If there is one thing in this world that I can honestly love and hate simultaneously, it’s social media.

Things I love about it: it keeps me in touch with my family and friends back home, I love looking at everyone’s cute pictures, it can occasionally be pretty entertaining, and when I need to waste some time while during the day, social media is always there to the rescue.

Things I hate about it: the old recycled jokes, the pettiness, the cyber-bullying, and how entirely superficial it all is.

Social media can be a great thing, but unfortunately, it can become twisted into this nasty and toxic thing.

Thanksgiving of last year, I went to the Bahamas with my family, and it was SO REFRESHING to be away from my phone for a week. I enjoyed the beauty of the island in front of me, I spent quality time with my family, and I was able to live my life without thinking about how it was portrayed online. I kid you not, it was one of the best weeks of my life.

So I made a vow to myself. When I got back stateside, I would delete all of my social media for a while, take a break from it all.

Now to be honest, I didn’t quit everything cold turkey, I don’t have that much willpower. I kept my Facebook since that’s my main way of keeping up with family back in Michigan, and I kept Instagram because I am 100% addicted to it, I know I’m ridiculous. So I deleted both my Snapchat and my Twitter, and I significantly reduced how much time I spent on Facebook and Instagram.

That was 7 months ago, and what a glorious seven months it has been.

I’ve spent the last seven months discovering who I am without the influence of negative words from “friends” online. I’ve gotten back to doing things that make me happy; reading, singing, working out, watching movie marathons, and spending time with my friends. I’ve grown more confident in who I am without seeing pictures and posts online telling me what I should look like and how I should act.

I’ve been able to grow up and reprioritize on what’s actually important in my life. I’ve refocused in on my goals and what I want to get out of this life.

Social media is a fantastic tool and a great way to connect with the world around you, but lets not give it more credit than it deserves. Your life on social media is in no way a legitimate representation of your life. Don’t place so much value on how many likes, retweets, and followers you get. Place value in the amazing things you have in your life outside of the screen of your phone.

No one’s life is as perfect as their social media feed portrays it to be. So here’s a challenge I present to you: try and put your phone down for a while, make some memories that no one knows about, make some memories that are just yours.

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Written by jazmynpatterson

just a small town girl, living in a beautiful world

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