Once upon a time, I was addicted to social media.
I spent hours a day reading about other people’s lives, while avoiding my own. I was comparing my real life to the edited versions of others. My self-worth became dependent on how many “likes” my status updates and selfies received. I aired my dirty laundry and angrily engaged in debates. Eventually I realized that all of this time spent in virtual reality was ruining my actual reality. Once I began limiting social media, I became a happier person.
Limiting social media brought me back down to earth.
I developed a “holier-than-thou” attitude behind the buffer of my screen. Espousing my own opinions became more important than respecting anyone else’s. This lead to heated debates, bruised egos, and damaged relationships.
Limiting social media caused me to become less self-focused. I began reconnecting with the people in my life who truly mattered. My time was spent in meaningful and productive ways, rather than wasting it trying to snap the perfect selfie or having the last word in an argument. Limiting social media allowed me to reclaim a big chunk of my life.
Limiting social media increased my gratitude.
Gratitude is a beautiful thing. Social media however, tends to promote envy. Envy is ugly.
I would spend an inordinate amount of time comparing every aspect of my life and myself to other social media users. In doing so, I convinced myself that everyone else was richer, thinner, happier, and more popular than me. The majority of my status updates were rants and complaints. I played the victim well. I allowed myself to get caught up in everything superficial, and I became consumed with envy.
Limiting social media was like removing myself from a toxic relationship. It no longer had control over me, and I didn’t have to prove myself to acquire love and acceptance anymore. It is much easier to practice gratitude when I’m not blinded by the envy of others.
Social media isn’t all bad, though.
If it wasn’t for social media, my life would be drastically different. I reconnected with a classmate who is now my Fiancé, and we have a beautiful daughter together. I have also rekindled old friendships and remained in touch with family who live in other parts of the country. And last (but certainly not least), I discovered Wine Country Moms Blog right here on social media. Because of that, I get to share my writing with the world, as well as meet and befriend some amazing people!
As with anything in life, balance is key. Too much of a good thing can become toxic. I allowed myself to get in too deep by not limiting social media, and it had detrimental effects on my overall well-being. Thankfully I became aware of it and changed my habits. And I’m much happier because of it.