I, like many Americans, fell victim to the social media addiction of the 21st century. Of course, I didn't think it was a problem, but I was posting without really knowing why. Getting a good picture to post on Instagram was more important than experiencing the moment. I found myself worrying if the most recent post would get as many likes as my others, then I worried if I post too much people would get annoyed and unfollow me. I soon realized these fears were pointless and they were distracting me from anything even remotely important. So, I deleted every social media app off of my phone.
I told myself I needed to go a week without being on social media for a much-needed break.
After the first day, I wondered why I hadn't done that so much earlier. I told myself I had to go at least three days off of everything, then I could use my laptop to use the website versions whenever I felt the need to. I didn't check social media a whole lot during that week, and when I did, I found I didn't miss much of anything.
A few more weeks went by and after allowing myself to use social media however I wanted, I never did re-download Snapchat or Facebook on my phone. I figured Facebook was fine on my laptop and I never really Snapchatted anyone enough to want the app back. The only reason I got Instagram back was so I would still be able to use the DM feature — though I hid on the second page of a folder so I wouldn't be tempted to check it every five minutes.
Eventually, I still found myself checking Facebook way too often and being disappointed every time. Nobody ever posts anything relevant, so I just deactivated my account. Now that I only use Instagram, and not very often at that, I have so much more free time. Instead of grabbing my phone first thing in the morning, I just get up and start getting ready for the day.
Shoving social media down to the bottom of my priority list has made room at the top for things I'm actually passionate about. I'm focusing more on things I love and talking to people in person instead of online.
At the end of the day, social media is a great way to connect with people no matter where they are in the world, but so many of us don't use it productively. So, the next time you grab your phone to check social media, ask yourself why. If you can't come up with anything, put your phone away and go do anything else. Trust me, you and everyone else in your life will benefit. Just be more aware of what you're actually doing and why you're doing it. Then go do something else.