Although I’m sure Facebook and Instagram started for good reasons, I think social media has been being used for all the wrong reasons lately. It seems like we are always trying to make ourselves the star in our Instagram posts, tweets, snapchats, or Facebook posts, whether that means posting a selfie or spending hours trying to perfect the lightning and come up with a clever caption. Now, don’t get me wrong here; I think self-love is important, but chances are your followers know what you look like and don’t need an update every few days (although I’m sure the family members that follow you on Facebook would love that). I think we should use social media to spread positivity and uplift the ones that are most important to us instead of constantly wanting to impress others with our picture worthy plans. Let me explain.
Recently, I took a break from social media for two months. Between Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, VSCO, and Facebook, I became consumed with trying to catch up on the highlights of other people’s lives. I found myself subconsciously picking up my phone and opening Instagram several times throughout the day. A friend of mine had been talking about how she had decided to take a break from social media for a while and honestly, I was impressed. It takes a lot of resistance to not use what everybody else is using. I guess the idea had been in the back of my mind, but I didn’t really ever see myself having enough patience to follow through with it. Anyway, I guess you know where this is going. I kind of just went for it and deleted my social media apps.
Now, I won’t say that my life is changed because of this experience, but I do feel like I have a fresh view on the things around me. It’s refreshing to not feel the attraction to pick up my phone. It was nice to be able to exert the time and energy that I normally spent on social media on the more important things of life. However, I will say that social media is a good place to stay updated. I missed out on some things and forgot about plenty of stuff. But those were simply sacrifices to make. Taking a step back and looking at the larger picture of life, social media is merely a tiny dot, but yet it can often take up space in our heads about how we want to look to other people.
Do what you want with your social media. I can’t exactly tell you what to do, but I’m encouraging you to take a look at how important social media is to you. How much time and energy do you spend checking social media and perfecting your posts? It’s your choice – will you use your Instagram to inspire others with something a little difference or instead try and make yourself the star? Let’s be real on social media and post the blurriest, wild adventures that come with the imperfections of life.
You know the saying, “A picture can tell a thousand words,” but it doesn’t show the awkward or disappointing moments. So, students and staff of Apex High School, I challenge you to be present, to use social media to benefit others and encourage your followers. Don’t be consumed with what’s on your phone; that’s not reality. Live your real life, the face-to-face life you could encounter if you look up from your phone!