This week’s brotern blog posts will all be related to social media
(or in my case, a lack there of).

First, I’d like to point out that the technological revolution, as a whole, has been a beautiful thing, connecting people all around the globe that, just a few decades ago, would have never had the privilege of diving into one another’s lives.  Nearly all of my family members now have a Facebook.  I mean a lot do.  All of my siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and extended family from overseas are all “friends.”
This was the spark that put all my views on social media into perspective.

Now, I already understood the negative effects on self-esteem that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. could have on a teen’s brain, within the first few months of beginning my journey through the networks, at the ripe age of twelve.  Hell, I felt them.  Seeing my classmates have fun without me, hearing my crush was dating someone else, and being sucked into careless complaining and drama about adults never gave me a real sense of relief.  But all of it seemed worth it for that sweet feeling of being “in the know” on what “everyone” was talking about.

The more and more my family hopped on the social media bandwagon, the less interest I had in it all.  After all, I saw my family all the time.  I knew they weren’t going anywhere.  What was the point of knowing everything there was to know about one another’s lives, leaving nothing new to talk about at reunions or at the dinner table?  That idea stuck with me and slowly cultivated into the driving force for me to shed the networks that ruled my life for so long.  If family is forever,
why can’t my friends be?

Deleting social media, shedding all the “friends” I barely kept in contact with, and simplifying life down to face-to-face connections and actual conversation was the best decision I have ever made.  Looking back, I wonder how much of my adolescence was wasted worrying about what others thought of me, or what I thought of myself as I dwelled on the past and compared myself to others.

Things feel lighter now.  Absolute.  Thoughts remain in my brain, pictures stay private, and my friends understand.  Everyone that genuinely cares reaches out and you learn pretty quickly who you care about.  To keep this already long blog post short, if you are in need of positivity or a greater sense of dignity, I encourage you to try a month without social media.  The first week will feel a little tough.  You might miss a few of your “friends” birthdays and your Farmville might catch fire, but boy will you get hooked on the feeling of palpable clarity that comes along with your social media sabbatical.

I’ll leave you with that.

Be well,
Dan

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