We’re running out of days to get things done before vacation and one of these tasks includes a giant homework assignment for my internship. I haven’t been in the medical nutrition therapy zone for two years now so while some things look familiar, it’s been a struggle. I’ve been getting kind of frustrated with myself lately because I have so many things to do yet I find the time to check instagram and facebook about 30 times a day and my checklists aren’t being completed. So yesterday I decided to not login to any social media to accomplish more and this is what happened.
- I was happier. I have been on a mission to boost my self-esteem for the last several years and while I have truly done a 180, there are some days when I can’t stop focusing on the x number of flaws I find with my body and or who I am as a person. Constantly seeing other girls’ fitness, beauty and just everyday life posts on instagram sometimes really makes it hard for me to face my own self in the mirror. I am in shape and a size zero. I’m a nice person and think my face is pretty decent once I cover up the dark under-eye circles but I compare myself to other flawless women with hundreds or thousands of likes and sometimes that makes me not like myself. I’m also a perfectionist and rarely ever content with anything. Yesterday I felt beautiful and confident because I was not comparing myself to anyone, and I know I’ve written about it before but comparison is truly the thief of joy.
- I opened my instagram app without thought. I’m so in the habit of checking my email, facebook, instagram and snapchat when I’m bored or waiting around or just need a mental tap-out from reality. I was standing in line at a local coffee shop waiting for my one-pump vanilla soy latte and all the sudden I’m looking at instagram. There was never a thought process of oh let’s check this out while I’m standing in line, I just zoned out and opened it and then was like what the f*%! I’m not supposed to be getting on this today! This leads me to the conclusion that checking instagram has become as much of an unconscious part of my daily routine as breathing….and that’s terrifying.
- I had less anxiety. I get nervous anytime I ever post anything on social media. I guess it’s my inward fear of people not liking or accepting me. The instant gratification we receive from people “liking” our posts really creates a direct sense of self-worth every time a post gains popularity. Personally most of the things I post are meant to be humorous or uplifting because I like to make other people happy. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I just want to show off how I look or feel or what I did that day – and I want other people to think I’m cool. Social media creates a platform for us to be our best, most filtered and edited selves so if others don’t like that, how will they like the real me?? It’s such a ludicrous thought process and that’s where half of my anxiety stems from; I don’t like that I care but I can’t stop caring. I also had less anxiety because I wasn’t getting worked up over the stupid things people post on social media.
- I had FOMO. Aka fear of missing out. I was legitimately concerned I was going to miss something important or juicy, which is rather silly. If something truly important happens I will hear about it from people I communicate with outside of social media. It’s hard to be outside of the loop though, especially when most of your friends and family don’t live close by, you wanna know what’s going on and social media is a perfect way to stay connected.
- I participated more in the world around me. When your face isn’t glued to your phone or computer screen, there are a lot of other things happening in the world to enjoy and observe. I actually almost forgot my phone this morning on the way to work because I felt disconnected from it for the first time since I got a new phone after my 5 week phone-free stint in Spain (it got stolen and there was no method of replacement.)
Turns out I didn’t get anything more accomplished because we were slammed at work and I was busy with other stuff all night when I got home.
I’m not sure that there will ever come a day when I will stop using social media because I find the positives to outweigh the negatives, and that isn’t even the point of this post. But it’s cool to be kinda-sorta unplugged every once in a while and to learn that the world does actually continue without obsessive social media usage. I always enjoy learning things about myself and striving do be better at being happy and this was a big eye-opener for me. Love yourself!
And yes, the irony of where I’m sharing my post did not escape me. Ha!