This Is One Social Media Challenge Everyone Should Do

Alissa Lastres
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We challenge you to unplug. Here’s why:
 
We live in a world where the opportunity to compare our lives to others is one click away. We scroll through Pinterest and are suddenly confronted with our average, budget-friendly wardrobe.
 
We flip through Instagram photos and feel slightly depleted when our relationships, weekend outings, and fitness goals don’t measure up.
 
We sign into Facebook and are overwhelmed by other’s celebrating accomplishments and moving to new places.
 
How do we accept ourselves in this social media world where everyone’s lives have passed through a filter turning sweat into glow? Have we fallen victim to losing sight of all we have to be grateful for because our photo didn’t get 350 likes?
 
We have become a generation sucked into this black hole of posting, sharing, liking, tweeting, pinning, and commenting as a way to broadcast our own best moments – or as a way to show our approval of things, people, and events.
 
I write this article for a website, on the internet, which I will promote on my own social media accounts so that people can find it and read it. I see the hypocrisy in writing about the social media age when I clearly reap the benefits of it. Yet that is why I am writing about social media in the first place.
 
I have certainly fallen victim to the examples I am providing. The point is that there can be a balance, one we can all work toward achieving.
 
Think about this…
 
When was the last time you had a night out with your closest friends that didn’t result in a stream of Instagram photos and pauses to check for the amount of likes trickling in?
 
Can you remember back to a time when the first thing you did in the morning wasn’t opening up your Facebook newsfeed?
 
A boring meeting at work, an instructor droning on in class – Twitter is looking pretty tempting.
 
We are choosing to supplement every dull moment, each period of stillness, all of our opportunities to sit with ourselves in peace with mental stimulation in the form of keeping tabs on everyone else’s lives.
 

 
We are living in this “it didn’t happen if it hasn’t been uploaded” type of world. What impact is this having on our psyche, on our mental health, and on our happiness?
 
We all struggle internally with a desire to feel liked, to fit in, to be appreciated, to be understood. We all phase through times of feeling confident in who we are and times when we are still searching.
 
We each desire to have something more, something better, or something shinier in place of what we currently have. This is part of the human condition.
 
Social media has set these desires on fire – injected them with steroids – turned our search for our identity, our wants, and our needs into a game of comparing our journey to someone else’s.
 
In this game, no one wins. While you are comparing your life to that woman with the perfect eyebrows and flawless skin, someone is comparing a dying relationship to your budding love affair.
 
We are all comparing and we are all coming up short. So who wins? My guess is those who are choosing not to participate.
 
For one month, one week, one day, maybe even one hour, choose to unplug.
 
Set an intention to replace this time with a genuine reminder of your gifts, your life and your journey. Celebrate your happy moments, your accomplishments and your times of good fortune.
 
Maybe give thought to it while going on a run, practicing yoga, or hitting the gym. Try talking about it with a friend or a loved one.
 
Write it down, but don’t post it. Take a picture, but don’t upload it. Keep these moments somewhere for you, but don’t heed the impulse to broadcast them online.
 
Let them serve as your personal reminder that you are lovely, you are strong, you are blessed and you have a lot to be grateful for.
 
We are too far in to unplug forever, but we can choose to intentionally remove the distractions for a period of time and use that time to revisit who we are, what we have, all we know and have accomplished.
 
Life is a balancing act. Don’t let the social media craze swing the pendulum too far in the direction of envy and self-loathing. Try not to become too immersed in the belief that your best moments and most attractive days need to be shared publicly. Be mindful of this when it is happening and choose to unplug instead.
 
The next time you’re standing in line or waiting for a friend at a restaurant and you feel the urge to check your Instagram – don’t. Look around, talk to someone, share a smile, or just enjoy your own company. This is your challenge. Can you do it?

The world is still spinning even when no one is snapchatting it.

 

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Alissa Lastres

Alissa Lastres has a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling. She practices yoga daily and loves writing about wellness because she feels that we all harbor so much power to create a life of happiness and love. She is inspired easily, thrives on new experiences, and believes traveling is good for the soul.

alissalastres.com

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