Let me preface by making the least controversial statement that has ever graced this earth-2020 SUCKS. For some people, quarantine was a blessing; I learned a lot about myself and I'm grateful for the time I had to rest, but I would NEVER do it again.
In general, however, COVID — and every other catastrophe that decided to rear its ugly head this year- have made things seem more confusing than ever.
Netflix even decided to do the unthinkable and remove "That 70's Show" and "Parks and Rec" from its platform (pain. so. much. pain.).
Being on social media just seems to amplify the confusion that everyone seems to be feeling this year.
Instagram has come a long way from its usual thirst traps and has since turned to being a platform that many people use for advocacy. Being able to get informed on current events and reading firsthand testaments has become easier than ever, which is probably one of the few positives to come out of this year.
With the added streams of information coming from every direction can also come the pressure of doing and being enough.
Having any sort of online presence is STRESSFUL!!!! Some days, you can look at Twitter and laugh and that can be the extent of it all.
Other days, you stay up until two in the morning crying because your best friend called someone else her best friend on her private Snapchat story.
Luckily for us, there is such an easy solution to the woes that come with social media: turn it off!!!!
There are so many ways to do this; you can put your phone on Do Not Disturb (this one is my personal favorite because I do not, in fact, enjoy being disturbed), log out of your account, delete the apps, put your phone in a safe for a few hours, or make your friends confiscate your phone just like your parents did when you were 14.
For a set time every day, take time for you. Not the world!!!! Social media is not self-care!!!! In my personal time every day, I like to journal so my thoughts are out of my brain and onto paper, but there are seriously so many things that can give you clarity.
Prioritizing your relationship with yourself is so important because you can't maintain external relationships and be a good ally without a strong foundation of your own values (aka "you can't pour from an empty cup").
Taking time away from the internet might do nothing for you and you might think it is so stupid and you just have to see 34 consecutive Instagram stories telling you to vote or you simply won't do it.
If that's the case, then fire up that phone and get to scrolling baby!!!! Do what empowers you!!!
But I think that spending time with yourself and being fully present in the current moment can help you realize what you truly want and how you want to achieve your goals.
I'm a sophomore in college and it took an entire pandemic, a car accident that left me carless and concussed, and half of a semester of classes to realize that I actually don't enjoy what I'm pursuing. My phone, however, served as a distraction from all of that!!
It reminded me that, while I might not be happy, there are other unhappy people out there that are way better at faking it than I am. When I cut down on the screen time, I realized that not even a pandemic can stop me from going outside or finding new music or watching documentaries about really cool stuff!!!
So that's what I'm trying to do more!! Because, who cares what your Instagram followers think??
I promise that they don't actually care what you ate for breakfast or if your tan low-key made you look like a peanut butter baby in that one picture. Social media is all about validation, but you know what will make you feel good but doesn't require validation in return??
Having fun. Work out! Buy a plant! Get a tattoo on your butt! Find things that make you feel good that don't require an internet connection.
The way this year is going, we might have to resort to making fires and scavenging for our own food anyway when the apocalypse finally happens.
So this fall, save the basic captions, enjoy your PSL without posting it anywhere, and just enjoy now.