Thoughts On Social Media

This week I took a little break from social media and keeping up with the world. It was a strange and freeing feeling to focus on something other than what I wanted to post next. I also had a slight case of FOMO (fear of missing out) when I wasn't scrolling through Instagram every other hour (sad, I know). The reason I decided to do a mini cleanse is because I found myself replacing reading, learning and relationships with checking social media.  When I look back on my life, I don't want to regret where I invested my time. I was able to slow down and enjoy the day in its true form, free from technological intrusion. It was a lot harder than it should be. So here are a few of my thoughts on social media.

Taking an aesthetically pleasing picture brings me temporary joy. I take a picture, find the right filter, and post. After an hour or two the photo hits the maximum amount of likes, the thrill has died off. I don't think I'll ever stop getting excited about photoshoots or capturing a beautiful moment, but placing my happiness in the number of likes I receive is dangerous. I have found myself doing unbearable amounts of comparing through social media and it upsets me to think I've placed my value in the number of followers I have. I'd like to think I'm not alone in admitting this, so if you've found yourself doing the same- you are more than a number, my friend. 

I'm not against social media at all, in fact I have had so many opportunities because of it. After all, you probably wouldn't be reading this if it wasn't for social media! It's a way I'm able to showcase my creativity through an image, a few sentences and most likely an emoji too. When I get compliments on a picture I've taken, or one I'm in, it genuinely makes me happy to know people enjoy the things I work hard on. Lets be real, we never get the picture we want in the first shot, and spend a lot of time making sure the lighting, angle, and who-knows-what-else is just right and goes with our feed. It's a detailed process, right?!

Something I've been doing lately that I thought didn't have much significance now makes the perfect story for our coffee talk today. If you've kept up with me, you know I live in a fairly small dorm room (if not now you know!). Seriously, this room is tiny. What little floor space I have is easily covered in clothes, books and anything else you might find in a college dorm room on a day to day basis. On the good days I'll make my bed, throw open my curtains like I'm Belle from Beauty and the Beast do a little house keeping all before I start my day. Its definitely ideal when I don't hit my snooze button and start my day on fresh note. On the days my room is a mess, I shut and lock my door (I dare not let my roommates see that, in fact, my life is not always put together) and on the days where my room is looking straight off of Pinterest, I leave my door open wide for all to peek in (my life is put together sometimes). The reason I find this relevant to our chat on social media is because just the way I choose to open and shut my door is just the way we use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (etc.).

We only allow people to see what we want them to see. I am certainly not saying we need to let the world in on every aspect of our lives, but I am saying what we post is a reflection of our better moments. When I look at my life and the pictures I post, there is so much more filling the space between those moments. The little white dividers between our pictures hold more than the pictures themselves. If you find yourself comparing your life to your favorite blogger's life or even a friend's, remember that they're only revealing what they want to. Everyone struggles with something and nobody's life is perfect (cue Hannah Montana). We're all in the same boat here because we're all human. 

My thoughts are all over the place, but I felt they were worth sharing, so thanks for reading. Don't forget that you are more than what you post and more than a number of likes or the amount of followers you have. My fellow instagrammers, keep sharing your creative life, you witty tweeters (that sounds funny) keep sharing your thoughts because you make me laugh. Whatever platform you use to share a side of yourself, I hope you're able to utilize without relying on others to affirm what you're worth. 

Because one of my 2016 resolutions was to "eliminate", this is a step I'm taking toward doing so. Eliminating the time I spend on social media and placing my focus on things that will last. Each month I'm going to try an incorporate a social media free day/week to refocus each month on what matters most. What goals did you set for yourself this year and what steps are you taking to reach them? I'd love to know!

Have a happy weekend friends!

xx Mariah