I decided on Sunday night that it would be best for my mental health to delete all forms of social media that I had an account with. By this, I mean I deleted every social media app I had on my phone, and I even went further with it by going online and deleting my Instagram and Twitter accounts on my laptop. I was spending so much time on my phone, and I was obsessing over such small things that I had no other choice. It got to the point where it was making me sick how much I relied on my phone for entertainment. I also have been struggling due to the pandemic going on, and other various personal problems, and my mind has been endlessly roaming and giving me severe anxiety, so stalking old friends online isn’t going to help me. Instead of spending my days trying to figure out where I went wrong with those who were no longer in my life, I decided to focus on the now. I called my mom. I cried. I watched TV. I laughed. I did way more school work than I have for the last month of this nightmare. I actually focused on myself for once and was fully alone, at least digitally. I wasn’t alone emotionally because I’m lucky enough to have a close relationship with my friends and family.
It was extremely difficult to stay off of social media. I went from having attention at my fingertips from anyone I wanted, to having nothing occupying my mind for hours on end. All I could think about was re-downloading everything and how bored I was. I even went on Facebook.com, which anyone under the age of 40 knows is not a normal thing to check up on. You have to be severely bored. So, I had my little dose of social interaction by putting up a post just advertising the launch of my blog. I did this within two days of deleting everything. I literally felt like I could not do anything anymore without getting that dopamine shot of having my “friends like my post.” Since then, I’ve been on there twice, just to see if I had any notifications. I even felt like I needed something deeper than this interaction, so I re-downloaded Snapchat to open all my messages. I wouldn’t reply, but I could at least see that people cared about me and actually did want to talk to me.
I decided that I actually think I’ll keep my social media deleted, though originally I had planned to re-download everything after writing this article. I ended up realizing that it occupied too much of my mind, and I wasn’t really acknowledging what was happening in my real life. I’m going to get Snapchat back, and try to keep my use to a minimum. At the very least, I’ll be able to have conversations with people without having the need to stay on the app for hours looking at people’s profiles. With quarantine happening right now, we all just need a friend and someone to have a real conversation with. I downloaded Bumble to try to meet people to talk with, in order to occupy my mind when I’m craving human interaction, but I probably won’t keep it for long. If I can meet a couple people who I consider to be a friend after this, then I would be more than happy. I’m so social, and I miss making new friends and meeting new people, and quarantine is driving me insane. Though it will be tough to keep my other forms of social media deleted, I think it’ll be healthy. I already feel a lot happier since deleting them five days ago, and it has shown me my dependency on social media and the validation of others through it. I wouldn’t suggest deleting EVERYTHING like I did, because it was torturous in the time of a pandemic, but Instagram is a big one for wasting time away, and overall just hurting your mental health, so definitely at least take a break from that! I chose to keep Twitter gone as well because I find myself looking for things to get hurt over when looking at old friends profiles, and I don’t want to do that to myself anymore. I miss Twitter the most, but it was probably the most toxic out of all the apps.