• Jessie

Boundaries and Social Media: What I learned on my social media hiatus

Taking a social media hiatus has honestly been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself in a lonnnng time. Watching my screen time go down each week from a crazy amount of HOURS per day to now using my phone for about 35 minutes a day has done more for my psyche than I can even try to explain.

Essentially, I realized my relationship with social media had become super unhealthy. I would spend hours creating content, trying to be “active” at all times, making sure I was engaging with all the people, researching new and relevant hashtags, and then finding myself seeking validation and feeling like a failure if a photo didn’t get over a certain amount of likes. Even though my commentary has always been real, these were things going on the background that no one saw, things I was battling with on my own and pretty much feeling like I was “faking it.” I also started to feel like I was just contributing to the noise of this constant need for new, and it started to make me sick thinking about how much crap my eyeballs were trying to ingest at all times. All in all, a really sad way to realize that my priorities were way out of whack. When I had this realization of my unhealthy relationship with social media was also around the time I found I was pregnant, I wasn’t feeling well anyways so it was the perfect excuse to say you know what, no more. Right now is my time and it’s my time to not give a sh*t about social media. It was the most liberating thing I’ve done for myself and I couldn’t be more grateful for my time away. So, here’s the most important things I learned: 1) Social media is a blessing and a curse. It can bring people together but it also can make them feel so isolated and alone. Make sure your relationship with your phone and how you’re using social media is something that makes you inspired and excited, and the minute it feels Ike something other than that, put your phone away and do something else. Your social media is not something you should build your worth upon because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. It’s literally Instagram. Who the heck cares how many likes or follows you have? Do you hear me? IT DOESN’T MATTER. Go call a friend, get outside, pick up a book, do something fun away from a screen, you’ll be better for it. 2) Using it to build community is great but, BE REALISTIC. Most people don’t have a fancy camera, most people don’t have a best friend who is a photographer who can take super insta worthy photos, so some people are going to see your photo and yes, be inspired, but others are going to feel bad about not having what looks like that seemingly perfect manicured life. Sharing your real authentic moments are what social media should be about and what I am committed to doing moving forward. Will you still see beautiful photos taken by my best friend? Yes. But are you also going to see the in between moments of my real life, yes. That’s only fair because that’s actually real life. It might not be pretty but it’s real. 3) BE PRESENT in the actual moment. I have barely any photos on my phone from the past couple of months and though it might look like I wasn’t doing anything, I was actually enjoying my life and not feeling the constant need to document every single thing. Despite what social media seems to tell us, you don’t have to document everything. If you went to some cool event and you feel compelled to share, by all means, share. But don’t do it because it would be good content for the gram. Do it because you’re genuinely feeling like it could contribute to something. And not documenting something, that is great too! I encourage you to try it. You get to see things through a different lens, literally, because you’re looking at it through your eyes, and not your phone. And I promise you that you’ll have way more fun enjoying yourself, whatever you’re doing. Just take the moment to drink it in and be present in the moment, you won’t regret it. So here’s my commitment moving forward: You’re going to see me a little more of me than you have over the past few months but I’m not necessarily going to be posting to social media every day/every other day to make sure I’m relevant and still in people algorithms, I’ve let that go. You’re going to see more genuine and authentic things going on in my life, and it’s probably going to involve more pictures of my dogs being crazy and getting ready for a baby on the way because that’s my actual life. And lastly, I promise to be my MOST AUTHENTIC SELF AT ALL TIMES, and that means when I’m not feeling it, and I feel like it’s something that could still be valuable, I’m going to share it, because that’s real life and we are all imperfect. I think at the end of the day it’s most important that we realize that we are all in this crazy thing called life together. We might not be going through the same exact thing as our neighbor but we can identify that we aren’t perfect and sometimes things are going to be so great that you want to shout from the rooftops, and other times you’re sad and you want to know that it’s ok, and there are other people who have been sad too. And that’s ok!!

So cheers to healthy relationships with our phones, cultivating community authentically, being present, and choosing to show up each day and give it our very best! I’m excited to be coming back in a way that feels honest and open.

Love, light, & lipstick,