I guess you can say its easy for someone who owns a flip phone, has no television in her home, and still reads the paper to say leaving social media is the best thing you could do to improve productivity, happiness, and relationships. But you see, For about six years I got into vlogging on youtube my homeschooling journey and it became sort of an addiction for me to have two even three videos up a week on what we were upto. I saw that people really liked the videos and it helped many and the wonderful comments were music to my ears. I sacrificed alot in these years to make videos on demand and answer people’s questions/comments. I even opened up an instagram account where I would post daily. Anything we did from meals to walks became a post. I saw myself looking for things to photograph that people would enjoy seeing and missing the day to day moments. It almost felt like a competition, like a race, that never finished. My youtube channel reached 100,000 subscribers and produced good side income for my family. One day my daughter, when doing her daily homeschool said to me “Mom record me!” I said no sweety today I am not recording our work. She cried and said “why, am I not doing a good job” I realized I sent the wrong message she felt that if it was good, it must be on camera. I realized that I too, started to believe that if something was not shared it was somehow missed and not valued. The world missed it…but my life was not meant to be public to begin with. I started to crave privacy. I wanted to feel the sheer joy of doing something and not making it public. So I paused making videos and I deleted my instagram it took just minutes to do, it was just a couple clicks. I am not a moderation type of person. I am either in or I am out. It was not hard for me because like I said I already live a pretty old fashioned, low tech life. I left my videos up on youtube because they have helped so many people and inspired people but I do not make new ones as of now. I have to put family first and my duties as a homemaker, homeschooler, and wife. My 4th pregnancy has proved to be difficult and more than ever I need to just relax and work within my home without any distractions. I have so much more time and peace. I have time for all my hobbies now. I do not feel like my life is not worthy because its not published. I just deeply desired to just be unseen. Posting videos and pictures can really feed the ego. Its almost like “look at me! hear me! look what I have, look what I can do, look where I went, look what my kids can do” where is the humility in this? If there is one quality I want is to possess is to always stay humble and one more…authentic. I did not want to send people the wrong picture. The reality is we all struggle, we all have a mess sometimes, eat junk food, scream at our kids, pick our nose, have a bad hair day, have a mountain of laundry, etc…no one is going to photograph or video the reality, the whole picture, them in totality. People just video and photograph the highlights of their lives, the glamour, the fun times…and when people watch, they get the impression that- that is all there is. I read that the main emotions facebook produced in people was envy and anxiety which can lead to depression as people compare their lives to the highlights of others. Just know that what you see, is a very little aspect of that person’s life, noone leads a perfect life, full of fun, excitement and great achievement. We all fail everyday. We all have dull moments, sad moments…and we all have something we battle with…if you are human, skin and bones, then you are not entitled to a perfect life.
When you are constantly posting every little aspect of your life you are not only giving people power over your life but you are missing little special moments. When you are in a beautiful park and you are looking around for beauty to photograph to post, you are missing the present moment passing you by. There is sheer joy in just walking and seeing a beautiful flower and noticing its beauty without taking out your phone to photograph it and immediately post it. Noticing every aspect of the flower and seeing what feelings arise, what thoughts arise…is truly experiencing the moment.
One reason I went back to a flip phone is because I never wanted to have the internet in my pocket as useful as people find it, I find it more valuable to use my mind. I like memorizing directions and not having the ability to google every little thing. I think people use less of their memory and brains today because google thinks for them. I am tired of seeing people’s heads down on their phones, they do not look up. You go to restaurants and kids are on their ipads, parents on their smart phones. Everyone is together but separate looking into a screen. Looking for what on their phones? What is happening in someone else’s life while they scroll through feeds? or the latest? Why is that more important than the person right in front of you? why is that more important that just being present to observe and feel what is there now?
I like my unpublished life. Noone knows where I go now, what I eat, what my kids are doing on a daily basis, what clothes I am wearing. Why should they? it was never meant for other people. I see how technology is destroying minds, relationships and the very fabric of society. In this virtual world authenticity is lost, not to mention how some evil corporations and powerful entities use social media to manipulate the minds of people, program them and use their data. ( I could write a book on this alone)
Do you want more time? quit social media. The average person spends 4 hours on their screens. What can you do with 4 extra hours a day? You will not only have more time but you will be productive. Every time you look at your phone your attention is fragmented and it takes about 30 minutes to regain that focus again according to studies. Living a distracted life diminishes your quality of life. You are only living a certain percentage of reality when you are constantly stuck on a screen. Go unpublish yourself, quit social media…You will have more time, be more productive, more creative, use your mind more, and have real friendships. All those people on your social media accounts are not really your friends. You will also feel happier because you will not be constantly bombarded with everyone’s highlights and misrepresented lives. Try it. At first you will feel a bit lonely and lost but then great happiness will come.. Great peace and enjoyment of everyday life.
Life is meant to be lived, NOT PUBLISHED.- Jady A.
What’s Jady up to these days? You won’t know..its ok, its not important. What is important, is your own life. Don’t you see this life is short, we don’t have time to waste scrolling through feeds. Lets go live and enjoy this beautiful life! I know its hard not to do what everyone else does…. Not to follow the school of fish….At first I felt so lonely. I realized almost all my relationships were through text. Now I enjoy meetups with friends, outings, events and face to face groups more than ever. I made a tribe outside my phone. Life really happens when you shut the screen off and LOOK up. (Subscribe to my email to read future post) Love ya!