I did something crazy. I didn’t mean to. It kind of just… happened. I feel rebellious. I feel FREE!
What did I do?
I left the house without my phone… for 3 hours.
Wait— before you leave thinking ” that Courtney really is crazy”— hear me out.
All I could think about on my way home from work was how badly I wanted a caesar salad, but I didn’t have any of the right ingredients. I was debating going to the store or bagging the idea all together, but the idea just kept nagging at me over and over again.
I needed a caesar salad pronto.
Even though there are probably a million other places to get a really good caesar salad, all I could think of was a good one I once had at Sizzle Pie. I quickly changed my clothes, packed up my bag, hopped on my bike, and headed straight towards downtown.
I ran into Sizzle Pie to buy my salad and when I was looking for my wallet I realized I completely forgot to bring my phone. Low-key panic ensued. My husband isn’t going to know where I am. I can’t post this salad I’m about to get on Instagram. I won’t be able to catch up with all of my notifications.
And then I realized I was being completely crazy. It’s okay if Tony doesn’t know where I’m at. No one freaking cares about the fact that it’s sunny and gorgeous and I’m eating a delicious salad and kombucha. NO ONE CARES.
Well, I do apparently.
I brought my computer so I could relax and write up this post. Believe it or not, writing posts like this one is one of my favorite things to do. So here I am, sipping the most delicious kombucha I’ve ever had, and satisfying a hardcore craving for caesar salad sans iPhone and it feels AMAZING.
I don’t have Facebook open, I’m not trying to email Tony to tell him where I’m at while simultaneously tweeting about the deliciousness of LIVE Kombucha.
All I’m doing is writing this post.
This experience couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because I’ve been wanting to write a post about social media.
I think we’re doing it all wrong.
I’m scared people are living just for social media.
Every time I go to any touristy place (hello Rockefeller Center and Disneyland) all I see are people taking picture after picture without even pausing to take it all in. Are we too caught up in sharing that we’re forgetting that life is unfolding in front of us?
And don’t even get me started on the comparison trap…
I don’t want to see the picture of your morning coffee held up over your bare legs with a succulent in the corner. Do you actually want to prance around pant-less or has social media inadvertently told you that’s what you should do?
I’m tired of seeing perfectly crafted pictures of your home that looks like Crate & Barrel barfed all over it. I mean come on… where’s the mustard on the refrigerator and the dishes scattered all over the counter like the rest of us?
Don’t get me wrong— sharing passions and successes on social media is all fine and dandy… until it’s not.
Did you know that sugar-free-gluten-free-dairy-free-nut-free-everything-free kale ice water lunch is could be making a young girl fall more and more into her eating disorder?
Have you ever thought about how that picture of your two kids perfectly dressed on the first day of school is making that stressed-out mom feel badly about her own parenting?
Social media could be so much more than a platform to sales pitch our lives to prove we’re important.
It could be a place for the lonely to find connection, a place of expression and creativity, maybe even a place to empathize and to feel. Instead of numbing out to escape the daily monotony of life.
It’s no secret that social media has been linked to depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, bullying, eating disorders and more. It’s a rough world out there. All I have to say is I’m very glad I didn’t have to go through middle school with Instagram.
I haven’t always felt this way, but I’ve had a complete change of heart and I’ve changed for the better.
I’ve definitely been the girl that only posts the good stuff. I’ve wanted to be perfectly witty on Twitter and have a color-themed Instagram.
It’s time to start replacing some of our highlight reel with real-life, vulnerable stories.
What if we completely lost all of that and we started opening up and sharing about real life? Imagine if even just one out of every 3 pictures or post you saw in your feed was something you could relate to and made you feel like you we’re alone. Instead of learning how to not compare yourself to the posts you see on social media, what if we changed the source all together?
Maybe next time you’ll think twice about posting that cute picture of you and your honey on date night when it actually ended in a terrible fight.
Perhaps you’ll share the picture of your little girl wearing 12 different colors and a polka-dot scarf and no shoes on the first day of school because that’s all she wanted to do.
Or even post a picture of yourself on a Saturday morning without makeup because you’re simply happy.
It requires vulnerability and confidence. We’re probably not there yet, but I think the social media world would be a better place because of it.
Social media is here to stay. It’s up to us to make it sustainable part of life because clearly it’s doing more harm than good.
Join me in sharing just one vulnerable part of your life this week. Maybe you’ve been struggling in school or you’ve been eating cereal every night for dinner because you haven’t been able to go to the store. Whatever it is— share it.
And in true fashion of speaking about vulnerability, I’ll leave you with the words of Brené Brown.