Communication. Toxicity. Connection. Distraction. Everyone has their own opinion on how social media affects society and in their own way they’re all correct. Social media is a great way to connect to communities around the world that we wouldn’t have access to otherwise. However, it can also be a toxic environment that distracts us from what’s really important in the world: the present.
I’ve recently decided to take a break from social media because the negative effects it had on my mood became overwhelming. I developed a fear of missing out (FOMO) and I felt like I was constantly being reminded of what my future should look like (incredible body, four kids, huge house, hot husband). We all use social media to make our lives look 10 times more interesting than it actually is. FOMO is such a big and incredibly stupid issue in our generation. It’s literally okay to go places by yourself. It’s okay to have nothing to do. It’s okay to miss that party or not go to that event – and honestly, if your friends don’t invite you to their good times, are they really your friends?
The other issue with social media is that all its been doing lately is reminding me that I need to focus on my future and land that job and make a family and make bank. Obviously, I want all of those things anyway but being in school is already stressful enough I don’t need a constant indication that I’m not doing enough for the future I want. I’m a firm believer that if you focus your efforts on the future way too much, you’ll watch your life pass by and miss the best parts. You’ll miss high school (maybe), and college (definitely), and being able to be a stupid kid and make mistakes with little or no consequences all because Instagram keeps telling you that you have to work your ass off right now to make money. Speaking of money, multiple successful people have proven that money can’t buy happiness so now is the time to figure out what is going to make you happy besides that money that’ll make you feel content every once in a while. Do you want find love? Do you want to follow your dreams instead of that boring job your parents are making you pursue? Do you want to backpack across Europe until you’re nearly broke but smiling? Figure it out and do it. Don’t watch other people do it on Instagram and then let resentment consume you. Do it because you can. I believe in you.
Obviously, I’m not saying you should delete all your accounts but either limit yourself online and take time to live your life or just take a break like me. I’m doing just fine without my apps and I’ll probably go back in a few days or weeks (for networking and food videos, duh!) Nevertheless, I’m going to continue experiencing me things instead of watching others do what I want to do. If you decide to take a break, let me know how it goes and tell me what you learn. It’ll open your eyes to the world around you, I promise.