Last week was perfect unsubscribing from unnecessary emails to clear a little clutter. Halfway during last week and during all of the unsubscribing, I noticed myself periodically checking Facebook and Instagram throughout the day- spending an exuberant amount of time refreshing feeds and checking in to see who has commented or “liked” things I’ve posted.
It turned into a small need for worth.
I found that I wasn’t “getting enough likes” (even though I had no number in mind), or other’s observations through a comment weren’t fulfilling my need for worth, and it irked me. I wondered how I could manipulate social media to look more like I was living the dream, to gain praise for my series of life events.
The truth is, no one actually cares as much as you do.
Humans were wired for connection and praise. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we love hearing we have done a deed well, we look nice, and we are headed in the right direction. That reassurance and praise is part of our human need for connection. Most people are so consumed in their own posts- their own stories- that they don’t think twice about yours and mine. Gaining worth through Christina’s “like” on Facebook and the double-tapping heart thingy on Instagram is nearly as comparable as someone walking by you through campus and acknowledging your presence.
Think about the way you “like” certain things on social media: you mindlessly scroll through pictures, see a pretty sunset, double tap and continue to scroll before giving it a second thought. Why do we obsess with this simplicity?
So, I deactivated Facebook and similarly manipulated Instagram so as to not lose my account. After a week of inactivity, I’ve actually forgotten about checking in and seeing what’s going on. I’ve lived. And a little less needy, actually.
Take a week this summer- five days, maybe just two- and deactivate your social media outlets. Clear your mind of the hustle and frantic posts to see what your mind can take up instead.