Life Without Social Media: Pros and Cons

As many of you know, I gave up social media for Lent.

For those of you considering it (or wondering if you could ever live without it), I’ll give you a run-down on what I’ve experienced thus far and how it feels.

I primarily gave up social media because I found it was taking up huge chunks of my time. I’d get sucked in and scroll for hours, usually before bed. I was living for the future and recording memories, versus actually living in the moment.

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I’ll start with the cons, since I must admit, I do miss it.

  • You can’t cyber stalk people you meet (don’t act like you don’t do this). How am I supposed to know if you’re the guy on Facebook with one friend and a Myspace mirror picture? Hopefully my intuition leads me far away from those types to begin with….
  • I can’t remember anyone’s birthday besides my best friend and family members. It’s nice to have Facebook tell me when I need to wish someone a happy birthday.
  • I can’t use it to advertise my blog or promote things via Twitter or Facebook. I knew this going into it, but sometimes I’ll see that people have RT my posts via the blog and I can’t even say thank you! (So here’s my virtual thank you!!)

However, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the cons:

  • I’ve experienced better sleep because I’m not scrolling through my newsfeed mindlessly for however long before I’m going to sleep.
  • I’ve done a lot more reading, especially before bed.
  • I feel more present in the moment and can focus my attention on bettering myself and building my dreams, goals and ambitions.
  • I’m not sucked into the drama/jealousy that social media possesses (Ugh, what she’s doing looks so fun. Um, another vacation — why isn’t my life that exciting? Why isn’t my boyfriend that cute? Do guys like that even exist? haha)
  • It forces people to contact you via text or phone call. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “hit on” via Facebook message. WHY IS THIS A THING?! Stop it!
  • Perhaps the biggest “pro” is that it forces you to become social. Sometimes we have this false sense of inclusion, like we actually have a social life when in reality, all we’re doing is sitting there scrolling through a news feed. Some of us (myself included, from time to time) use that in place of real social interaction, perhaps because we’re too busy, exhausted or whatever the reason. In turn, we just end up looking to social media to feel included, instead of forming meaningful friendships and relationships with those around us.

Unfortunately, as a society, we’ve grown accustomed to using social media almost like a barrier. We forget what it’s like to participate in real life experiences — actually touch someone, hug them or tell them how you feel IN PERSON. It breaks my heart to see people, kids especially, sit and play video games ALL DAY instead of going outside and experiencing what life has to offer.

When’s the last time you went outside and just looked up at the sky? Watched the clouds go by? Pondered the meaning of life?

When’s the last time you saw something beautiful and just soaked in all it’s glory, versus taking a picture of it to upload to Instagram?

If it’s been a while, I would really encourage you to take a step back and reevaluate how much time you’re spending on social media. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not looking forward to having it back in a few weeks, but I’m going to use it much more carefully.

I’m going to use it to enhance my life versus take away from it. 

We’re blessed to be able to document memories so easily, but don’t let that take the place of actually ENJOYING those memories.

beautiful-live-moment-wallpaper-favim-com-520574Of possible interest:

“I Dream… of Simpler Things”

“I dream… of simpler things.
I would like to return to the days when there weren’t so many choices,
distractions, and complications.” -Cori from OliveToRun

As I was studying catching up on blog posts this morning, this really caught my attention. Shout out to my girl, Cori — her blog is awesome!

People always tell me that I’m an old soul. I, too, dream of simpler things. I believe I was meant to be born into a generation that wasn’t so focused on communication and constant connection via technology. Yes, I do have a blog. Yes, I love social media. Yes, I’m on my phone a lot. So where do we draw the line? When does technology start impacting our personal relationships and quality of life?

I’d love to live in a world where if a guy was interested in you, he couldn’t simply “like” your picture on Facebook and expect something to come of it. Or “poke” you. (Just…. stop. So creepy.) If you’re interested in a girl… TALK TO HER.

Photo on 2013-07-18 at 12.38

Hi. I’m right here. Girls aren’t that scary, I promise.

Or how about a world where we didn’t sit on our phones at the dinner table?

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(Bussssted)

Or the days when 8-year-olds didn’t have iPhones.

Or a world where you actually ENJOYED dinner instead of taking pictures of it. (Unless you can justify your addiction by having a health & fitness blog 😉)

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What about when you’re on vacation and want to capture every moment? That beautiful sunset, the gorgeous mountains, the breathtaking view.

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Or when self-worth wasn’t based on how many likes we got on our pictures?

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Oh my gosh I didn’t get 100 likes… *deletes picture*

Don’t get me wrong, I fall victim to these traps from time to time (which is why I have pictures to show you). I’m human and, frankly, I LOVE taking pictures. Obviously if a sunset is pretty, I’m going to take a picture of it. However, I try to live in the moment and enjoy my surroundings. I love having real, in depth conversations and I truly enjoy the company of the people I surround myself with.

Technology becomes a problem when we allow it to interfere with living presently in the moment. Must we capture every single second of every single day? Why can’t we just simply enjoy the moment? The pictures never do justice compared to our memories anyway.

Bottom line: There are times when technology is appropriate and times when it is not. It’s important to understand where to draw the line. Don’t let technology get in the way of your most important relationships. Take pictures, but don’t let it distract you from taking in your surroundings and enjoying the beauty that’s actually in front of you. If you’re at dinner, focus on enjoying the conversation. Don’t let the amount of likes you get on a picture define your self-worth. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and no one needs to double tap a picture to tell you that. If you’re interested in someone, approach them.

Life is too short! Let’s focus our attention on fully and presently enjoying it.