Insta-Happiness: Why I took a break from social media

Happiness.

What is happiness? Why does it seem so hard to find anymore? We’re a generation that has more access to information and anything we could possibly want, yet we never seem happy or satisfied.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research on this topic. It doesn’t make sense that we have more opportunities than generations before us yet still don’t seem to be happy.  As someone who has experienced this I started to dive into it.  I have a home, a husband who I adore, a roof over my head, a car, a job, an amazing pup, and fantastic family and friends- yet something always seemed to be missing- but what? What was it that thing that seemed to be missing?

I started reading personal development books and blogs and following people on social media platforms who had a lot to say on the topic and completely immersed myself in it.  I’ve heard people say they think that personal development is “embarrassing or weird”, or “not for them”, and to be honest, I used to be one of them. I used to think that reading this type of content made me “weak” when in reality, it meant I respected myself enough to make a change, to grow, to become a better wife, daughter, friend etc.. And once I let go of all of those insecurities I had about starting this journey it completely changed my life.  Through reading I learned that true happiness comes from the inside. Yes, you read that correctly.  Happiness doesn’t come in forms of money, or expensive things (not that those things aren’t nice to have) but true happiness is a lot closer than you think, just look inward. True happiness comes from not comparing your life to other people’s lives on social media.  Rachel Hollis says it best in her book Girl Wash Your Face (I urge you to read this if you haven’t already-seriously)

“Comparison is the death of joy.”

She could not be any more right.  For example: I would aimlessly scroll through Facebook and Instagram and look at everyone’s pictures and posts and the only things that would run through my mind were “Man, I wish I could look like that” or “Are we weird because we don’t have kids yet” or “Oh she’s doing so great in her career, I should be further along by now” or “I wish my hair/face/eyelashes etc..would look like so and so’s, I’d be prettier if those things looked like hers” – does any of that sound familiar to you-or some version of that? Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing all the pictures of kids and families and posts about people succeeding. I’m truly happy for each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart, I am! What I didn’t like was the pressure I was putting on myself from seeing/reading these posts.

So , what could I do? I could keep spiraling- and thinking that I wasn’t good enough, that the life I was living wasn’t good enough, OR I could make a change. So I decided to take a few weeks social media detox and it was life changing.  I was enjoying moments with my husband, friends and family without worrying about the social media community. I was enjoying my life without feeling like I wasn’t good enough- because to the people in my real life- I am.  Since then I have rejoined the social media community, but with a different mindset.  Instead of comparing my life to others, I take it at face value.  My narrative is more “Look how cute their kids are!” or “ Get it girl for crushing your goals” instead of questioning the things in my own life.  I urge every single one of you, if you’re not happy when you think you should be- take a break from social media for a few weeks.  You’ll learn to look inward and to be more present in your own life instead of seeing the highlight reel of everyone else’s.

If you do take a social media hiatus, let us know how it goes!

-A. Sq.

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