Throughout my teenage years, I struggled with social media.
It all started when I was 13 years old, and I just started to get into Facebook. (At the time, 2011-2012) it was very popular. I couldn’t stop checking it. I had to respond immediately to notifications, messages, and post frequently.
It was so entertaining to me, that I had better relationships through Facebook than ones in real life. After a while though, Facebook became less and less popular, and I now saw it as lame. So then I decided to get an Instagram. Another obsession began. I would constantly refresh the home page, post frequently, like photos, post, check, check, check. It was an endless cycle. I would spend a good 30-40 minutes every morning checking social media in bed.
Then came along Snapchat and Twitter. The same thing happened with those apps. At one point I would spend an hour every morning just checking these apps. And did I learn anything valuable? Sometimes. But what do you consider valuable? Edited selfies? Sunrise/sunset photos? Breakfast acai bowls? Okay, these are all pretty to look at, but am I gaining any detailed or valuable information from this?
Once I asked myself these questions, I realized the truth. I realized that I was wasting my life. Essena O’neill (although controversial because of some internet bullies by the names of Nina and Randa) showed me the way. She helped me realize that life shouldn’t be lived totally online. It is, of course, great to read blogposts and watch YouTube videos for fun, but what I do is try to make sure that I am gaining valuable information from it.
Now, I still have social media accounts like Tumblr, WordPress, and YouTube, but I try to limit my time so that I can live in real life.
And yes, I do play a ton of video games, and I’m working on that. I guess I don’t feel as bad because there are studies that (depending on the game) can actually be good for the brain. Just as long as there is problem solving and thinking involved. (My favorite types of games.)
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that you should give your mind a break once in a while. You will feel fresher and more alive. Ever since I started limiting my social media, I felt like I could finally breathe and not live like a social media-obsessed zombie.
I ask you to try this. See how it works for you. Limit your social media, narrow down who you follow to meaningful posts, and take eye breaks.
Trust me, I have terrible eyesight, and I guess this is karma for staring at screens for hours everyday for 4 years.
Thank you very much for reading.
Photo credit: here