I recently went on (another) social media rant about negativity on Facebook. I was annoyed that the constant wave of spam, advertising and whiny posts were seriously harming my happy. I needed out.
I started this social media detox the way anyone would – I told people I was over it via status update. I then did the millennial’s equivalent to slamming a phone down and deleted my Facebook app. While smugly dusting my hands, I had a proper rant to my husband about how people are so negative and it’s attention seeking, and… and… and. It didn’t occur to me then that I’d just done exactly what I was complaining about.
The other person was me.
I didn’t it at the time, but my status update/cry for attention was being picked up by people who didn’t see their newsfeed the way I did. And because I wasn’t getting fuel to my Facebook is awful fire, I felt alienated. How silly, right? Now that I didn’t have Facebook on my phone anymore, I was compelled to tell people about it – through Facebook. My self-absorption had never seen such lows. Why was I letting advertising algorithms upset me so much?
The answer came to me while on my way home from the office. I was listening to Gabby Bernstein’s newest book, Judgement Detox. While on the hi-way, listening to Gabrielle and focusing on the traffic, my mind went back to the social media moan I’ve been mulling over. I couldn’t let go of it because we don’t have any other connection anymore.
Social media has become an overload of unrealistic expectations and half-truths that we still buy into. Influencers selling something on Instagram, someone is sharing their perfect little life on Facebook and Twitter is probably lit. We’re so disconnected with what’s actually going on around us because of the filters we put on our social media lives. My problem with Facebook had nothing to do people using their platform to complain about their problems. My problem was that I didn’t want to be excluded from the conversation.
I’d been sipping from the social media Koolaid for so long that it was practically holding me hostage. I wanted to be part of the narrative, I wanted to feel that wave of sympathy that comes when people respond to your status updates. But I didn’t like that I’d become addicted to that instant gratification that I felt I could only get through a smartphone.
That’s the thing, we’ve become so distant from reality that the only reality we really have is through a screen. What was supposed to be an amazing way of keeping track of friends who were overseas has become a crutch that we need to get by. Quizzes and memes and likes have taken over who we are and that’s the saddest thing. How many likes you get does not define who you are, but try telling that to the person behind the blue glow of a smartphone.
I’m genuinely trying to detox from social media as best I can (it is my day job, after all), but want to focus more energy and attention on real relationships. You know, the kind where you can hug the person you’re talking to.
Until next time.