Who are you without social media?
You may not know yourself as well as you think.
The internet has seen a drastic hit in censorship as we kick off this new year. We rely on social media for many things whether it’s information, creativity, business or personal, it’s our way of connecting in this new digital age. But as we’ve seen how quickly and easily Big Tech can flip the switch, social media can be taken down in an instant. Heck, there might as well be a new meaning behind “INSTAgram”. So, it got me thinking the question, who are you without social media?
If you can answer this easily without hesitation, then congratulations, you will survive the internet apocalypse. But if this had you thinking twice about who you really are, then you may want to look into some good ol' soul searching.
We live in a time where technology is integrating more and more with the human brain and whether or not we think it’s controlling us, the reality is undeniable. On a subconscious level, we don’t realize how often we engage in some form of social media activity through out our day. Many of us wake up and it’s the first thing we do and the last thing we do before bed. And often times in between without even thinking about it. It’s become embedded into our daily routines and we may have forgotten what life was like before. Did life even exist?
Not only are we checking our phones and opening the apps every so often, but there's something about the content that we are both sharing and receiving. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m definitely guilty of being strategic in what I post. I’m not going to post a photo of me rolling out of bed with dried up drool on my mouth. Of course not. We have control of what we allow to be seen on our social media pages. And because of this, we feed off of other peoples’ validation of a partial image of ourselves. That’s the key word here — “partial”.
We may be telling the truth and sharing a real experience, but is it the entire story behind the experience, or just the highlights? I’m thinking moreso the latter. And what is the reasoning behind what we choose to share? Is it something we are trying to prove to others or to ourselves? What would happen if the internet crashed tomorrow? Would your life be just as fulfilling as it's portrayed online? These are questions that come to mind that lead into wondering, who are you without social media?
Big Tech has us under its manipulative control and we are unconsciously allowing it to happen. We are willingly handing over our freedom by assigning our identities to technology. If you prepare yourself now and find purpose and meaning outside of social media and within yourself, then you hold the power and no one can take away your truth.
So, before I get too philosophical, here are ways to prepare for the internet apocalypse. You know, just in case.
Spending time with yourself in deep thought can be the best medicine for any human being. The more uncomfortable you feel alone with your thoughts, the more often you should do it. After all, with everything locked down, this is the perfect time to go within. Listen to your intuition. Everyday we are being fed with information that may or may not be accurate, but what does it feel like to you? Always use your best discernment by seeking within.
Reprogramming your brain:
Now is the time to start reprogramming our need for social media by reprogramming our brains. It’s easy to form a habit, but it’s hard to break it. It’s up to our very own will power. Everything perceived through thought is just that. Our habits are formed by our thoughts and our thoughts are conditioned by external forces. Start with a daily meditation. There are amazing guided meditations on YouTube for hypnosis that help reprogram the brain. One simple trick is setting reminders on your phone through out the day to help limit screen time. Sometimes we lose track of internet time and before we know it we've landed in the world of stalking an ex's new bae. Don't do that.
Sometimes social media can have a big impact in comparing ourselves to others. We see people “living their best life” and wonder why we don’t have what they have. You have to remember that it’s not always what it seems when it comes to what people post. So, practicing self-love and setting daily reminders of why you are worthy will bring you back to balance. Every single human being is valuable and it is up to you to see it in yourself. Your worth is not validated by the number of followers you have. It’s not about loving the best parts of you, but also about loving all parts of you as you practice self-acceptance. I suggest reading up on “shadow work”.
Finding new hobbies:
This could be fun! There’s always something new to learn, especially during a pandemic. It’s easy to get caught up in a scrolling cycle for hours on your phone, but a more efficient way of spending your time could be through a healthy activity. Sometimes when you learn something new or gain a new hobby, you learn something new about yourself and what a gift that could be.
Connecting to the non-physical:
This isn’t about religion. This isn’t even about God or a lack of God. I know we all have different beliefs. What I’m referring to as the “non-physical” is that there is something within our bodies that is untouchable. I would give it a name and call it a “soul” or “consciousness”, but even that could be controversial according to your beliefs. It doesn’t need to have a name, but a feeling. It’s a knowing that it’s there and there are ways to connect to it through trust and introspection. Whatever that "non-physical" element may be to you, sit with it and know that it is yours to hold.
Temporarily deactivating your account:
And if none of that works, you can always deactivate your social media accounts…temporarily. Most social media platforms have this amazing feature. I temporarily deactivated my Instagram account for 2 months and it was the most cleansing experience. It allowed me to be mindful of the present moment and focus more on myself as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders. Sometimes, social media can bring us a lot of pressure to keep up and stay relevant to the times. But when you deactivate your account, none of that even matters anymore. It’s always good to give yourself a break.
These are just a few suggestions on what has helped me find meaning to life outside of social media, but there is no set formula to figuring out who YOU are. This is not a one-size-fits-all because we are all programmed differently as human beings. The goal is to find a way to come back home to ourselves and understand that there is life far beyond a digital screen. Now, go ahead and truly ask yourself, who am I without social media? I challenge you to find the answer.