We are in the year 2017. The 2010 decade will probably be forever known as the era that technology literally took over. We have smartphones, tablets, smart watches, smart eye gear, and smart pretty much everything. As a person who grew up into technology, it’s easy to feel like we’ve been sucked into this lifestyle. I mean, think about it: We grew up in an era where technology was big, heavy, and programmed to do one thing. A VHS was used for just VHS tapes, CD players only played CD’s, and cellphones were just devices that you use to call people outside of your home. It wasn’t advanced to be taken seriously.
Technology nowadays does more bad than good in society in my opinion. You have elementary school kids who were born into advanced technology, having iPhones has their first official phone (Mine was literally the equivalent to the Nokia phone). Where technology is more addictive than ever, it’s hard as a young adult to try to focus on things that aren’t technology based or social media based.
I’ve tried to quit multiple social media platforms over the years and I always ended up going back because that’s just how my mind is programmed. As a young adult, my free time is spent scrolling through Instagram and Snapchat seeing what everyone else is posting because that’s the routine we are all used to.
As a person in their 20’s, it feels like I don’t have a sense of identity outside my social media persona. That’s where we all go wrong. It’s normal to be a teenager obsessed with all these different social media platforms because you don’t have many worries in the world as a teenager yet. Most teenagers don’t even know where they’re going in life yet, and most of them haven’t officially identify themselves yet. In other words, they follow the trends and what their friends are doing.
That’s not acceptable being in college trying to get your future together.
So, how do you gain some sense of identity in a world where your identity is hidden behind a pixel profile picture?
- If you have multiple social media accounts like me, try to cut some out of your life. For awhile, I was mainly a Facebook and Instagram type of girl. I posted about 10 different things a day on there, and I constantly checked it to see what my friends were up to. As the years passed by, I gravitated towards Twitter and Snapchat, and I rarely go on my other two social media accounts unless it’s a TNTH related post. Cutting one or two accounts on your life is beneficial; the keep-up of all profiles will be cut in half, you don’t waste your time checking every single social media platform one-by-one everyday, and in some way you help the dreaded “FOMO” that comes with these platforms.
- Only follow the people who you want to see. Back in high-school, having 1,000+ friends on Facebook or Instagram was normal because everyone thought that the amount of people who followed you declared you as one of the popular kids. At one point, my Facebook had 400 friends, and to this day it’s now 94. If you don’t speak to a person or they don’t show any type of love to you, then why do you still have them in your friends list? Just because you’ve known someone from elementary school or just because you know your boyfriend’s sister’s friend doesn’t mean that you have to see what they are up to 24/7 on social media. Keep the people who are willing to reach out to you or support you in the things that you post. Keep the people you personally want to see make it.
- Just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true. People love to investigate on other people through social media. What people don’t realize when investigating people is that some people don’t take social media seriously, and post whatever they want to post. With the new sharing craze, everyone pretty much uses Facebook or Instagram to share memes and things that are funny or things people can relate to. Never judge a person from the memes they share, they just like memes.
- Just because it’s NOT on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. My partner is a rather quiet and private person. He never really posts anything personally related to him on social media; as a matter of fact, he never really posts anything. He never does those “couple posts” with a picture of me on his Instagram or whatever, which in all honesty, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m the opposite of him; I literally put my life out their for people to see and don’t care who’s looking at it or not. That’s just the person I am. At the end of the day, I know how he feels about me and I know our connection pretty well. Just because he doesn’t post intimate posts like that doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel the way he feels or he doesn’t want to show me off. People have this assumption that “if it’s not on the internet, it didn’t happen” and I think that’s a load of bullshit. Don’t let anyone fool you by saying that his social media account says a lot about him. If that was the case, his would say that he’s MIA for most of the time and probably too ugly to post selfies so he replaces them with memes. Listen, his mighty fine, has an amazing job for his career path, and he’s always around. Never judge a book by its Instagram page.
- Enough talking, more doing. I tend to write Facebook statuses on my goals and dreams, and I’ve learned that some things are better left unsaid. I know for a fact that if you’re an open book like me, it’s hard to not want to share your goals and dreams to inspire other people, but sometimes people are the internet are there just to see you fail. Nobody wants to know that you have a full-time job and getting a promotion; they’re just there to hate on you and make you feel like you’re a pompous asshole. Like me, I’ve had people tell me that on my statuses. If you put your goals and dreams in action rather than just talking about them, they’re more likely to happen.
- Don’t take social media too seriously. The reality of the internet is that there are a lot of dumb people who do stupid things and say stupid things. It’s easy to get sucked into it; maybe someone said something about you and you’re feeling a bit insecure about it. Listen, social media can literally be anything that the person wants it to be, and that’s how you view it too. People are behind a keyboard pretty much talking out their asses most of the time. I mean, look at the garbage Tomi Lahren posts. Just remember that the internet people are thirsty people who try to be “social media thugs” for attention. You’re so much better than that.
- Don’t try to read every news article you find/your friend shares on social media. As tempting it is to click and read an article entitled “You won’t believe what Trump is doing!” , try to prevent yourself from reading every single thing someone shares. Yes, it is wise to keep up with current events and what’s going on with the world, sometimes reading too much of it does a negative affect on your mind. You start thinking that life is always this bad place with no expectation of it being better, and sometimes social media makes you feel a sense of hopelessness, especially now during this scary time of “Trump’s America”. Where yes, you should know things going on in your community and in your world, but when you’re constantly reading negative news articles over and over again, you’re only going to create unnecessary stress that your mind doesn’t need. That shouldn’t be a way someone should live. Give your mind a break and head on over to the side of the internet where fart jokes and cat videos are still a thing.
- Don’t compare yourself to people who you personally know on social media platforms. It’s very easy to scroll down your news feed and see that one girl you know 10 years lost a lot of weight and has a boyfriend who is her *now* fiancé . (This is just an example, but I’m slowly seeing just how specific that example was…) Anyway! Just because someone you knew is doing good, doesn’t mean your accomplishments and milestones don’t matter. Personally, I tend to compare myself to the girls who were once overweight that are now thinner and healthier because I know I can do it too, but it’s so hard to kick old habits. Despite feeling insecure about myself, I think about the little personal milestones that I recently hit: I wrote my first ever MA Thesis for grad school, I just recently celebrated a birthday, and I started this blog! If you can’t see it in that aspect, then use the people on social media as inspiration to help you get to where you personally want to be.
- On that note, also don’t compare yourself to celebrities on social media. In a world where Kylie Jenner rules Instagram and Snapchat, it’s hard to not want her various hair styles, fashion style, and lifestyle. I know I’ve found myself wanting to change my hair color a lot whenever she debuts another color wig from the rainbow of wigs she owns. The difference between her and you is that she’s a celebrity. Her photos on Instagram are meant to look like a professional photo-shoot every time she posts something. If anything, being “Insta-famous” is pretty much in her job description; yours doesn’t. Like I said previously, never doubt your own beauty and stop comparing yourself to other people. Be accepting of yourself and what you have to offer. You’re you for a reason, and not the person you’re comparing yourself to. Because you are unique.
I can go on for days on the things you can help your social media addiction or prevent you from making it worse. I can admit I have a problem; my iPhone is constantly glued to my hand from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. It’s hard to detox from it, but if you moderate what you’re doing and feeling while on your social media accounts, I believe that being on your phone 24/7 is just a normal thing, especially as a young adult.
But no matter what, always take care of your well-being before anything else. If you need to gather your thoughts and self, then take the time away from social media. Be by yourself. Take in your surroundings. Reinvent and find yourself in a world of personas on social media. Live your 20’s like you’re turning 30 tomorrow!