Social media is powerful. It’s influential. People have flipped their profiles into money making machines which is amazing. However, social media can still be depressing as hell. Many people live a facade on these apps. They only show their success and happiness which causes some people to compare themselves. That causes depression in some people. I am one of them. This situation happened to me during my final months of college (I’ll get into it more in my post-grad series). Some people can be so engulfed in another person’s life on these apps and not focus on their own life. I didn’t want to be that person anymore.
I was on social media heavy. I used Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and occasionally Facebook. Instagram was my trouble app. I deleted my Instagram for two weeks for those reasons. The content I was seeing made me depressed and reminded me of my past mistakes & situations. I couldn’t take another day of seeing the people I had problems with last year popping up on my time line . I was tired of looking at posts and comparing myself as well. It was getting addictive. I had to take a break from the facade and get back in touch with things I can see physically and not through a glass screen. For the first two days I missed it but I got use to it. I didn’t miss it that much after that. I went on Snap-chat for a few days after I stopped using the other apps and had to remind myself that it was a form of social media as well.
When I got back on my apps I used them less. As soon as I went back on Instagram, I started deleting some of the accounts that made me have those feelings before. I purged my feed from anything that could trigger negativity in me. It was nice to detach. I had to find other things to do with my time. I started focusing on a project I wanted to release and catching up on shows (I call it balance lol). When quarantine began I started going back on Instagram heavy because I was bored. I started experiencing the same issues again. I’m now trying to work on eliminating things in my life that cause me distress and create negativity. The way I use social media is the problem not the applications themselves. Instead of leaving social media again, I just created another page and followed accounts that promote positivity and accounts with content I love. I’ve followed pages that share positive quotes, music facts, travel content and home decor. The time I usually spend on my main account is now spent on that page. On that page I don’t care how many people I follow. When my main account feels depressing I retreat there. I call it my feel good account. This account has helped me to use Instagram in a healthier fashion.
Enough of my words. I’ll be interviewing someone for the last half of this post. I would like to introduce my guest Jamar. He also took a two week social media hiatus with me. I’ll shamelessly plug his info at the end.
So Jamar how do you use instagram?
I use Instagram for entertainment. I use it for being conceited with posting pictures/videos of myself on my story. I post pictures that I think are Instagram worthy, usually pictures of my outfits and pictures with nice backgrounds. I also use it for my news updates (The Shade Room) so I can know what’s going on around the world.
And how often did you go on it?
Before the hiatus, I would be on Instagram 24/7. I don’t know about you but I would be on Instagram scrolling down on my feed until I see the “you’re all caught up” message. When I use to see that I’d get so depressed. I’d tell myself “Jamar you don’t have a life. Get your life together”.
Why did you decide to take a hiatus?
One day I was on Instagram after I got home from work and my phone was on 5%. I saved that little percentage I had so that I could listen to music while taking my shower. in the middle of the third or the fourth song my phone died. When that happened I was so sad I felt like I died with my phone because I never allow my phone to die. That was the fastest shower I ever took. I ran out to charge it and guess what I did? Yup.. I got on Instagram! The next morning when you called me to wake me up I told you I wanted to take a break from social media. Especially Instagram. You agreed and we planned the break.
How was your two week break?
The first day was hard. It felt weird not getting any notifications from the people I turned on notifications for. Usually when I was bored, I would go straight to Instagram but this time I had to actually communicate with people around me. When I was home, I would listen to music and do stuff for my YouTube channel. I’m not going to lie it was hard. I never normally use twitter but it became my best friend. I was on it a lot and I think I cheated the hiatus a little bit, but it was different.
How are you using social media these days?
I hoped when I went back to Instagram I wouldn’t abuse it the way I did before the hiatus. I went back to Instagram and I never saw the “you’re all caught up” message again. But now I’m on Instagram heavy again. You know Corona virus is real. When it’s over I’m going to try and do better and if I’m acting the same way I was before I’ll probably take another break. Maybe one longer than two weeks.
These are just two perspectives on social media and breaks. I would love to hear your opinions and tips as well.
- Jamar’s Info
- IG: island_wave
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzf81LklrOsrrEaNhZ8_wMA
– Tammy🖤 ♈