Last year, just before New Years, I decided that I would delete every single social media app and every game on my phone. I couldn’t wait to start a new chapter in my life. I wanted a fresh start away from a toxic relationship with social media. With a few taps on my cell, I felt completely liberated. And to be honest a little scared. But, as I started the new year I was excited to know that my apps wouldn’t be joining me.
Flash forward four months and I am proud to say I haven’t looked back. In fact, I’ll never redownload my social media apps. Ever. For, the most part when I sheepishly tell people that I don’t have social media accounts they are amazed.“I could never delete social media!” They say, eyes wide. “Honestly good for you.”. But, as the shock wears off I’m always asked, “Why did you delete social media?”.
Honestly, it’s a bit of a long answer. I didn’t like how much time I wasted scrolling on my phone, I felt like twitter activism never helped anyone and to be honest my dorm wifi sucked anyways. But, the real driving force why I had to leave social media is because I had a really bad relationship with my body image.
I’ve been on a weightloss journey for awhile. I had struggled to lose weight for a really long time. As I was preparing to start my weight loss journey I couldn’t help but look at influencers to “shop” for my dream body. Looking back, my objectification of these women is disgusting. But, I couldn’t help but be influenced by these influencers. Excuse the pun, but despite hating celebrity and influencer culture I envied their bodies.
It’s not a secret that a lot of influencer’s brands are to make people feel bad about their bodies in order to sell a product. I know a lot of influencers are good people. But, the people I followed weren’t body positive or pro-women at all. They would promote dieting pills saying that people like me could get a beautiful body if I fork over money. That the reason why I was chubby is that I didn’t wear her branded waist trainer. At the end of the day, the reason why my body wasn’t good enough because I didn’t spend enough money on their personal brand.
I began to build a lot of resentment towards these women. But, I thought my anger was validated because they were doing bad things. It wasn’t until I called this one influencer a bitch–for no reason–did I realize how nasty I turned because of this pressure to be perfect. I was jealous. I was so bitter and I showed my disgust by putting this girl down. I can’t begin to describe how ashamed of myself I was.
I heard about digital minimalism from a Youtube channel called, Personal Philosophy Project. The video (and the rest of the channel) is absolutely brilliant. While watching, I realized that I couldn’t have a positive relationship with social media. So I had to delete it.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”. And I consented to these women making me feel bad about my body. So in order to save my mental health and repair my relationship with my body, I had to delete social media. It was a little change that completely altered my life. I’m happy with my body–of course, there is still insecurity. But at the end of the day, I love myself. And I’m forever grateful that I chose my mental health over my cell phone.