Saturday, July 14, 2018

Why I'm Leaving Social Media


I've never had much of an experience with spoken word poems or films.  I never knew there was even such a thing till recently and, until just yesterday, I assumed it was something I wouldn't be a fan of.

That was before I ran into this one YouTube video.

You see, like many people (and specifically young people), I've become a digital freak.

It started the day I first got that "nun letter" and I wanted to learn more about today's convents.  My personality is naturally very passionate and I always throw myself completely into or towards anything that holds my interest.  I've always been a "all or nothing" person and so this manifested itself in me wanting to spend hours scrolling, searching, and reading about all things nun/convent/religious life and, eventually, finding a way to do so.  That lasted for a few years, and then evolved into my next interest of family life.

Hello, blog-world!  I really loved you.  I loved reading about Catholic they did things, what their lives were like, ect.  Eventually, it got to the point that this was all I did.  Even my younger siblings noted my addiction to the computer and to the lives of others and in the meantime, missing my own.   

The next large milestone?  Getting my first know, because a young adult needs that to function in today's world, right?  For me, it was just another chain that I wrapped around myself. 

Next, was getting a new iPhone......and the email apps.....and why not completely jump in and experience the social media bandwagon?  Hello, Facebook and Instagram.  I loved and hated you.

Suddenly, I could follow all these people that I "knew" and learn even more about them and their daily lives.  I could mindlessly scroll and unconsciously compare my life to everyone elses.

I can't say exactly just how far up I was on the social-media-addiction spectrum, but I would estimate I was getting pretty high up.  It became my source of entertainment......quick, easy........and something else.


I have good parents who taught us well how addictive technology can be.  I had gotten it drilled into my head the "holes" a person could get themselves into.  Yet, even with this awareness, I had fallen into the trap that so many young people do nowadays.....and usually never get out.

Except that a yesterday, I found this YouTube video (and yes, I am aware the YouTube is a social media platform).  Actually, a couple.  And they really gave me courage.  Here they are:



Now, I would like to clarify something, because this is the moment when all of the people who don't have an addiction stand up and tell you that social media isn't inherently bad and it can be used for great good......that it's all about controlling how much time you spend on it.

And I would agree with them.

However, I tend to use it in the wrong ways.  Sure, when I look at all the things I was doing on technology, I was doing nothing "bad" or "wrong."  Certainly, the majority of it was mindless, like following my favorite bands and bloggers, but also, I was using it for good things, like evangelizing (ah, the advantage of having non-Catholic friends who are glued to Facebook 😊) and socializing using Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts.  Sure, maybe I acted in stupid ways on platforms like that, but I'm actually grateful for those excellent learning moments.........sometimes kids just have to learn by making mistakes (as long as it's nothing immoral or sinful). 

But, besides that fact, it had become too much a part of my life....that coupled with the fact that I'm just sick of it and want to live my life without it. 😜 

Anyways, I'm getting off-track :)  So I watched these videos and was resolved.  

I had known for a while now that I just needed to stop.  I had deactivated my Facebook account multiple times and quit Instagram once already.  This time, though, I just needed to make the cut.

In this instance, I choose not to drive the middle-road.  In this instance, I'm taking the intuitive and will start striving for how I want to live MY life.  I deleted the email apps, the Instagram app, the Hangout's app, and the Facebook Messenger app.  I closed my Instagram account and I tried to quit Facebook.....I really did.  But there's a problem.

They literally won't let me delete my account.

Believe me, I tried......for about 3 hours.  And I wasn't a happy person at the end of those 3 hours.  I read around and quickly realized I was not the only human who has had this problem.  So instead, I decided to use a little trick I had heard about.  I basically wiped my page clean (as much as I was able), changed my name (which is why you won't be able to find me anymore), unfriended everyone, and locked everything up I could.  Today (as I ran out of time yesterday), I will finish it up and hopefully permanently lock myself out of the account.  

Hello.  My name is Emma, and I'm quitting social media (save blogging and email....) because I want to live my life in a different way then how I've been living it.  I've missed out on so many things that I can't get back and I want to change that.  I know, some people will smear in my face how they always knew this danger of technology addiction and how they escaped and I didn't.  I know, some people will tell me that their glad I'm finally listening and doing something about it.     

I hesitated, writing about this because of my pride.  Yet, I'm writing about this because of my hope.

God bless you all and I hope you have a wonderful Saturday (and weekend)!  

Gloria in excelsis Deo!