If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile now, you will know that I demonised social media at the beginning of last month. Everything reached saturation point and I decided that I didn’t want my life to be dictated by the life I was moulding online. I don’t regret it either.
By dramatically lowering my social media use, I have come to learn a lot.
In one way or another, I think we all seek a sense of validation from the online world, even if we do so subconsciously. We use ‘likes’ and ‘views’ to determine our own worth and we constantly pursue them until we feel satisfied. The truth is though, we never will be satisfied.
It’s a degrading cycle that leaves us powerless. We feel “good” when we receive mass appreciation for something we have posted, and that feeling of “good” becomes our sole desire. We seek that feeling again and again, and thus a social media addiction is born.
Therefore, the problem isn’t actually social media… It’s how we use it. I now realise that I was using it to define my worth and that is why I began to resent it.
I would be lying if I were to say that I am no longer struggling with my self-worth, because I am… however, the difference is awareness.
I am now aware that I have never and will never find way to love myself in the online world, and that awareness alone is enough to protect me.
All that aside, I’ve always thought of platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr, to be ones of self-expression. People are able to find solace in the online communities and express themselves in ways they wouldn’t otherwise feel comfortable with.
I’m definitely one of those people. A lot of us are. That’s why, for the amount of flak social media gets and for the amount of flak I have given in, it can be profoundly positive.
With everything taken into account, I’ve decided to return to social media. Although my use will never be what it once was, it will be enough. It will be enough for me to define it and not have it define me. I think that’s all I ever wanted when I started the social media detox in the first place; To be in control.