Off the Grid, Part Two: Withdrawal

It’s been almost two weeks since I deleted all my social media accounts. Many people have asked me how it’s gone since then. Honestly, the way I feel about that decision changes moment by moment.

On that Friday afternoon when I hit the “delete” button on Facebook and Instagram, and cleared Snapchat from my phone, I felt INSTANT ELATION. I felt like I was finally free after being held captive for years (three and a half, exactly, since I got my first smart phone). I was blissful for the next couple days, knowing that I didn’t “have” to “check” anything, I didn’t need to worry about what people would think of what was on my various profiles, that I would be much less likely to hear about depressing news or ridiculous outrage campaigns.

And then, the boredom set in. I would be in line somewhere, or waiting for something, and pull out my phone and realize, “Oh…right. There’s nothing to check anymore,” then sheepishly put my phone back in my purse. I would want to look up so-and-so from high school but then remember: “Right…I can’t.” A lot of the things I spent my down time doing–snooping on people, reading stupid B.S. opinion pieces about yoga pants or “Trump-Russia-something-something,” and watching models do workouts I would never get around to trying–I can’t do anymore. So instead, I just…sit there. Wait. Be in line with people.

I’m ashamed to admit how reliant I was on social media–how much I used it to take up my time, to keep in touch with others, to get information (much of it fake or biased). Now I have to do other things to take up my time: clean, study, read, take walks. I have to find other ways to reach friends: a text that says, “Hey! What are you up to? Do you want to get together?” There are things that happen in the world that I miss out on–like the recent bombing in Austin I overheard a co-worker mention–that, quite honestly, I’m totally okay missing out on. I’ve had to adjust, and I really miss that instant “fix” that would give me fun, connectivity, and a sense of belonging. But more so, I’ve realized just how fake that fix actually is.

Sometimes I feel bored. Sometimes I feel lonely. Sometimes I feel out-of-touch. But mostly, life goes on pretty much the same way it used to. I am still convinced this was the right thing for me to do, and the more I talk to people about it and read accounts from others who have done the same, the better I feel.

Stay tuned for Part Three, as I continue my fade into digital obscurity. 🙂



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