I decided to take a break from social media at the beginning of the year. I was off Instagram and Facebook for almost two months. Those two months were some of the best months of my life. I didn’t worry about making sure that I said happy birthday to all of my “friends.” I didn’t worry about making sure that I liked all of my “friends” pictures. The pressure was literally off of me for trying to please everyone. So, I decided after being off social media that it was time to get back on. I thought that I was cured of wanting to please everyone through my likes. I quickly realized that social media just that fast consumed my life again. The patterns began all over again and to my surprise it was like I never left social media.
I started waking up in the morning and the first thing that I did was open my facebook page. I went to the gym and the first thing that I did after a run was post how many miles that I ran. All the patterns that I did for seven years quickly came back but the difference is this time I was aware of what I was doing. As I opened up instagram and as I opened up Facebook I said to myself I can’t stand that I am doing this. I am wasting too much time on these sites. And the funny thing is that I would open up these sites and see the same things over and over again. I also noticed that the people who really “Liked” my posts were the same people that I communicated with outside of social media. The people who really cared about me were the ones who I talked to on the phone with for hours or the ones who I went out to eat with, the people who I really had a relationship with not just a “like” or not.
My pattern made me realize how easily it is to think that you are done with a habit and how easily it is to get right back into it. I know my patterns. I am aware of the things that I do when I am feeling lonely. I am aware of the people that I reach out to when I feel worthless. I tend to look at the past and wish that things were different instead of using my past as a learning tool. Even though it may seem like just getting off social media is not a big deal, to me it is a big deal. It means partially reverting to the person who I was more than seven years ago. I don’t know if that person is good or bad. But, there are some aspects of the old me that I miss. I miss being truly comfortable being by myself. I miss feeling like I am enough. Over the years I looked to social media and how many likes that I had in order to feel validated. When things change, when people change, when the love that you give isn’t exactly what you get back it’s time to step back. It’s time to spend time with your self and say no matter what or who “likes” me I am validated by God and that is enough.
I must admit that this is still a struggle for me but I have hope. I know that at my best that I am able to encourage others through my life experiences. I am learning and reminding myself everyday that it’s ok to have friends and people that truly love me in my life. But I must start to invest more in myself so that I am not looking to others to make me whole. I hope that this resonates with others in that we have one life and wouldn’t it be a shame if we wasted it looking to others for approval. Be honest about your patterns and if they need to be changed then make sure you do so.