My aim of this blog post is to show you how important a break from social media can be and how it is really beneficial for your own well-being to escape from the toxic world of social media.
Personally, when I’m scrolling through Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat I lose the concept of time and next thing I know I have been on my phone for hours doing nothing productive but looking at other people’s lives and unintentionally comparing them to my own. I sometimes find that it can be quite lonely watching all the people I have on social media out having fun, while I’m at home alone just watching them post endless pictures of them smiling and laughing. Or maybe it’s seeing that cute couple on their one-year anniversary dinner having a few cocktails and a nice meal, while I have just gotten out of a relationship and wishing that was me. Honestly, there are an endless number of examples I could give you of times I have felt lonely and unhappy scrolling through social media.
It came to a stage where it had actually really negatively impacted my self-image and confidence, so I simply deleted all social media just for a week. One week may seem like a short amount of time, but even in that small amount of time I felt so much happier and relaxed knowing I wasn’t looking at other people’s lives in envy. In that one week I really noticed how much social media had impacted my mental health and how I was almost addicted to it. Constantly keeping up with other people’s lives while it is having a negative effect on my own. One of the most important things I realised however, is that social media really isn’t all that it appears to be. I reflected on myself and how I also portray my life online and saw that mostly that was all fake. The pictures from nights out I had been on showed everyone smiling and appearing to have the best time. In reality, that same night, someone had gotten into a fight with a friend, another was crying over an ex and the overall night just wasn’t fun. The pictures did not show any of that. I think it is important to understand that our digital lives on social media do not define who we are. We post highlights of our lives. We tend not to show the hard parts of life (the reality) such as failing an exam or when things get hard. Instead, we post an ideal of what our life is like and create a charade of the ‘perfect life’.
So, what tips do I have for you to overcome these negative emotions when comparing yourself to life online? Well in Niteline a big thing for all of us is self-care. I really encourage anyone who has read this to take a break from social media this week. Even if that is for a few hours or simply one day, it is a break from something toxic that I feel like isn’t promoted enough. Instead of scrolling through endless pictures of false portrayals of someone else’s life, read a book or listen to some music that you enjoy. I would really recommend “Good Life, Good Vibes” or “101 Essays That Will Change The Way You view life” just in case you are stuck with what to read and want some more positivity in your life. Finally, I’m going to finish with this quote I read which really resonated with me, “Sometimes you gotta take a break from all the noise to appreciate the beauty of silence”- Robert Tew.