It is a sigh of relief. A weight off your shoulders. It's a surge of satisfaction being able to let go of the constant need to check your phone.
For me, these moments come at a time when I have no choice but to lay off social media. Times such as camping trips in the mountains, vacations where I'm too busy to be on my phone, or, my current situation, having just moved and my boyfriend has failed to get the WiFi set up for over a week (why did I trust him with this job?).
Of course now, I'm glad I did put him in charge of this seemingly simple task. Because of him, our past week and a half in our new apartment has been spent reading, playing cards, listening to old music on his iPod, and watching ONE movie (as opposed to binge-watching Netflix).
It's so much easier to think of creative and fun ways to pass the time when you're disconnected from the online world. And personally, I feel a sense of ease not being ruled by technology. Aside from social media, there are other things that attach us to our devices. Text messages, emails, and any other sort of messaging system that allows people to contact you at any time, any place. We're constantly available to other people, and it's exhausting.
When I take a break from social media, at first I experience a type of anxiety. A sense of urgency that I need to stay up-to-date with what people are doing, and I want them to stay up-to-date with me. Because of platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, we have this obsession with showing off our daily lives, and if we fail to do so, people won't think we're awesome or cool or interesting.
The truth is, though, people don't care either way. Because your followers are thinking the same thing about themselves. We all want our lives to be validated. We all want people to know that we're out here "living our best lives." But why? Why should you care if Sally from your hometown thinks you're having fun on the weekends?
The only people whose opinions matter are the people who are featured in your posts. You should be too busy enjoying each other's company that you don't have time to try to capture it for strangers to see. It's understandable that we all want to show off sometimes. However, the difference comes from your motivations. Posting because you want others to see that you're out on a Friday night is not the same thing as posting because you genuinely love the moment.
Taking a step back from social media not only cuts down the need to impress other people, and it also takes away that shitty feeling we get deep inside when we feel we're missing out. Taking a moment to disconnect is so empowering because you take back control of your feelings, self-esteem, and confidence. It gives you a chance to realize the great things you have going on in your life and to fully experience the memories you're making.
So, moral of the story is this: Don't wait until you have no choice but to stay off social media. Actively make decisions to limit your usage, especially when you're out with other people. It takes an immense weight off your shoulders, and you'll be able to focus on the great experiences that are taking place right in front of you.