What Happened When I Quit Social Media
On September 8, I did something drastic for my well-being: I deleted all social media apps from my phone. No, I didn't delete my actual accounts — I'm not a psycho; I just needed a break. While visiting my sister in Chicago over Labor Day weekend, she challenged me to do this and take a breather from weighing my worth on likes and comments and views. At first, I scoffed because there was no way in hell I would ever do that? But after mulling it over for a few days, I realized she was right and this digital detox could be necessary for my mental health. I love attention. Duh. I also love sharing my every moment of my every day with anyone who is willing to watch, listen, or read. That's just how I am and how I've always been, truly. I think I'm interesting (sometimes) and can be entertaining (sometimes) and tend to find the excitement or edge in even the most seemingly mundane things. I guess posting as much as I do helps me feel connected? Or relevant? Or, just, I don't know — heard? Or maybe it's a validation thing, or an insecurity thing. We could probably analyze it forever, but regardless, my sister had a point and I took her up on that point by wiping my precious smartphone clear of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter (does that even count since I don't think anyone even knows I tweet?).
And it turns out, it wasn't that difficult. Truly. Within the first hour, I habitually picked up my phone a few times to check my apps, only to swiftly remember "Oh. Yeah" and set it back down. But from then on, it didn't happen again. My phone was only good for the basic functions: texting, calling, waze-ing, and exercise-logging. Oh, and passwords because who the fuck ever remembers their benefits or 401K login?!
That being said, I also kept a mental/written list of things I wanted to post during those four dark days (yeah, I didn't last a week. WHATEVER. I made it four days and then the weekend happened and it's like, people need to see what I'm up to Fri-Sun and *I* need them to see). So here are all the things (big and small because Snapchat is the greatest vehicle ever for one-off nonsense) that I would've posted to social media during the darkness:
• How my dog couldn't stop dragging her tucus around my parents house while I was in Chicago, which resulted in me having to take her to the vet on a rainy Wednesday morning only to be told her anal glands were all sorts of stopped up. "Like trying to squeeze toothpaste through a coffee straw" was the exact analogy the vet used. Wonder how long he had worked to perfect that line.
• My reaction to playing my dad's original Led Zeppelin record on my record player for the first time and all the feels it made me feel.
• My delicious and incredibly impromptu Wednesday night date with my best friend to a newly founded burger joint in my 'hood. The name? Pints and Quarts. So cute, right? And the food was delightful, as was the setting. The 7-foot tall cashier sorta barked at me to not bring Cece inside (I was holding her in my arms and she has panic attacks when I leave her outside of establishments), which made me angry. But then he said my hair was pretty, so I secretly forgave him.
• How I didn't have time for breakfast one morning and was only able to manage coffee and a banana and it was terrible and sad (this would've been a Snapchat, obvi).
• I wanted to post this photo from my Chicago trip on #throwbackthursday because my impression was UNCANNY:
• My first day back at the gym after a glorious six days off. Being out of town for the long weekend and a super short, super packed week of work made getting to the gym harder for those 6 days, and I was paranoid I was losing my motivation. HOWEVER, I got back at it and had the sweat stains literally EVERYWHERE to show for it.
• MY GOD. How INCREDIBLE Aziz Ansari's book is. Guys. Listen to me. Read me. Are you reading me? Seriously, Modern Romance is amazing. It's nothing like I expected. I guess I assumed it'd be like every other comedian's autobiography about their fairly normal but slightly off-center upbringing, and their rise to stardom. No, guys. Modern Romance is quite the opposite. It's a true study on the dating scene of today: research, focus groups, interviews, Q&A's with sociologists, psychiatrists, scientists! It's truly fascinating, and every page is chockfull of useful yet frustrating information. So much so, I almost want to take notes as I read. Maybe it's because I'm single and am living the scene he's writing to, but I find myself nodding in fierce agreement or furrowing my brow deeply at all the insight. If you're between the ages of 24-38, are single, and currently attempting online/app dating, I HIGHLY suggest investing in this book. It'll make you feel a lot better about life in general. And maybe not so alone?
• I wanted to post this outfit because #comeon. S'cute.
• I wondered to myself and out loud to my friends if you accept a belated invitation to a pretty publicized event that you hadn't been included in prior? That is, what do you do when someone you're friendly with at work is all "Are you coming tonight?" And you're all "To what?" And they're all "You didn't get invited??? You were on my list!" And you're like "What?" And they're all "I'll forward you the invite now. You have to come!" Like, what do you do with that? Do you go? Are you offended? Do you believe the person? Is it sort of lame to show up like you had nothing better to do?
• My best friend wrote the word "polite" as "poloyte" and it made me question our entire friendship.
• I wanted to share how I've basically been referring to the last few weeks as "the end of summer" as an excuse to treat myself to as much TCBY as I deem appropriate. Because, like, everyone knows TCBY doesn't taste nearly as satisfying when it's not disturbingly warm outside. So I've got to take advantage of the last uncomfortably hot days, right?
• I dreamt that Ben Schwartz (Jean Ralphio from Parks and Rec) was in love with me, and I had never felt so happy. We met and both immediately felt the vibe, but he tried to play it off and pay attention to anyone but me. Although, secretly, he was all about it. Also, I was 20 in the dream? So that was kinda weird.
• And, lastly, I wanted to write on Facebook about how, while trying to plan a meeting, one co-worker goes "Is 9am okay, or is getting into work early too hard for everyone?" It made me laugh, a lot. Because #advertising.
I missed you guys. I hope you missed me, but I'M BACK, BABY!