Society makes plenty of room for social media and not enough room for the tangible presence of those we love most. While we are busy scrolling feeds, checking likes, and counting followers, we rarely connect with the faces we glance passed every day.
For my own part, I was addicted to social media. My head was buried in a screen instead of taking in the world around me. Worse yet were the not-so-subtle comparisons from my hot-mess-of-a-life to the perfectly crafted status updates of friends, family, and people who had become all but complete strangers.
Something had to change.
And so, I quit social media. Cold turkey. No warning. No attention grabbing shouts from my keyboard. No more FaceBook. No more Instagram. No more Snapchat.
That’s when the magic happened.
That’s when the dull, dim light of a cell phone turned into a splash of life that I could taste, and touch, and see. For thirty days, I disconnected from the internet. By doing so, I discovered a joy that had been missing from my life.
Social media has become ingrained in our society. There’s no denying it. So, what was it like to disengage?
It was freedom.
Freedom from falling asleep reading messages. Freedom from waking up reading feeds. Freedom from the constant call to always be available. Freedom from wishing my existence was more than it was, and in turn, appreciating it for what it is.
It was gratitude.
Gratitude for every day that I wake up with the chance to start over, do better, and be better. Gratitude for good times and for laughter. Gratitude for bad times and for when I’ve fallen on my face unable to stop the tears. And, gratitude for the faith that sustains me.
Most of all, it was participating in this crazy thing called the human experience.
It was falling in love with life, all over again. It was making phone calls, and coffee dates, and dreams a reality. There was time for reading books, dancing silly, and saying “hi” to the passersby at a local park. It was breathing in the air around me to remind me to breathe out the love within me.
It seems ironic to return to social media with a post about how wonderful it was to live without it… I’m not saying to abandon it. There is good to it, after all. For someone like me, with friends and family who live far away, it is an avenue to keep communication alive.
Maybe this go around, if I’m lucky, if we are all lucky, we can remember to look up from our scrolls and be reminded of the tangible side of existence. In the end, it’s the things we can touch and see and taste that remind us how beautiful it is to keep in touch.