Breadcrumbs: Social Media Screed

I gave up on my social media presence and feel the need to evangelize.  Here’s how I got there.

I had fallen into a habit.  Every day when I got home from work I would flop down on the couch and go immediately to Instagram.  I was tired and drained from work and I just wanted to be mildly amused after several hours of drudgery.  After an hour or more on Instagram I wouldn’t be any less tired and by then feeling a little bad about myself.  Looking in the mirror in my uniform, I didn’t look anything like the remarkably talented people I had been consuming.  If I had the time and energy after making dinner I would attempt to work on a project before bed.  But first, I would stop by Instagram to “get Inspiration”.  There I would be inundated with pictures of finished pieces hanging in galleries, or full-time artists working in their airy studios.  I would feel small, in every way imaginable.  How could I possibly compete with anyone sitting in my obscure little corner, worn out from a day of obligation?  I started making note of how I felt before and after spending time on Instagram and there wasn’t a single instance when Instagram made me feel better.

One day I just got rid of it.  No announcement, no gradual winding down.  I just cut it out.  I’m slightly ashamed to admit it, but for the two weeks afterward, I would often go to pick up my phone only to realize that it wasn’t there anymore and I was just trying to distract myself.  But after a while, I didn’t think about it anymore.  I dyed my hair green, something I’d always wanted to do but held off because I didn’t think I could look as cool as everyone else I saw.  I gauged my ears, something else I’d always wanted, but been afraid to do.  Before long, I was noticeably happier than I had been.  I looked more like how I wanted to look, I had more time and energy for things I thought were important.

Since then, I have also deleted my Facebook and am more careful than ever with how I do spend my time online.  I’m not going to claim that getting off social media is some kind of magic bullet that will make you more productive, but I am happier and I’m not looking back.

TL;DR   You don’t need a social media, other people need you to have social media.

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