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Breaking Barriers: Benefits of my Social Media Fast

Social media has blown us away for quite some time. The methods of connection, creativity and business ventures continuously leave us in awe of its presence, praying it never goes away. Unfortunately for me, I found myself hoping it would. After being a faithful user of social media for so long, I found myself becoming anxious, weary, and depressed every time I opened it and surrendered to putting myself on a social media fast. Though I didn’t completely cut it off, I lessened my activity to three days a week, up to an hour or less per day. As a result, I discovered some ugly truths about myself and society that I hope we can change for the better.

First, detoxifying your mind from unfortunate circumstances is vital.

The times we live in are seemingly worse by the minute. While social media can be an asset in times like these because they open our eyes to injustices or share information we might not see within mainstream media, videos/pictures of suicides, violence and police brutality can take a toll on our minds. Indeed, the purpose of having platform of any kind is to express your feelings and that’s okay. But monitoring how much of it we ingest can preserve both of physical and mental health. I used to believe that making the decision to not watch a video or read the story of yet another hashtag for countless hours meant that I didn’t care as much as everyone else did. It doesn’t. It means I am digesting the situation and processing it the way I need to in order to keep going. I once saw a post that said, “turn off the news, go hug someone.” The same can be said for social media. We need to be reminded that though there are horrible things going on in the world, it’s not the end and we can still make the changes we would like to see day by day.

Secondly, the grass is greenest where you water it.

In my comparisons of another person’s highlight reel, I have a tendency to let their wins tell me I’m not doing enough. Well, what happens if we allow someone’s success to propel us forward with motivation instead of backwards in shame and discouragement? We can’t get so caught up in the assumed perfection of one life that we forget we can actually fix ours.

During my fast, two things have helped me keep my thoughts above envious waters: working toward my own betterment and removing all clutter. I stopped wishing for the life I wanted and started working toward it. I acknowledged that things weren’t just going to fall into my lap and every desire I felt had an action attached to it, along with the realization that things wouldn’t happen overnight. However, before I began the physical work, I repeatedly reminded my heart of three little words, “you’re worth it.”

The word “clutter” could mean anything/anyone that’s holding you back whether it be our internal thoughts, our family, friends or anything that is toxic to us. In this instance however, I mean anyone you follow on social media that has an unhealthy affect on you. Yes, in some ways, it is unfair to say a person’s success threatens you. But at the same time, it is completely necessary to be real with ourselves and ask if beating ourselves up because we’re not on the same level as another is worth the hassle? If you’re confident in yourself and are able to say “they’re dope, but I am too”, by all means continue as you please. But, if you haven’t gotten to that point and are breaking under societal or self-inflicted pressure, scan the people you follow and delete until your love meter is full.

The purpose of my testimony is not to bash social media in any way, shape or form. It is to simply remind you to check your heart for things that may mislead you and guard it accordingly. What is normal, cool, or successful is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t let anything else decide for you.

- Mel

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