October was a huge month for me in terms of personal growth, but I won’t get in to that quite yet. In the last month, I took a much deeper look at myself and my life and decided to take a break from things that were keeping me from myself. That meant deleting my social media apps and just writing candidly (but a ton) for only myself to see.
It’s so important for me to make sure that how my life FEELS on the inside is my number one priority, and that I don’t try to make up for it by making it look good on the outside. One of the most common critiques of social media is that it’s just a highlight reel of everyone’s lives. That’s okay. We don’t need to know every detail of each other’s lives, and we don’t need to share our extremely low moments. I just want to make sure that I’m aware of my intentions and my relationship with social media, and that I’m actively paying attention to the ways that it can be harmful and misleading.
Essena Oneill, the Instagram model that recently started a movement against social media (on her blog) has had a lot of critics, but she does make some very good points and if anything, she got me to think: So many people look for and find validation and worth in how many followers or likes they get. Most posts don’t hold any real substance, and most are inaccurate depictions of a person and their life – very planned, posed, & edited photos – yet they are perceived as reality. Most accounts are purely about self-promotion. So many people, including myself, spend so much of their own time scrolling through photos of other people’s lives, when there is so much going on in our own lives that need our attention and care. If we don’t pay attention, we find ourselves comparing our natural, authentic, genuine selves to someone else’s very best, edited, worthy-of-posting self. We end up creating our own ideal self-avatars that exist on the social media accounts that we manage.
I started my blog because I wanted an outlet to be able to share my heart without the thought of being judged by those I know personally. I have a lot to say, but don’t want to force others to listen just because they know me personally. I wanted to be free from social validation. I never want to live to post, meaning going somewhere just so I can write a blog post about it or doing something just so I can post a picture of it. I don’t want to write or share things with the fear of being judged, nor do I want to write or share things with the intention to impress.
I want to share lessons I’ve learned so that others can grow with me; I want to share things that I love to give others the opportunity to love them too; I want to share places and ideas in case someone else enjoys them; I want to offer things to the world that aren’t just photos of something I did that day; I want to put something out there that will make someone think; I want to share something I wrote just in case it inspires someone; I want to share my journey in case someone else is touched by it. Most importantly, I want to write because it heals me. That’s why I blog. And that’s why, sometimes, I don’t blog!
Social media has such a growing presence in the world and it plays such a big part in my every day life, so I want to be sure it remains a positive thing. I don’t think I’ll ever be someone who swears it off completely. I’m just as annoyed as the rest of my generation to hear our parents and grandparents talk about our technology use as if it makes us lesser people. I think only a small-minded person wouldn’t be able to acknowledge the benefits and beauty that social media & new technology does offer. The world is progressive and technology/social media are no exception. There is no use fighting it; we might as well embrace it. I guess I just want to figure out just what embracing it looks like in my life. Most importantly, I want to make sure I have way more internal highlights in my life than external highlights on my social media.