Social media… It’s often times one the first things we see in the morning and one of the last things we see before going to sleep at night. There’s no doubt that social media has slowly been integrated into our daily lives. I mean, you can’t even go out to coffee or dinner without someone taking a picture and/or posting something about it! (which can be fun don’t get me wrong, but it can also take away from simply enjoying the present moment.)
This generation has become a culture defined by the number of likes, shares, tweets, and follows one has. Not only does this lead you to focus on others more than yourself, but it also leaves us with a distorted version of beauty and life. Here are some of the biggest things I have learned from taking regular breaks from social media:
Social Media Can Cause Your Happiness To Be Too Dependent On Others
Social media can naturally come with a feeling of needing validation or approval from someone else. For example, if you grab coffee with a friend you should enjoy it because of the time spent together and tasty coffee, not because of how many likes or comments you get on a picture of it. So many people crave this type of attention usually to fill a void in their lives (almost like satisfying an addiction). Trust me, it is nice seeing people giving attention to what you’re doing, but it’s also important to remember how much of it truly matters. True and complete happiness should come from within. Coming from a place of authenticity, purity, and simply enjoying each present moment. Happiness shouldn’t come from whether or not someone liked, commented, or shared a picture of yours.
It Can Play A Pretty Big Role In Your Self-Esteem
I don’t know about you but when I constantly see pictures of beautiful people, happy couples, fit bodies, successful business, and fancy lifestyles I eventually start subconsciously comparing their lives to my own and often start to feel discontent with what I already have (don’t get me wrong, seeing beautiful pictures can also be an awesome source of inspiration at times too!). It is so easy for us to compare ourselves to what someone else has. We’re human though, so it’s totally natural to feel that way sometimes!
Recently, I went through everyone I was following on Instagram (which was a TON of random people…) and made a decision to unfollow anyone that didn’t benefit or help me grow, which probably cut the list in half! This has been such a powerful tool in growing my confidence and self-esteem. Now I don’t feel bombarded by the superficial, unnatural versions of beauty. Instead, I feel completely empowered and inspired whenever scrolling through my feed. Try experimenting doing this once a month and see if YOU can feel a difference 😉
Can Take Away From The Present Moment
Do you ever notice couples at a restaurant, and both parties are staring at their phones? Or how about someone walking down the street with their phone in their face? This is something I’m SOO guilty of doing, but have truly noticed the difference when I choose to put the phone away and enjoy the present moment. Not only does this allow you to connect with people on a deeper level, but it also allows you to become more aware of yourself and what’s around you.
Gives You A Distorted Version Of Beauty
Having worked in the modeling industry I cannot begin to tell you the amount of editing that goes on behind almost EVERY photo! And you don’t have to be a model to notice this. Now we see it everywhere with a number of filters and editing apps, it’s now at the touch of our fingertips to completely change the way we look in a photo. Something I love to remind myself or others of when it comes to social media is:
“Don’t let Instagram fool you. There are people with only 10 likes and have plenty of friends, and people with 1000’s of likes that are incredibly lonely. There are couples that appear extremely happy, yet are in dysfunctional relationships. There are girls who overexpose their bodies, yet feel the most insecure. There are guys who flaunt lavish lifestyles yet are struggling with debt. Things aren’t always what they appear to be. Social media has created an outlet for narcissistic behavior where self-worth is determined by the amount of likes received. Appearances are just that, appearances!”
In a perfect world, I would love to take one or even two days off from social media a week, but that usually doesn’t happen… Instead, I’ve discovered that taking a few hours off one or two mornings a week, or even a few hours off before bed, seems to do the trick! This means no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc… It won’t be easy, in fact, if you’re like me you may find yourself caving and scrolling through your feed in the middle of the night! Instead, try reading a book, walking with a friend, working out, watching a movie, or cleaning the house. The options are endless!
I hope some of these tips have inspired you in some way! Let us know in the comments below what you’ve discovered when taking a break from social media! Interested in learning more? Click here to learn more about ‘Overcoming Jealousy and Negativity’.
Anna Marie xxx
(Photo credit: Chelsea Thompson)