I deleted all my social media and this is what happened
I wanted to experience life without feeling the compulsive desire to share every second of it on Snapchat
by Meg Croley
After much, and by much I mean minuscule, debate and internal back and forth, I decided to delete my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, so I could make myself real again and possibly regain some long-lost sanity (although, if we’re being serious, that ship has long since sailed).
Social media is a phenomenal way to connect with those far away from you and even those nearby. Never would I totally damn it, especially when I love it so entirely. My quasi-ironic quips on Twitter and self-deprecating entries on finsta (faux-Instagram for those who have not had the pleasure of creating one yet) often times made my day, and I love(d) having the ability to immediately voice whatever (hopefully) funny thought I had at that moment. However, it is that entire love that I needed to obliterate from my life, however briefly, so I could get some escape and relief from a pressure I had created for myself.
The amount of times I check social media in a day is unreal, and often times I see things that, however much they shouldn’t, upset me, or that I would rather not have soil my great mood or otherwise productive day. While I think that social media can be wonderful and beautiful in its connectivity, I had begun to no longer feel that. It had become obsessive, and the way I felt known and validated. I should not need likes or followers to feel like a real person – no one should. I should be that on my own, and my life should still have merit without being constantly documented, edited, and crafted to appear perfect.
In the past, I have edited an extreme amount of moments to show total happiness, leading people to believe that certain aspects of my life were without flaw or issue. Recently, after feeling so entirely fed up with having to view everyone’s story on Snapchat, and being forced to see things I would rather not even cross my mind on Instagram, I asked myself, why must i do this? Why do I have to keep up with what everyone else is doing rather than live my real life, and fully cherish and experience the moments around me? I responded by shutting off my phone, and even though I didn’t even leave my house, I felt more real and relieved than I had in such a long time.
I wanted to experience life without feeling the compulsive desire to share every second of it on Snapchat. I wanted to go to the beach and not yell at my brother to take the perfect photo (sorry, Kev, I plead selfish teen). I wanted to go to the Lumineers concert and watch it with my best friend. I wanted to really watch every second of it. I was entirely afraid that I was about to fall behind and people would forget I existed, yet that only told me that my existence should not depend on social media, and what I edit to perfection to share throughout it. I wanted, and still do, to connect with real people, and not be so driven to view and care about what everyone else is doing. I set myself free of my own imposed obsession, and deleted what I thought were only taxes on my personal happiness and zest for life. In doing so, even for such a short amount of time, I realized something – there was no need to keep up with everyone. I have enough trouble keeping up with my own life, let alone constantly having to check up on everyone else. Did I end up redownloading everything? Yes, but with some stipulations.
I no longer view anyone’s snap story. To be honest, they stress me out, are too long, and probably won’t involve anything I care about. Sometimes I’ll view my closest friends’, but that’s it, along with not really posting anything of my own. As for gram, I have post notifications on for the people I love, even though I’ve retained my finsta (for my friends’ and my own personal amusement). Honestly, even though I got it back, those two days were eye-opening enough to convince me only to check it twice a day, at most. The relief outweighs the fear of missing out. Truly, I won’t be missing out anymore – I’ll be living in the moment.