Life After Instagram

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.

Be Careful During Your Morning Commute

Each day that I wake up I lay in bed and prepare myself for the day ahead by listing of all the tasks that I must complete by the day’s end. After organizing my time around assignments, household responsibilities, as well as making time for myself/ my needs I prepare myself for my train ride to school. I know you must be thinking, who needs to prepare themselves for their train ride, there’s nothing to it? Well that’s where you are wrong and you don’t even know it. Train rides are one of the most unpredictable aspects of life that can either make or break your day.

Most people aren’t aware how dangerous train rides can be because everyone walks around with their ear buds in their ears, with the intention of blocking out the world. In my experience I find that in order to have a safer and more productive commute, using headphones to drown out the world around you is ineffective. The best way to deal with the morning commute is to be aware of your surroundings, and be ready to react if necessary.

While I’m on the train, I like many other people, am guilty of listening to my music loudly to ignore others on many occasions. Recently I’ve noticed how dangerous it is to be on the train with my headphones on full blast. A few summers ago I was running a few errands and I decided to catch the three train so I could get to my destination quickly. During my train ride a man came and sat across from me and stared intently at me, but because I had my headphones in I paid him no mind. I felt a bit uneasy because I was in the train car alone with him but since my stop was coming up I didn’t fret too much. After a few minutes I decided to look up and get a good look at the man sitting across from me. He had a strange look in his eye, and he struck me as a person who may be going through a rough time. On his wrist I noticed a band that appeared to be from a medical center, and I also saw that his clothes were shabby and unkempt. After looking him over briefly I went back to playing with my iPod, and before I knew it I had arrived at my destination. I got off the train, and never thought twice about the man who sat across from me until I saw him again.

A few days later I was on the two train going to Flatbush and the same man got on the train, in the exact same outfit. To my surprise as soon as everyone saw him people either started running out of the train car, or moving as far away from the man as physically possible . I thought maybe he smelled bad, but since I was listening to my music I once again paid him no mind. An older woman tapped me and told me that this man, that I had sat across from and ignored a few days prior, was actually mentally ill. Not only was he mentally ill, he liked to fondle himself on the train, and once he was finished, he would wipe his ejaculation onto other people surrounding him. I was shocked at my own insolence, that I sat across from a man who appeared to be mentally challenged, but because I was too busy listening to my music and ignoring him, I didn’t pay attention to the cues in my surroundings.

I share this story with you because I want to explain how dangerous train rides can be when we do not pay attention to the world around us. This man who I sat across from was ill, and I was too caught up in my music to realize that I was in a bad position. It was by the grace of God that I was not assaulted by this man while being in a train car alone with him, and I am so grateful that the situation worked out in my favor. After this incident I decided to find other ways to occupy my time on the train. If I do decide to listen to my music, the volume is low enough that I can hear people around me. At other times I will complete assigned readings, so that my mind is occupied, and I can still be cognizant of what’s going on around me.

Paying attention to the world around us has become more of an option than a necessity, and I want people to know that they are doing themselves a great disservice by distancing themselves from the real world. By ignoring the people and the world around you, you are not preparing yourself for danger than can occur at the slightest moment. Instead of trying to drown out the world, embrace the universe, deal with the people or aliens that inhabit it even if they are unpleasant, but just stay safe and don’t allow yourself to fall victim to others. Listening to music on the train is a great way to pass the time, but it’s also a great way to put yourself in danger during your commute. My advice to all people who use the train as their main form of transportation is to be aware, be smart and most of all be careful during your morning commute.