It’s been a while since I got on my blog and talked, just talked. A few things happened to me and I want to share them as a way to help others and hold myself accountable.
First I deleted my Instagram (although I forgot to get people’s contact information before I did so that’s a huge bummer). Instagram is a soul suck - I’ll be the first to say it. I quit social media a few months ago for a month and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I returned to the app but since then I have been so very frustrated. I spend way too much time taking, editing, planning, uploading, and liking photos on Instagram, not to mention the time I spend viewing other people’s lives that I don’t actually know in real life and will likely never meet. There is no benefit of the platform, with a few exceptions. I have made some pretty awesome friends from the app and I’m sad to see them go. I don’t have their contact information, like I said, so I may never talk to them again. Bummer. Second I like geo-tagging (aka being able to see all the photos taken at a certain location).
As I look at myself and my life right now I realize it’s time for a change. Social media has some great benefits but not for me. I am keeping my blog and my Facebook (oh and my YouTube!) - my blog as a way to be creative and my Facebook as a way to keep in touch with my grandparents. For some reason I have a much easier time avoiding Facebook than I do Instagram. But as an example, today I went for a walk around my neighborhood. I took my camera and took 45 photos of myself, a new photo to post on Instagram, and didn’t like a single one. I had a horrible feeling after, a feeling of annoyance and frustration, and I knew I needed to stop. This might sound ridiculous (45 photos!) and it is but it’s also the reality of almost every big Instagrammer. I’ve been friends with quite a few in my day and a lot of the photos are curated. and a lot of time and effort goes into each post. This is great if you love doing it or even if you get paid to do it but I don’t want my photos to be forced. I want to live my life as take photos as an extension of that, capture the moments that mean something to no one else but me! :)
Over the past few months I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences - hiking a bunch, staying at a forest service cabin for the first time, going to Hawaii for my 30th birthday, but I don’t feel much, emotionally. It’s something I see within myself and am working on. My life is amazing right now and I want to enjoy it. I have the most wonderful job, I have friends and family who love me… last week I went out with the girls Friday, paddle boarded and had a bon fire Saturday, and hiked Sunday… we even had plans for Monday too but I needed a break. I haven’t had such a busy weekend in such a long time! But during all of this I didn’t feel like I was living 100% in the moment. I was worried about taking pictures and uploading them to Instagram, worried about a million other things. I think I might lean towards more of an addictive and perfectionist personality so I get obsessed with taking the perfect photo and that’s not the point of our very short lives! If I died tomorrow my most liked photo would not be what I remembered!
Regardless of how I felt and what I did for Instagram (I left a lot out but I don’t want to get into it right now) I’ve decided to step back. I think technology in general is horrible for our mental health. How many times have you gone somewhere or done something for social media? Or had a moment ruined using social media? I mean seriously how of you actually go back and watch the concerts you record? Or even look at all the photos and videos you take on vacation? How many hours of your life have you spent online or watching TV and movies? We are just the strangest generation…
we spend our entire lives watching other people live their lives.
I so desperately want to live in the moment, to sit still and take it all in. My goal for this summer is to still spend time with my camera because I truly do love photography but to set social media and technology aside. I want to read a book, I want to go to a cafe or sit on my front porch and do nothing else but exist. I want to run through a sprinkler, drip ice cream all over myself… I want to live, I want to play. My use of social media may have been a little more extreme than yours, or maybe you are worse than me, but I am taking back my life. I am going to eat, live, laugh, write, read, dream, love… I mostly posted this because writing is a form of therapy and I had these amazing photos from a hike last week I wanted to share (if I’m honest with myself and you!) but I hope you reflect on your life and this post gives you the courage to give up some of your social media/technology time and spend it on living!