Social Media: A Conversation with Myself

8:07 PM

I want to let go of this persistent itch to share my life on social media.

By writing editor, April Owens

I’ve slowly been trying to resist the itch. It follows me wherever I go. Whenever I snap a picture of something, I ask myself, “Why?”. Whenever I sit refreshing my apps mindlessly, I’m hit with a deep dissatisfaction. Why am I doing this? Is it to fulfill the need for acceptance, the need for reassurance? While likes and comments provide for a temporary dopamine rush, they don’t really help after the post has been up for a while and it’s pushed farther down into the infinite abyss known as the Instagram feed.

Mostly everything online is fabricated. Things are presented in a very specific way that erases any traces of context or backstory. I posted a picture of myself smiling-- the perfect pose. That picture took 20 minutes to take, and in that moment, all I wanted was for the photoshoot to be over. I know for a fact that almost nothing posted on social media is as polished or as marvelous as it seems. I try to keep that in mind when scrolling through others’ posts. 

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I deleted social media altogether. It couldn’t be too horrible, right? I made it through elementary school that way, and those were some of the happiest, most stress-free times of my life. Then again, maybe I only idealize that era of my life because I’ve forgotten so much about it.

Either way, it’d be an incredible task to get rid of social media. I could start small be deleting one app. But social media platforms have bled their way into my life in unexpected ways. They’ve become systems through which I document, communicate, and discover. Social media is just that: a medium. It’s something sticky and invasive and it has seeped its way into everything I know. It seems like it would take forever to clean it all up. It seems odd that something so relatively new already feels like such a critical part of my existence. I suppose, then, that my reliance on social media is fabricated as well.

FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. As I consider the implications of cutting the tie, I can’t help but think about what I’ll be missing, like life updates from friends. I know, deep down, that I’ll still be able to be “in the loop” without that constant, overwhelming flow of information. My relationships and conversations will be much more intentional. And it will take some work.

So, I’ve convinced myself. I hover my finger over the “delete: button. I hesitate. Can I really do this? Should I really do this?

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