have Facebook as I need it for Undignified Event promotions and to stay in touch with subscribers/friends I can’t otherwise connect with due to long distance. I still like to toss opinions out and share funny videos. I still love to post a good day-changing, life-changing quote.
But I’m not bombarded with such obsessively jealous, covetous, envious thoughts anymore.
I’ve realized over the years that Facebook tends to be more real than Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is where people go to be mental (rants, raves, emo-tweets, etc.). Instagram is where people go to brag (selfies, photo shop, singing videos, etc.). Facebook is where people go to connect, to share, to converse. It’s not perfect- there is still a ton of frustration on there (stupid distant-relative political rants). BUT. There’s less of it.
Now, I’ll be straight with you. I purged Facebook HARD. If someone’s life looked better than mine or statuses provoked negative feelings, I unfollowed their account. This may seem overboard, but I needed to fix this feeling of discontent and seeing their posts was not helping.
As of today, my feed is primarily made up of friends and family, whose adventures I admire and wish them well on. The negativity slowly shrinks, replaced by contentment with my own life.
Yes, I work most of the hours of my day- but I get to have my own place, I recently purchased a new car, and I get to save for adventures.
Sure, it sometimes takes me longer to get to the adventures than I’d like, but each day I get to hang out with hilarious coworkers by the coffee maker. I get to go home at the end of a long day and sip coffee while reading a book or watching Netflix. I get to go to my mom’s and chat about life over a mug of coffee. I get to meet friends for coffee dates, and grab Starbucks when I’m just out running errands.
Okay. How am I not dead yet? I think I’m having a revelation about my coffee addiction. I should consider disconnecting from that, too.
Nah. That’s seems a little extreme.
The point is, if you’re feeling that same overwhelmed and discontent frustration I have been battling, why not check out for a while? You’re allowed. You’re allowed to want peace in your life and cut out the things that are taking that away. Do something bold, like deactivating Twitter. If that’s too much, mute the people who are causing a white noise that drowns out the love you have for yourself.
You’re allowed. You’re allowed. You’re allowed.
There’s no rule book saying we all have to be in constant contact with each other. So take a break, unplug. Let me know how it goes.