So, I Deleted My Social Media Apps...

            Ok kids, let’s get right down to it. I deleted all of my social media. Yes, this may or may not have been spurred by an anxiety attack after watching an all-too-real episode of Black Mirror, but the reaction was still legitimate. I’ve come to realize that social media is toxic. Like, soooo toxic. Actually though. The way every individual in our society portrays him or herself on social media is vastly different than the way they are in real life. Every once in a while, you’ll see an honest depiction of someone, just joining the media-driven world for shits and giggles—don’t get me wrong. Those people do exist…they’re just few and far between. That’s why I made the decision to go ahead and bite the bullet. So, I went ahead and deleted all of my social media apps off of my phone.

            Although I grew up in a city known for its superficiality, and oftentimes criticized this aspect of my hometown, I was sucked into the world of artifice. Throughout high school, I created this media profile of who I thought “Jenna Karic” should be, as seen through the public eye. Retrospectively, it’s almost shameful. I was so worried about what other people thought of me that I would go out of my way to pretend like my life was way more glamorous than it really was. That’s a hard truth to swallow.

            Going into college, however, I made it my goal to escape the world in which I grew up: the world full of plastic faces, plastic people, and fake smiles filling up my feed, my wall, my stories, etc. Instead, I only wanted to post what I deemed interesting to me. Whether that was a funny photo of my siblings or friends, or a cool art installation I saw, I would post what I found personally fulfilling and compelling.

            Even though I made this my goal, it wasn’t enough. I still would scroll through Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, my head hurting with all of the images of people seemingly having more fun than I was at all times. It made me feel lonely and unhappy—it triggered all sorts of anxiety for me and, to be perfectly honest, I just didn’t want that toxicity in my life anymore. I didn’t need to always see what other people were doing, whether or not it involved me. Instead, I wanted to live in the moment and not try to dictate my life depending on the vicarious experiences of others.

            Looking forward, I’m choosing to use social media sparingly, only for what I deem appropriate and necessary. I’m highly addicted, and was using these platforms as my drug, re-upping whenever I was bored or in line or watching TV and a commercial came on. Now, I make an active effort to disconnect and put my phone away. I try to live in the moment and experience what’s right in front of my face, rather than what’s on the device that sits in the palm of my hand. It’s been a hard transition, but I’m not giving up and I wholeheartedly encourage others to try and do the same. Trust me, it’s worth it.