Why I deleted Snapchat and other attempts to save my soul.
I guess I’ve liked social media from the dawn of it’s time. I rocked the MySpace vibes, gave into the beta days of Facebook and flooded newsfeeds-a-plenty with Instagrams that ranged from the early and blurry, to the posed and contrived. Ahem, and not to mention the 5 or so blogs I’ve tried to keep up with. But after some serious introspection, I realized that I needed to cut back and cut the crap. In a big way.
It was just after I’d become completely submersed in the Snapchat game, that I found myself toggling in between too many apps and spending most of the time being frustrated by my need to document everything. Plus, I was also quite disillusioned by this “highlight reel” that people (myself included) are guilty of dishing up.
A few months ago, I downloaded Snapchat (reluctantly) and promised to commit to it for a month. I work in marketing and digital so it was initially for research purposes, but boy did I get into it – despite my better judgment constantly asking me if this was necessary. I won’t lie, at the start I enjoyed being able to create less “curated” content by making candid videos where not only my fabu angles were on display. I loved being silly, sharing an unassuming moment and seeing what others got up to without a VSCO filter over it.
Yeah I totally got Snapchat’s allure but quickly grew tired of it. The more I watched Snaps and the more I Snapped, the more I realised how bored, restless and lonely it made most of us look. It felt like the next level of vanity and self-obsession and I felt sad and sorry for us all talking into our phones for a bunch of followers we didn’t even know. There really was no filter as to what was shared. Everything from “hey, here’s me reacting to GOT season 5 ending” or “yay look I bought groceries.” (Yep, I did both of those.)
On the flipside there are some serious creatives out there who get to share genuinely stimulating content, but for the average person, the stuff I churned out and saw being churned out by others, left no mystery and very rarely showed anything of value.
I get that this is a generalisation, and yes I see the benefits of Snapchat for brands or personal communication between you and your mate in another country, but for me, and the kind of stuff that I want to fill my day with, it became one serious “check yourself before you wreck yourself” situation. I quickly deleted the little yellow icon off my phone as soon as I’d accumulated enough knowledge to have an opinion about it and the opinion was that Snapchat and I were not a good match. It felt like the immature and drama-fused friend from high school that you have one drunken reunion with and then quickly remember why you moved on from that part of your life.
While I was contemplating my over-sharing on Snapchat, I began to evaluate my social media behavior as a whole. No doubt most of us are familiar with the pros and cons of the social media generation (and want to vomit on articles talking about “us millennials”) but I’m just here explaining why I’ve been a bad blogger as of late.
I found myself reading at night instead of scrolling through Facebook. Choosing what I posted to Instagram a little better or simply really considering my motivation behind it. I blogged a little less, well a lot less, and even deleted Twitter off my phone too. I replaced a lot of this time with running, reading, breathing and being and I must say, it really did have an impact on my mental state. They say comparison is the thief of joy and I think that stepping back from my newsfeeds, left more time for me to appreciate what was happening in front of me. No big revelation there, but a really helpful one to personally experience none the less. It’s really good to be able to honestly and truly admit that you’re Facebook-stalk free too. I highly recommend it.
Now now – I know I will always be an internet fiend. I love sharing my experiences of cafes or shops because I generally like supporting these places and spreading the word. I enjoy posting a good #ootd because well, I work in fashion and I do have a little obsession with a good outfit. Yes there will be shameless selfies in the future and yup, here I am blogging about it. Oh and I’ve seriously updated my Pinterest game as of late. Click here if you’re pinning too!
I think the difference is now knowing the limit, knowing what I want to fill my life with, knowing when to check in with reality and feeling more conscious about sharing an accurate version of my life – the good, the bad and the fugly.