It’s been a rocky road. An up-and-down kind of relationship. Some days, I can manage quite well with social media. And other days, I wish it had never come into existence.
Last year, I got to the point where I just had to delete all the profiles I had made on every social media outlet. (Well, in reality I could only manage to “disable” them, because it is actually really, really difficult to delete yourself on social media. Fun little fact.)
I don’t really know what prompted this action on my part. I guess it all just kind of built up, until I just had to do something about it. I would find myself spending hours on Facebook or Instagram or both. I would be sitting in a room with my friends, but I wouldn’t really be in the room with them. I was on my phone, or on my computer, looking at other people’s lives, wondering why my own life couldn’t be as interesting as theirs’ seemed to be.
I was becoming emotionally and mentally dependent on what people saw in my profiles. I heavily filtered any picture that I was tagged in, or that I uploaded myself—obsessively making sure I looked good to anyone who might stumble across my profile.
The day I disabled my accounts, I literally felt an enormous weight lift off my shoulders. No more obsessively checking how many likes I got on a status. No more anxiety about what I looked like online, how I presented myself, or what other people saw when they clicked on my pictures and statuses.
I felt free.
That was the day I realized, that unless you are completely and totally confident in yourself and know who you are, it is too easy to lose yourself in your social media profiles. I was trying to make myself into all the people I saw online who I thought had interesting lives. I didn’t want to be me… I wanted to be them.
I wasn’t sure enough in myself to stand up and say, “I am happy with who I am.”
And after a few months of soul-searching and self-finding, I decided I was confident enough to maintain myself when I restarted my profiles. Now, I don’t shirk companionship for Facebook and Instagram. Now, I don’t spend hours comparing my life to others’.
Now, I know who I am. And I like me.