Social networks in my opinion are now one of the most popular, and useful networking tools in 2016. However like everything in life, social networks come with negative and positive qualities. As a third year college student, I have participated in internet socializing for almost 10 years. 10 years is a lot of time wasted, keeping up with other people’s lives, new fashions trends, and other things that aren’t necessarily beneficial to my life. So, towards the end of my second year of college I decided that I needed to make a drastic change in my life. I realized that the amount of time, and effort that I was putting into social networks was detrimental to my well–being for various reasons. I decided to give up all my social networks once and for all, with hopes of truly embracing the beautiful aspects of life. I realized that once I deactivated all of my accounts there was NO TURNING BACK!! I pulled myself together, mustered up some courage, and hit the deactivate button on every single social network account that I had ever started. Believe it or not, after I deleted all of my accounts I felt free and I was ready to start my new life, my real life without social networks.
After deleting all of my social networks, I waited a few days before telling any of my “friends” or family. I wanted to see who would notice that I had actually removed myself from the limelight permanently. I thought that everyone would immediately realize my absence, and ask me why I decided to stop sharing my life with the world. In all actuality, no one really realized I was gone until days, weeks, and almost months later. I was surprised to see how my communication with my “friends” decreased after I no longer had a social network. I realized that a lot of my conversations were based on new trends, and topics that were addressed only on social networks. Without new memes or drama to reference back to, I noticed that my communication with other people had decreased. I began to realize how large of a role social networks played in my peers lives. By deleting all of my social networks, I became an outsider, confined to experiencing life for what it really was, REAL!
During the years of my life that I was heavily influenced by social networks, there were so many aspects of life that I missed out on. My life was passing me by, and I was so concerned with other people, and how they were living their lives. At times I found myself comparing my success to other people’s lives that I saw online. I became so hooked, that I would wake up in the morning, and immediately check my phone! One day I decided to log out of my account for a day, just to see how different life would be. At first, I was a little antsy because I wanted to constantly check what was going on with my friends. As the day progressed I relaxed, and I realized that my mind was actually at peace. I wasn’t worried about who unfriended me, or certain people’s motives for following me. I wasn’t arguing with people who left nasty comments under my pictures. I also wasn’t engaging in conversations with people, who I may not have ever met in real life. It was at that moment, I knew that social networks had to be removed from my life for good!!!
In the beginning it was difficult to learn how to maneuver without constantly checking my phone for likes, compliments, cute emojis, etc. As time progressed, I learned a lot more about myself, and the world that I lived in when my head wasn’t constantly buried in my phone. I didn’t feel required to find the correct lighting, to take the perfect selfie, or to get an obscene amount of likes from people who didn’t really matter to me anyway. I wasn’t constantly stopping throughout my outings to take pictures in cool areas, just to post them online for other people’s enjoyment. After deleting my social networks, I could actually go to a restaurant and enjoy food without having to get the perfect snapshot. The person in front of me was actually able to have my undivided attention, without me rudely glancing down at my phone. I was re-experiencing the world, this time with a brand new outlook.
After deleting my social networks, I came to the conclusion that I had been revealing my life to outsiders. I was unknowingly putting myself at risk or worse, in DANGER! These people who were my internet friends could be stalkers, murderers, abusers,who knows?!. I allowed random people to befriend me, under the false pretense that they just wanted to like my pictures. Little did I know that I would encounter some extremely irrational people. I understand that using the internet is addicting because it fills a void within people’s lives. Some people want attention, some people want to be in other people’s business, some people want to network, and some people are searching for love. However, social networks can be very dangerous, and once you post something on the internet, it’s out into the world forever, it only takes one screenshot. I can honestly say from experience that in life, the less you expose about yourself, the better your life will become.
October 29, 2017 makes 2 years and 9 months since I’ve deleted all of my social networks. I have noticed drastic changes in various areas of my life. My grades in school have improved because I can devote more of my time to my studies. I’ve also been able to spend quality time with my loved ones, and actually enjoy the moments we share together. After I deleted my Instagram, so many more opportunities blossomed for me. I also was blessed to find a beautiful person to experience my internet free life with. Without social networks in my life, I learned how to appreciate how amazing life could actually be. Personally I feel that removing myself from social networks was one of the best decisions I ever made. I am now able to embrace reality, as well as the essential parts of life. I challenge all of the people that read this blog to take a break from social media, and focus on your real life. Then after a few days come back to my blog post and let me know how differently you see the world after taking a break from social media.