I have a problem. I’m completely consumed by the urge to check all the social media platforms I occupy pretty much every minute of the day and it’s destroying my entire existence. You probably think I’m exaggerating — we all go on social media all the time, right? Well, I do it way, way too much. Here’s why it’s such a bad habit I need to correct ASAP:
I do it without thinking. It’s the same rotation every time. I hit up Instagram first, to check out my likes. Then maybe I’ll scan through a celeb’s feed, then 10 minutes will go by before I notice that I’m on some stranger’s vacation photos from a year ago and wondering if they’re still dating that other person I also don’t know. My next stop is Twitter. I scroll through rage-filled political tweets to start my morning, see if any new trolls need to be blocked and then I’m on to Facebook. I share a few news stories there, some killer feminist or Game of Thrones memes and then I’m done. This is all right when I wake up, BTW, and I do it at least 50 more times throughout the day without even realizing how long I spend scrolling. That’s a lot of time wasted that I’ll never get back.
I’m distracted AF. When I’m constantly scrolling, I’m not working. I should be working during my workdays and not checking social media. On the weekends, I should be sleeping or eating or doing literally anything other than looking at my phone. And even when I can cut my time on social media down to a few minutes, it’s the FOMO that keeps my mind occupied, and has me coming back again and again.
Real life is not filtered. I’m an adult and I understand the visual difference between a Photoshopped image and seeing life without filters. But when I’m constantly seeing these curated versions of people’s lives, subconsciously I’m comparing it to how my own looks, and I don’t want my life to be filtered. I like the mess, the imperfections, and the less pleasant moments because that’s what real life looks like.
It makes me want to buy everything. I’ll never tire of thumbing through the feeds of my favorite women and seeing what they’re wearing, reading or applying on their skin. It makes me want to spend money like a baller, though. And, guys? I am not a baller. I shouldn’t be tempted to shop this often for things I don’t even need.
Now I rely on social media for news. I have all my feeds prominently featuring content from the people and sites that I value most, along with the ability to connect with friends and family. This was supposed to be convenient, having everything mixed together. It’s not convenient at all, though, because this is where I go for news. Then I inevitably want to comment on the news, which leads to a discussion with someone about said news and then it becomes a whole thing. I really need to go back to getting my news directly from the source and not in a feed.
It makes my anxiety worse. I have zero shame when talking about my anxiety. I take medication for it, and I’ve become very familiar with my triggers in order to do my best to stay balanced. Social media makes it worse, though. It’s a lot of chatter, a lot of hatred and a lot of fake BS that I don’t need in my life anyway. Why am I doing this to myself?
I daydream about going off the grid constantly. People who don’t spend much time on social media seem so happy and free, and I’m jealous of every single one of them. When I complete a social media rotation, I gaze out the window and picture myself in a cabin in the woods with no WiFi and living my best life.
I don’t have time to argue with this many idiots. There are fantastic, brilliant, beautiful humans on social media that I’m eternally grateful to have met, but for the most part, social media is overrun with ignorant jerks. I’m always pulled in to conversations with them because I know I can point out how wrong they are, and it never matters. They don’t care about being right. Their sole purpose is to waste my time. And for some reason, I let them.
I could be reading instead. If I had a nickel for every book on my bookshelf that I haven’t read yet, I’d be able to buy all the clothes and skincare in my Amazon cart. Reading tweets is not the same as getting lost in the pages of a book. And if I’m going to live to see the first female President, I should be reading way more books while I wait for her to save us all.
If it doesn’t make me love myself more, then what am I even doing? I’m a big fan of me, but it’s taken me three decades to get to this place of confidence and self-love. So when I don’t feel any better about myself after mindlessly scrolling through my feeds, WTF am I even doing? My time should be spent on things that make me feel prouder, stronger, happier and smarter. And anything that doesn’t make me feel that way should be nixed.