A couple of months ago, a few friends asked me why they don’t see me post on social media anymore. When I say Social Media, I’m referring to the Big Three: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Yes, I’ve not posted in a long while, over 1.5 years to date.
What prompted the disappearance was a dark period some time in 2018. Something happened at work, and looking through the posts of people who were having the time of their lives made me feel worse about myself. I was already thinking about quitting awhile back, as it felt like such a big time waster, saps my self-esteem and makes my brain feel “cluttered”. But at the time, I didn’t want to “miss out” so I stayed on. When I entered that “dark place”, I decided not to think too much and just do a drastic, quit cold turkey kind of thing.
Surprisingly, I did not have a hard time after quitting. If anything, I felt I was set free. I was quite glad I do not have to go through the elaborate lengths to appear “perfect” and #blessed to the internet world. I don’t have to capture every single moment just so I can show the world that I’m livin’ the good life. I do not have to keep up with what’s in style to fit in.
I still login to my accounts like once a week, but now I’m an observer rather than a participant. Since I’m no longer sucked into that world, I can stop myself from browsing or reading when something triggers me. Instead, I can choose to unfollow accounts or individuals that are feeding into my insecurities, and divert my time to doing other things.
Although I’ve left the internet party, I’ve not gone to another planet altogether. I use LinkedIn a lot for work. I also got into the wonderful world of the Beauty Community on Youtube, and lurk around Reddit. I stick to those platforms because even though I use it a lot, I am “detached” to the people in there. Makeup Gurus don’t make me feel insecure as I’m mostly there to learn how to use makeup or to entertain myself. The main purpose of my LinkedIn account is as a tool to do my job. I don’t post on Reddit and I do not have any idea about what the Redditor’s lives are other than the comments they make.
Though it may not be a huge step for some, it was definitely one of the best changes I’ve made recently, along with some other things to improve my mental health. If anyone out there who is reading this go through episodes of negative self-perception, I do hope you’d consider to at least take a break from social media. From that break, try to invest your energy to doing things that make you feel accomplished, relaxed and focused. Whatever the hell it is: sports, reading, arts and crafts, meditation, travelling etc. Stepping out of this toxic environment, you will realise there is more to your life than just vicariously living other people’s.