I debated writing about this because I felt as if turning a time of self reflection into content for the consumption of others would have completely defeated the purpose of it and taken away from it being personal to me. So, I decided to post this without any type of promotion on any other social media platforms; If you’re reading this it’s because you either found it yourself or got an email update through WordPress.
I’ve been trying a lot of different things. I’ve been trying to walk around the city as much as I can, not with any specific destination but just because. I’ve been looking into TV shows on Netflix that I might be interested in, and for those of you who know me know how big of a deal this is that I’m willingly looking to invest my time in a TV show. I’ve been looking into buying a bike because I really want to bike around the city this Summer, not only for enjoyment but to avoid the subway heat as much as possible. Basically, I’ve been trying to discover new interests. Living in a city like New York City puts you in such a routine lifestyle that it sometimes feels as if I’m on a never-ending schedule that never changes and only juggles between school, work, and then whatever plans I’m able to squeeze in between them. Discovering new hobbies is allowing me to get rid of that feeling and making things feel like ‘new’ again; The feeling of something new is one of my favorite feelings.
This past weekend I logged out of all social media apps. Not for the shock effect, and not for the attention question of “Why haven’t you opened any of my Snapchats?” but for the sole purpose of self reflection. One of my biggest idols, Piera Gelardi, recently posted about her experience about logging out of Instagram and it inspired me so much. In her post, she wrote “Suddenly I was just living my life for my own experience of it, not for the broadcast value, not for consumption, and not in comparison to the lives of others. I could live moments that weren’t “good content” without feeling that they were unproductive as a result.” This really hit me hard and it made me question so much. Some of you reading this may roll your eyes because you don’t take social media seriously, but for someone like me who aspires to have a career in social media, it’s a completely different playing field.
If you haven’t already seen literally everyone on Instagram talk about it, the new algorithm is alive and is even worse than before. It’s now become the new norm for people to use their Instagram Story to promote their new photo that they just posted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely a victim of this, but isn’t it kind of crazy how thirsty we all are and how publicly known we’re making it? I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong and I’m looking too much into it, but I wanted a break. I thought about this a lot, and I thought about the pressure I feel when I don’t go on Instagram for just one day and feel like I have so much to catch up on because I hate missing posts on my feed, and I thought about Piera’s post. I tried planning when I was going to log out of all my social media apps and tried scheduling it for days I knew I’d be able to occupy myself the most but thinking like that defeated the purpose and I needed to just do the damn thing. I asked myself “What am I going to do besides go to work?” That thought was so scary. Not for the unknown answer, but for the fact that I even had to ask myself that and for that fact that I literally didn’t know what else I would do not being able to use social media.
At this point I’m honestly embarrassed that I’ve written down these thoughts and I’m sharing them publicly, with whoever is reading this, but I want to be as honest as I can be; I’m trying to be the best version of myself I can be.
I woke up on Friday and without checking any of my social media apps, I logged out of all of them. I went to work and I was training a new-hire who asked me for my Instagram; I felt stupid having to explain to him that I wasn’t using Instagram at the moment and thought about just logging back in and following him back. I was using my phone and every hour or two would naturally open one of my social media apps forgetting I had logged out. It was just so unfamiliar to me, not using social media by choice. I went out Friday night with my friends and didn’t think about what I would or wouldn’t post on the internet that night, I was just there and everything felt so new. I was just existing without anyone knowing where I was or what I was doing and I was documenting things for myself and not for the consumption of others.
I was really able to just clear my mind this past weekend and I thought about so much. I woke up every morning and went to bed every night so much easier and I felt so much more productive; I didn’t wake up and sit in my bed for an hour scrolling through Instagram and Twitter. This daily pressure I felt was no where to be found and I was just living for myself. I thought about where I am and where I wanted to be; I thought about the things I used to want and the things I currently have.
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and I love to create content and I want to continue doing so for the rest of my life. But it gets to a point where I think we all need to step back and look at what’s really going on and whether our social media usage has gotten to a point where it feels toxic.
Thanks for reading my rambling,