Social media has owned me far too long.
I don’t know about you, but I have been a part of social media since before Facebook. Yup…there was a “before Facebook”. But since then, our culture has exploded with apps, platforms, and new ways to be more “social” online with people everywhere. Then we were consumed by it, built our days around it, and couldn’t function without it.
Not anymore. You don’t own me.
After the election, I decided that I was completely fed up with the junk and hate spewing from the mouths of people on Facebook, and I promptly told people there to start following me elsewhere. I would not subject myself or my family to the fallout from participating in that anymore. We don’t even realize just how all of those vibes and words effect us and those around us. I moved the app off my phone and I can honestly say that in the weeks that followed, I was less edgy, less tired, and less frustrated with basically everything. I enjoyed my kids and we did fun stuff in place of spending God knows how much time on the least “social” platform on the planet. It was freeing.
Now, let me be very clear that I love social media. I love seeing pictures, engaging with friends, and reading the hearts of so many through micro-blogging on Instagram. It’s an awesome way to stay connected and get connected. But running our mouths without fear of consequence on places like Facebook is just ridiculous. It’s like being in a toxic relationship that tells us that we aren’t educated enough, liberal or conservative enough, thin enough, don’t have enough friends, and generally aren’t “liked” enough. The kind of relationship that, if we actually thought about it, we would never allow ourselves or our friends to participate in because of how damaging it is. It steals our joy. It steals our lives.
After 6 weeks off of Facebook, the next app to get the boot was Snapchat. I had downloaded the app a little over a year ago after some pressure from friends, and quite honestly I enjoyed the new way to tell stories and interact with people. My kids and I would laugh all the time at the ridiculous filters that we could play around with. But then things started to change and my feed was a constant fill of Kardashian news, who was nude now, and sexual content everywhere. I have no need to know another freaking thing about the Kardashians because I have zero interest in their warped world. They are probably one of the worst influences on people and women everywhere. Makes my skin crawl. I also was exhausted with the obsession with sex and our bodies and how that relates to our lifelong happiness. So I deleted it, and with that, the light around me got a little brighter once again.
Ever have an experience where all of a sudden, you feel as though you seeing and experiencing this life with so much more clarity and joy than ever before? Yeah…that happened when I deleted Facebook and Snapchat. I felt as if the weight of this world had lifted just enough to let me breathe and see that everything is not doomed. I also felt better about myself. No more wondering if I had contoured my face to perfection or listening to the political drama drag on and on. It was like walking into the sun after years in a cave.
After deleting those apps, I began to spend a little more time on Instagram and Twitter, which I had somewhat neglected for a while. I chose them because I can control them and their output a little easier. I adore Instagram. I can watch my friends’ lives unfold in the best ways, and I can get a glimpse into their hearts a little more. (Now if they would just fix the ability to do paragraphs…) Twitter is the platform for challenging my sarcasm to 140 characters or less. I also like to watch the occasional live Tweet of an event. Always hilarious. I also have the ability to turn it off and not engage if I choose not to. For now, those are the platforms that I will stick to. For now.
As we go into 2017, what this move to delete apps is all about is wanting so much more for myself and and my family, as well as my friends. I want us to start experiencing the good things about this life again. Not just consuming meaningless, and sometimes hurtful, media all…day…long. There is so much more to this life than Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter…so turn off the phone and look for it. My guess is that you probably won’t have to look far. Challenge yourself to cut the junk and fluff in your life and make more room for the people and things that actually matter.
*If you would like to follow me:
Instagram : @katemharris
Twitter : @kateharris