If there was such a thing as social media rehab, I would be the first one to walk through the doors. And not because I want to go, but probably because one of my concerned loved ones anonymously signed me up.
My phone is an extension of myself that is always in reach—conveniently secured in my inconveniently small girls pants pocket. It’s my voice, my eyes, my ears, and in a weird way, my heart. That’s why when I awkwardly tell people that I deleted Snapchat—a Millenials main form of communication—they scrunch their eyebrows and threaten,
Sometimes I think we forget we have a choice. Just because everyone else has it, doesn’t mean you need it. If it makes your heart heavy, you don’t need to carry it. If it steals your joy, you can give it up. If it doesn’t add to your life, you can delete. So I did.
Here are five things I learned after five months of not replying to your snap (Oops! Sorry about that).
1. I don’t look at myself when I talk.
Snapchat opens immediately to the front facing camera—showing you with how many double chins you didn’t want to know you had. Until deleting Snapchat, I didn’t realize how often this app made me look at myself. Having a snap conversation felt like being in a photo shoot I slept in for. I stressed over angles of my face I never even knew I had.
But now I don’t have to take a picture (and retake the picture) to talk (and retake the picture for the fifth time) to people. If they want to talk to me, they can talk to me and I don’t have to look at my reflection to do it. I learned the best conversations are when your eyes are focused on the other person.
2. I’m not left out.
Looking at Snapchat stories was like going into a kindergarten classroom in the middle of winter and thinking you won’t get sick. I am highly prone to a disease called, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). The symptoms of sadness, loneliness, and anxiety worsened with every tap. Without Snapchat I might not know what others are doing, but I certainly feel better about what I’m doing. By leaving myself out of their lives, I feel much more included in my own.
3. I don’t worry about who’s watching.
I’m actually chuckling as I type this because it’s embarrassing how many times I would check who viewed my Snapchat story. And I was normally just checking to make sure that one particular person saw it. (Does anyone else do this too?) But now, I try to use that time to live out my real life story and be less concerned about who is looking at me and more concerned about who I am looking at.
4. I am here.
My life felt like a show, and I always felt pressured for it to be a blockbuster. Here’s me at an adventureous place. I hang out with cool people. I have a good sense of humor. Look, I do fun things sometimes. I don’t need to record my life on Snapchat for people who don’t really care and I don’t have to watch other people’s only to feel guilty about my own. You can be in the moment without capturing it. (Something I still need to get better at it). You can be here without wishing you were over there. You can eat popcorn and enjoy your own life too. (It’s a good one).
5. I am better off without it.
And still alive! Perhaps more alive than ever.
I 10/10 recommend deleting Snapchat. But I know it’s not for everyone. However, I do want you to think about something that steals your joy. Is there an ex you should unfollow? A pair of pants that make you doubt your beauty? A habit you should quit? An app that makes you less productive? A person you should cut ties with? A purchase you should stop buying?
Every time I opened Snapchat, I re-opened the belief that I was not enough. And it wasn’t until I had had enough that I realized that I didn’t have to open it anymore.
And neither do you. Delete junk. Add Joy.
“When my worry is great within me, Your comfort brings joy to my soul.” Psalms 94:19