Lately, I’ve been staying off of the ‘gram. I find myself focusing a lot better and actually getting through my to-do lists when I’m not distracted by likes. In fact, when I work at my desk, I keep my phone in my bedroom, as the act of not seeing the device is beneficial for my productivity. I have a lot of friends and a family member who are truly glued to their phones. They won’t even look up when you are in their presence, as the thought of missing something terrifies them.
This, of course, is a social media addiction, but in their words, they can’t help it. I think it is fine to know what people are doing, especially as we live out this pandemic and go long stretches of time without seeing friends and family. You basically have to find your connections how you see fit these days.
However, I think it gets dangerous when you start believing that these small snapshots of reality that people post on Instagram is the whole-hearted truth. A small part of someone’s career might have you believe it came overnight. Or worse, you can see someone living the exact way you want to, with friends, options, and happiness. Then, you get tricked into thinking that since it already happened for that person, how can the exact same thing happen to you? You start believing that all the opportunities are going their way, and there will be nothing left for you.
Or, you start to feel down and depressed, imagining that if you just went to that school, took that class, went to that networking event, that things would be different. Wrong. We really only see what people want us to see.
Meaning, unless you follow accounts that post real hardships and things they struggle with throughout time, then you cannot hold yourself to that. And even so, social media is not a lens into that person’s entire day or journey. You should not allow its power to trick you into thinking you are not worthy of the career or relationship, but instead, you should be encouraged in realizing that if it happened for them, it can happen for you.
If you feel yourself slipping into this ideal of thinking, it’s best to take a break from the platform(s). Start by limiting yourself to an hour less a day until you find your sweet spot.