Social Media Detox

I have had Facebook for ~10 years now. Has it really been that long?! Ugh. I feel like Facebook wasn’t too long ago, but it came out a year before I graduated high school. That’s literally over a decade ago. Freaking a. I remember the day I finally got my Berkeley email address because that meant I could sign up for Facebook. Yes, there was a time when Facebook was only for college students – fancy college students at that, Ivy league students and the few public school kids who were deemed sort of enough.

Over a decade later I find that Facebook and Instagram, while they keep me connected to people, I’m not really connected to 99% of them. The friends and family that I love are the ones I talk to on a daily basis outside of Facebook and Instagram. Yea, we share random funny posts we see on 9gag, but really, our meaningful conversations happen through chats and phone calls. I realized that Facebook and Instagram posts from our not-so-close friends were really just points of gossip. And that’s just stupid.

I used Facebook really for my news source, and Instagram was really to just look at funny posts from accounts that weren’t even my friends. I’d see and like the random baby picture, or wedding photo, but I was really getting more joy out of 9gag than anything else on Instagram. Seriously…9gag brings me more joy than your cute new baby?! Yes…I’m sorry I’m a horrible human being. But, as I work more in tech I realize just how fake peoples’ lives are on social media. Everyone tries to portray a life that’s amazing. You only posts photos from your vacation, from the cool restaurant you went to (sometimes the photo of the meal you took is not even yours…), your nice selfie with some cool background, etc. Sometimes you’re so caught up on the pictures you need to take for your Facebook and Instagram profile that you don’t even enjoy your vacation all that much. Why do you buy that GoPro? So you can show off that you did stupid crap that no one cares about?! You think people are jealous? No, they are not. You’re so dead set on wanting to portray that you’re having fun that you actually don’t even have fun. How idiotic is that?

I recently met someone who didn’t have any social media presence. I thought that was just insane. In fact, I asked all my friends if he was hiding something because I found it so unfathomable that a person wouldn’t even have one social media presence on the interwebs. But, as I thought about it, I thought, could this be the one thing I’m wrong about in life? Cause how could I ever be wrong… Nevertheless, I came to the realization that I get no joy out of social media. You start comparing your life to the fake lives of others. I’m smart enough to know that your social media profile does not represent your real life. In fact, I honestly think the ones who post the most about their “amazing” lives are truly the most unhappy. I know people who will literally buy a GoPro just to show off about their vacation to their friends who could care less, take hundreds of the same photo, spend nearly an hour looking for the perfect picture or editing videos, and then go through post editing before each upload. Is a like from someone that could care less about you really that important? It’s really ridiculous the work they put into to portray some image that’s not real.

So, I’m saying a lot of high and mighty stuff right now, and nothing annoys me more than the person that thinks they’re above it all. As I peruse through my Instagram profile, I just thought how ridiculous it was. It was so far from my actual life and the real emotions I was feeling. I took a picture of a flower that bloomed on my balcony. I want to emphasize “flower” and not “flowers” because literally ONE bloomed, and in reality it was really sad. But, of course, I took a closeup because then you wouldn’t see the sad environment that this one flower bloomed from. In fact, as I write this out maybe it would have been better to show how this awesome flower bloomed in a environment that was not so hospitable. But nevertheless, I couldn’t show the sad background of my one flower since that would reflect that maybe, just maybe, I’m not so talented in gardening. Because obviously I should show the world (world being my couple hundred Instagram followers) that I’m “awesome” at gardening…and no one can know that I suck at gardening and every other attempt ended in death.

We never post the sad moments in our lives. Very rarely will you post about your bad day, your breakup, or your mundane life. If you do, many times it’s a cry for attention, but I prefer that than the fake people who try to show you that they’re living the life, but truly unhappy inside. I’m honestly very lonely day to day. I work from home so my interactions with in-person humans are very rare. How many of us really have action filled days? Most days are the same and you have exciting moments here and there, but that’s life…no?! Yet, I know people who focus on the number likes they get on a photo, try to show off about their lives, and honestly, I don’t think we’re fooling anyone. Because come on, when someone “shows off” on Facebook or Instagram, how many of us start examining the photo to tear it down? “Ugh that’s so stupid.” “That’s so fake.” “Wow, she thinks she’s hot.” “That’s ridiculous.” We all do it, don’t lie to yourself.

So, I’ve decided after 10 years to put it all away. I’m going on a detox. I’m going on vacation next week, and I’ve decided to enjoy the entire vacation and not post a single pic. I’m going to try and be in the moment at all times and not worry about showing people my “awesome” life. This is not to say I won’t be back in a month’s time to then post my awesome vacation photos because my life is so freaking awesome that the jealously will make you question your entire life’s purpose.

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