Today I thought I’d share with you all something that’s been on my heart. The past two week have been quite interesting as I decided to delete all the social media apps from my phone and iPad. Why did I decide to do this? simple, I was no longer in control of my own life, social media was.
It was Thursday two weeks ago when I was spending some time journaling and talking with God. I was pouring out my heart to him. I was frustrated, feeling like a caged bird. Desperate to fly but surrounded by giant metal rods spaced out just enough to keep me from slipping through. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way personally, but to me it feels like a heavy weight upon my heart, my soul desires to run or scream or do both. I long to be seen or heard. It’s really a feeling hard to label with words. It’s like needing to create something, and having no means to do so.
After I stopped ranting about not having auditions and working a dead-end job that barely pays my bills and doesn’t really allow for me to pursue my dreams. I decided to ask God what my next step should be. At this point I was sitting there crossing my fingers and whispering “quit your job” over and over. I was pretty much Harry Potter under the sorting hat. However it was very clear that, that wasn’t my next step, at least right away. The step I needed to take was delete my social media apps.
After deleting them, it became very clear why I needed to do so, and why that was the answer my heart was really looking for. I had begun to live with one foot in reality and the other in an alternate one, the online reality. I was seeking my value and worth from whether or not I was getting a lot of traffic to my Instagram, or if someone had liked my tweet. I justified this to my self saying “the more followers you have, it ups your chances of being cast. More followers means more views and more money for the film.” Which yes is true, it for sure does play into it. But booking something has way more factors to it than that. But like I said it had begun to own me.
I will admit, I was seeing Instagram, Twitter, my blog and starting a YouTube channel as a way to make it to where I dream of being because it felt immediately tangible when my acting career felt miles out of reach. Once I deleted them I found myself constantly thinking about it, I was scrolling Instagram in my mind, wondering what I’d post when I was done my “detox”, hoping no one would unfollow me or worse I’d all of a sudden become irrelevant, when I wasn’t really relevant to begin with. I was watching it all happen in my head, and I was addicted.
Another side effect of deleting the social media apps was my anxiety flared. I didn’t realize that social media was a coping strategy I used. Whenever I was overwhelmed or feeling that slight bit of panic begin to creep in I’d immerse myself on my phone. Allowing myself to get caught up in a world that felt safer than the real one I was living in. That was the real turning point for me when I knew I made the right decision.
Since deleting my accounts I’ve found a little more joy, a little more purpose, and a little more hope than I’d had before. I am not constantly thinking about posting on Instagram or tweeting. I’ve felt more in tune with God, and with myself. I have realized that my value is so much greater than being known online, greater than being a well-known actor, or blogger, or Instagrammer. My value is in Christ.
I’ve always been able to set aside my phone when talking with people but this has allowed for me to completely be clear minded, there’s not little dark voice at the back of my mind telling me to check my Instagram. I feel more grounded, living in this reality. I’ve even found time to tackle some acting homework. Giving social media up has given me time back and a better phone battery life.
If you’re thinking maybe a detox is a good idea, I highly recommend it. It put everything into perspective, reignited my drive and centered my mind and brought me deeper with God. I was talking to a friend about it and she said she knew she wasn’t ready to go back online until she’d stopped thinking about it constantly or had that need to post something online. If you try this I recommend following that. Don’t go back unless you’re ready. You’ll find you can get so much done with out it.
Thanks for listening and hearing out a piece of my heart and my story.