This Thursday is a very simple post, very straight forward but with a purpose: waking up. My morning routine consists of checking my phone for 10 minutes before I get up, checking my phone as I’m getting ready and checking my phone on my way to work (Yes, I admit, sometimes while driving, but mostly on red lights, I’m trying to stop this bad habit). For those of you appalled, Yes, you read correctly,but for some reason I have a feeling, this isn’t too strange for too many of you.
No idea what any of the above has to do with anything? Lets start here:
Our every day lives are consumed by social media engagement. My job requires me to post at least 8 times a day on all our accounts or we get shitted on. This, along with my own obsession over the matter, make it almost impossible to stop and take a breather. I’m not here to lecture you on how to use your spare time, but I will tell you my experience.
Ever since I can remember, social media has played a big part of my life, or rather, since middle school (LOL). Myspace, at the time, was the perfect place to express yourself. With wonderful and countless profile layouts, the options went on and on and I for one did not have the same layout for more than two weeks, what are y’all thinking? This is where you could get out of your shell and talk to that boy you had a crush on, showed off anything that made you special, learned about music, and duck face selfies were acceptable. Parents won’t let you hang out? no biggie! you just spent the whole afternoon on yahoo messenger with not a care in the world. It was amazing and it was equally addicting. Where did it all go wrong?
Well it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies with Myspace, as I mentioned, it was addicting, and for a child at 13, developing a compulsive personality by checking your phone every five minutes or obsessing over your social media profile would be the start of a deeper more emotional issue. You see, I tried to stay away, eventually Myspace was gone and I could breathe again , I could enjoy my life and be a kid. Growing up wasn’t my priority anymore, I was living in the moment. It wasn’t long until Facebook became a big deal and I fell for the curse again. The funny thing about it, I wasn’t a big fan at all. I thought not being able to customize your profile was stupid and useless, it was basically texting with a photo album available for everyone to see. I did miss my middle school friends though, and starting high school while moving to a new school all the way in Cypress, TX, leaving everyone behind, made it easier to fall for the convenience.
Having to use social media as the only choice for communication, no more letters, just tag me on a post, no more girlfriend meetings where you discuss your convos with your crush, just screenshot me the convo, has conveniently ruined our friendships. Life had gotten so easy yet so complicated. Social media opened the doors to stalking, on both ends, and we were accepting of this invasion of privacy. It became easier to be bullied or be the bully. We see sides of people we don’t quite understand ourselves and the whole world is available to us in the screen, just in time to traumatize us more. Have yo noticed lately? Who am I kidding, of course you have, the world is getting even more fucked up and we aren’t doing much but re-posting the awful news and becoming more depressed over the closing of our actual lives. What do I mean by that? Sorry to tell you, but being active on social media isn’t actually living. Sitting hours at home, at work, in your car on your phone, that is not normal and we have no idea of the long term consequences of being on your phone (this goes to all millennials, unfortunately, this is the life we inherited) and until I can be assured I won’t go crazy in my own head, I have to make a change for myself.
Long story short, it has gotten out of control. Until I decided to take control. I’m not an idiot, like I said, it is required for almost everything, including our jobs, but here are some practical ways to make your social media experience productive rather than destructive:
- Follow accounts that make you get out there and experience the world for yourself
- Only follow those close to you, there is literally no purpose to fill your friend list with people you hardly even know, it only adds to your addiction of checking your phone every 10 seconds
- Make a conscious decision to stay off your phone unless you absolutely need to, (this is one of the worst bad habits I have, the phone didn’t even ring & I’m checking it)
- If you catch yourself checking your phone every 10 seconds for no reason, delete the apps! (This might sound a little extreme, but, works for me!
- MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF, FOR YOUR FAMILY, TO LIVE YOUR LIFE & DON’T WORRY ABOUT ADVERTISING IT! (This is the biggest thing, fudge! I wanna post the picture of my awesome meal or my bad ass selfie, but for what? For the approval of who– I know I’m great & so are you!)
I don’t know, call me crazy, I call it precautious. At the end of the day is about your pursuit of happiness & the adventures you live on the way. It’s about knowing what’s real and accepting it. Unless you are amazing at balancing your life and don’t abuse the power of social media, I can guarantee you, this change will help you be a better version of you. Take a long walk, write your feelings out, draw your emotions until you can feel them come out through the images. Live a little.