After graduating college the major thing I was stressing about was "What the HECK do I do now?" You spend years preparing for the future and then once it's actual go-time, if you're like myself, you feel like you're in a limbo.
You may have a job or a family but there's this quiet and subtle thing that is making us think that we aren't living up to our potential or we aren't doing enough to better ourselves. This is the pressure that comes from social media.
Now you may be thinking it's just social media. People have the right to share pictures of their awesome adventures and life. And they do! I'm a total Instagram fan. When Instagram created Insta-stories it was a game changer.
But as I was sharing pictures of the great life achievements I experienced (Graduation, concerts, mission trips), or links to my articles and blogs for business purposes, I couldn't help but take a 10 minute check up on people I followed and the celebrities that were active on their stories.
These small breaks occurred about 10 times in a single hour. And that's being generous! Anyone relate?
And with every story I watched or every article I read on Facebook or video I watched on Twitter, I found myself subconsciously wanting my life to be "better" and "more". I felt as if my life was boring and I was stuck with where I was at.
Social media can be a great thing! I keep up with my friends from high school and college. I can share my business and advertise, and I can be one of the first million people to see that Snapchat of Kylie Jenner and baby Stormi going on a walk in her stroller that probably costs more than my car. And you can keep people updated on how well you are doing in life.
But sometimes that's all it is. It's a façade to sell people on this idea that you are doing these amazing adventures all the time when in reality you may be drowning in stress.
I mean with the perfect amount of editing and with the right filter they'll never be able to see the bags under your eyes from the long nights you've been putting in at work and at home. I'm definitely guilty of this!
So, a week after graduating college I just wanted to see how long I could last without social media. First I just deleted my apps. And not even five minutes after deleting I found myself picking up my phone and subconsciously clicking where my Instagram app was only to open the new Harry Potter game.
With this small cleanse, I have actually found myself embarrassed at how often I search for my social media apps. I also have found myself actually enjoying my mornings. Time seems to slow down a little and I have been able to just take in what's great about where I am at right now.
I'm not immediately thinking about, "What do I do next?" or "Where do I need to cut my budget in order to afford the next great adventure?"
What is the first thing you think about when you wake up?
No shame just be honest.
My challenge to you today or tomorrow morning is to avoid picking up your phone as soon as your alarm goes off.
Simple enough right? Maybe you're in a position where your job requires you to be active on social media for marketing. Or whatever your situation is, my encouragement to you is that this social media cleanse doesn't have to be some giant gesture.
It may just take a baby step, like taking a moment to enjoy your morning or evening without the outside world looking in. And when you are on social media, don't focus on what you wish you could change. But be real and find joy in the mess that life can sometimes bring.
Whether that's the art your children share with you on the walls of your home, or the activity of the community helping each other clean up the yard after that storm that blew through. Large and small, there are moments to find love and joy in.
Everyone is on their own journeys. So take pride in the journey and adventure you are on right now.