A must-share for anyone who knows a social-media addict
As a person who is as addicted to Instagram as I am, I know the struggle. I have tried for three or four days at a time to delete the app and then before I know it, I find myself bored and sitting in a waiting room and there I go again, scrolling through. And I’m not even the target demographic for Instagram! So I can imagine how much of a challenge it is for people who grew up with social media to imagine a life without it. That’s why I have so much respect for Margie Matthews, a millennial who wrote recently of her “triumph” over social media, her vacation from it, and the impact that stepping away from it can have on all of our lives.
I wanted to share this letter with you in the hope that you will share it too. And with any luck, someone who is really sucked in will think twice about how much the screen is ruling his or her life. Sometimes you just need to read something like this to set your priorities straight. Kudos to you, Margie. I know it’s not easy, but you’re an inspiration!
14 days without social media
My name is Margie Matthews and I am a millennial. Upon hearing the word millennial, the first thing most people think of are cell phone fanatical, social media addicts who are undeniably self-obsessed. I mean, it’s the age of the #selfie isn’t it? I’ve been clean for 14 days now.
Yes, 14 days without snapchat, without Instagram, without stories and filters.
14 days in the dark, you’re probably thinking.
No, I don’t know what’s up with the Kardashian sisters.. Anyone else pregnant?
I haven’t seen footage of those lavish destination weddings.
I haven’t seen photos of people’s Thursday night dinners out. Of everyone’s drinks.. How is the Empire state building perfectly and consistently in the background? Always?
I haven’t seen footage of “friends” dancing at clubs or screeching lyrics at concerts.
For the last 14 days I focused my attention on human interaction and on the beautiful world around me.
14 days in the light.
14 days without wasting valuable life staring at a phone screen.
14 days without comparing myself to others.
14 days without trying to prove to people that I do cool things.
14 days without the superficiality that is social media.
We all know that on social media.. What you see is not at all what you get. We’re posting pictures of that sunset while shivering our butts off. We’re posting a video at a party while silently counting down the seconds until we can go home and hop into bed. We’re posting a picture casually laughing with a friend after 5,000 previous takes where our thighs look too thick or our double chins are evident. Our snapchat filters conceal every blemish, narrow out our noses and make us appear flawless.
IT’S FAKE. IT’S INSINCERE. IT’S A FALSE PORTRAYAL OF OURSELVES AND OF OUR LIVES. Pardon my caps lock, but why is there such emphasis on trying to impress others? Are we trying to make people envious? Are we trying to prove our self-worth? What’s our goal?
I’m preaching to the choir as I am guilty of all of the above. And yet I can’t figure out where this internal need comes from in us millennials. I’m aware that it’s there and it’s obvious that we exert an exorbitant amount of energy into it; I’m just not sure how it began and why we became so consumed by it.
All I know is that when my burger is delivered to the table and that over easy egg is slowly dripping downward…It takes superhuman strength to hold back from snapping a picture to share with the world. When my cocktail is secreting that dry ice induced smoke…I cannot help but visualize how incredible my boomerang would have been. It took a short while to get from a place of mourning the losses of this invaluable footage, to truly appreciating the joy of each moment for myself, IN the moment. I may not be saying farewell to social media forever, but I can say that these few weeks have given me a new perspective.The burger tastes better and the drink tastes sweeter when you’re not hung up on portraying the scene as best you can to share with the world.
We need to learn to enjoy. Truly enjoy our experiences for ourselves and with the person who’s sitting across from us. Join me in my journey.. Because the view from behind your camera’s lens is simply not as striking. Join me as I bask in the light that is God’s glorious world.
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