A Digital Detox Is Saving My Happiness
Health and Wellness

Taking Breaks From Social Media Is Helping Me Reclaim My Happiness, One Digital Detox At A Time

I stopped smiling for the camera so I could work on myself.

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Whenever things are going right in my life, I want to share it with the world.

This seems to be the mindset behind social media. When we embark on new adventures, when we finally take the right thirst trap to piss off our exes, when we finally seem to look happier than we feel — we slap a filter on it and post with the click of a button.

In those moments, we are flooded with the instant gratification we so needed to let everyone know how great we're doing. We crave attention, and we want our actions to have an effect. We hide behind platforms that allow us to express everything on the surface.

In 2020, I have chosen to take a step back from superficiality and focus on my well being.

To be clear, I am not being critical of social media. There have been so many times where I've engaged in the same type of behavior and the results were just what I had hoped for. I hid behind smiles in photos, edited out what I didn't want others to see, and I walked away with the fulfillment that all of my followers knew my current state of happiness. Yet, in recent months, I've gotten drained from hiding behind these smiles. I have experienced so much in the past year of my life that a smile wasn't even warranted.

I began to see how obvious it was that the way I was presenting myself was not in a happy or graceful manner, and it was at that time that I started to wonder how many other social media users out there were doing the same.

As of today, I know the specific things on social media that will trigger me to feel bad about myself if I look at them. I've lost my energy for comparison and competition.

My main priority is now my happiness, and I am beginning to reclaim it by taking frequent breaks from social media.

I realize that is completely impractical to delete Snapchat or Instagram if I'm going to be taking a break multiple times throughout the week. Instead, I'm gaining control to simply not use my apps if I am not in the right headspace. If I've already had a rough day at school or at home, I now know better than to log onto my social media and look at things that could make a bad mood even worse. Instead, I am working to use my time more wisely by doing homework, going to the gym, and spending time with my family.

By unplugging from social media every now and then, my mind feels lighter.

The more time I spend looking at daily updates from others, the less time I spend focusing on myself and the things that make me the happiest. In return, I've lost the urge to constantly update others about my life. When I do post on social media now, my goal is not to present a version of myself that I think will get attention from others. Instead, my goal is to share the moments where I am genuinely happy — whatever version of myself that may be at the time. Friends and photos on social media are not always definitive of the people that care about you. After taking the time to realize all of these points, I am truly starting to feel happy with myself.

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