I haven't been on Instagram or Twitter since December 18, 2015. Maybe you've noticed that you haven't gotten any updates from my personal account or the one for this blog. Or, you're reading this and going, "You know, now that I think about it..." Either way, I promise it doesn't hurt my feelings. On my social media accounts, I've always been someone who looks at my feed more than I contribute to others'. That's why I know that a lot of people might not have realized I haven't been on social media. Nevertheless, I really wanted to talk about why I've been off of Twitter and Instagram, what it has been like, and if I'm planning on going back.
Why did I go off of Instagram and Twitter? Trust me, it wasn't, and hasn't, been easy. Being off these sites means there's a disconnect. Think of all the things you learn when you check your Twitter or Instagram feed throughout the day. Depending on who you are and who you follow, you could hear about anything from a funny moment at school to the name of someone's newborn. Being off of these sites means that I'll be in a group of people and be the only one that doesn't know what they're talking about. It's happened before, and I know it will happen again.
It's also hard to do because Instagram and Twitter can be addicting. When you first start an account, you just occasionally scroll through your feed. As you start to understand it more, and follow more people, you spend more time on it. Then, BAM. You spend hours on that one site every single day. Going off of social media was a good way to get away from that obsession, but it wasn't the reason for it.
If I'm being honest, the reason for my absence on social media has to do with being at an online school. Seeing all my friends in class, laughing at the class clown, meeting up between classes, or screaming out support at a pep rally or football game made me really upset sometimes. I was really happy for the people in the pictures, because even if just for a moment, they were having a fun moment at school. I felt sad, though, because I wanted to be there. I wanted to sit in the student section at a football game. I wanted to go into hysterics over one word that related to last week's history lesson. I wanted to be able to go home from school and have a hilarious story to share.
I started logging off of Instagram, so that I would have to re-enter my username and password whenever I went on so that I couldn't just mindlessly scroll through my feed in a free moment. I was still feeling down, though, so I decided to delete the app off my phone entirely. Then, almost without thinking, I deleted Twitter, too. I didn't have a Snapchat or Facebook; I did have a Pinterest. That stayed on my phone, but I didn't use it until January. I kept Pinterest because I have a couple of food allergies, and it can be really helpful.
What's it been like? Just like I said earlier, there have been a lot of moments where I have no idea what friends are talking about. Other things have been great, though. Overall, I've spent less time on social media. This is great, because my schooling needs a lot of time. Checking your phone just a few moments every once in a while can really add up. I'll be the first to admit that the past few weeks, I've been spending more time on Pinterest. Realizing that, though, and also noticing that I'm not happy with that use of my time, means that I'm slowly opening the app less and less.
The goal I had when I went off these sites in the first place has been achieved. That doesn't mean I don't still feel sad about school sometimes, or that it isn't bittersweet looking at a picture sent by a friend. It does mean that it's on my mind less, though, and that's enough. I went to public school my entire schooling career up until this year. It is, and will continue to be, an adjustment in many ways. If I can do something to help with the harder parts of this adjustment, though, why wouldn't I?
Finally, we've gotten to the big question... Am I going to go back on social media? Yes. Anytime soon? I wouldn't count on it. I may miss the occasional tweet, or wonder about what someone's been up to. I've decided that if they aren't a big enough part of my life that I don't find out how they are elsewhere, though, it just isn't important enough. As for missing a funny or popular post, those are things I can live without as well.
I considered going back on Instagram, just once, to post about this blog update. I've decided against it, though. Having people take time out of their day to read what I have to say is really nice. It's not the most important thing, though. What's more important is that I like what I post, or find it important. So weighing the pros and cons, there were more cons to alerting people about this blog post on Instagram.
So maybe you'll stumble upon this post by accident. Maybe you'll see it if I ever go back on social media, and I tell you about a future blog update. Either way, it doesn't matter. I'm glad to have you as a reader, and even more glad that I'm putting myself before my writing's popularity. :)