I recently took a social media hiatus from all of my accounts.
Goodbye Facebook. Goodbye Instagram. Goodbye Pinterest.
The break wasn’t completely intentional, and the reason for it wasn’t entirely in my hands. I didn’t have a set timeline for coming back; in fact, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever log back in at all. Officially, my social media hiatus lasted for about six months. My exit was a gradual process as I had been posting less and less for over a year leading up to the big break. I was starting to become a bit jaded.
My private life took a direction that was much different than what I was portraying in my social media accounts. It almost felt like I was living a double life and I was tired of maintaining both lives.
At first, I suffered from a little withdrawal, or fear of missing out (FOMO). I liked seeing what my friends and family were doing. Social media kept me abreast of events that were happening, and I missed a few invitations when I shut off my accounts. Thankfully, my friends knew what was going on and reminded me in person or over text about things I didn’t want to miss.
As time went on, though, I found that I missed scrolling through social media less and less. And the intense need that I used to have to post every single event or milestone in my life or those of my kids? I didn’t really have that anymore. In fact, I found myself taking fewer photos, preferring to live my life in real time instead of through the lens of my camera or phone.
I was more present in the things I was doing and less worried about what filter would give me the most likes.
A few weeks ago, I decided to log back into my accounts and start posting again. I’ve since added a few photos and comments, but I don’t have the burning desire to share my life like I used to. I’m much more happy to see all the things my friends share and let them handle the burden of posting our activities, or not. In the end, my social media hiatus was an interesting social experiment.
My break from social media gave me some insight into the difference between sharing the life I live and letting social media dictate what in my life is worth sharing.
In this society, the line between the two is often blurred. I think the biggest lesson I learned from being offline is that life is to be lived, and sharing it should always come a distant second to being present and enjoying the moment.
I can’t promise that I’ll ever fully come back to social media the way I used to. I also don’t know if I’ll ever give myself another holiday as extensive as this one. It’s nice to think I may have broken the hold that Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have on me, at least for a little while. A social media hiatus is something that I would recommend to anyone who’s tired of the obsession with living a life that’s so public and is ready to slow down and enjoy things privately.