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Social Media Detox: Day 5

“Perfection is an illusion that technology and modern culture cultivate at the expense of humanity.” This statement from the book “Together” by Vivek H. Murthy, MD, really punched me in the gut this morning when I read it. How true it is. We’ve all grown so used to seeing people’s lives as presented through social media and it truly distorts our view of others, because just like we are, they only present the best and most perfect moments. 

Social media, while it has it’s benefits ultimately can lead to a life of comparison, loneliness, and discontent. We engage so much online, yet fail to see the life we’re living passing by right in front of us. I hope that this social media detox will lead me to a better place in my life, a place where I compare myself to others less, feel more creative, and overall live a more connected life. 

The relationships in my life, I’ve come to realize, are few and far between. I have far more casual friends than deep connections and it’s truly sad to see how few people I’ve actually connected to since deleting social media. It’s changed my perspective on what’s important and has really shown me how little I try to build relationships. In the future, I hope to actually build relationships that will last for much longer, relationships that will continue even if I deleted social media. There is so much connection I am missing and so much loneliness I am experiencing because the culture we live in is so online centric and I have fallen for the lies. 

Community is everything and we have to put in the hard work to actually build real life friendships that can stand the test of time. It is hard work to build a relationship, but it is so necessary and so rewarding. I intend on being more intentional with the people in my life and actually make an effort to keep them in it. 

Besides my absolute obsession with the above mentioned book, today was simply a beautiful day. Wednesday is the day I take off from my part time job because I teach two ballet classes later in the day and it was simply peaceful. Even with all the craziness going on in the world, I felt at peace and happy, happier than I have felt in quite a long time. 

While I haven’t been overly “productive” in the strictest sense of the word, I have been using my time better than ever before. I read a lot, did a photoshoot in the chilly winter air, took a walk in the woods, undecorated my christmas tree, and ate dinner with my family. Having reached the end of the day, I cannot say any of my time was wasted or ill spent, unlike when I knew I was wasting hours just scrolling on social media. 

Today was spent in serenity and joy. One of my goals was to make time for peace and happiness, and I felt like I was actually able to accomplish that today. There are times when I still reach for my phone or encounter a lull and want to just casually spend the time scrolling, but I’m truly glad I don’t currently have the access to fill those desires. Life is just easier without social media. I don’t even feel like I’m missing out all that much, I get news updates from my family when needed and I’m making time to facetime and communicate with the friends I am close to. 

One thing that I am slightly feeling like I’m missing out on is dance. At the end of last year, I made the hard decision to stop ballet after sixteen years of taking classes. Today was the first day back in the dance studio after making that decision and it was just weird to leave without taking a class. Thankfully teaching still makes me feel like I’m kind of part of it, though it was very hard to give up something that had been part of my life for so long. 

Sometimes we have to do the hard things in life. The things that we might not even want to fully do like leave dance, give up social media, or make a phone call. But holy cow, how much of a difference those hard decisions make on our lives. They change us, they really do and we should be making more of those hard decisions. What’s a hard decision you’re facing in your life? If you thought about it, you really know that it’s the right decision, but you’ve just been putting it off because it’s hard. It was like that with dance. I knew what I had to do and I knew it was the right decision, but I kept putting it off because it was uncomfortable and I just didn’t want to face it. 

Life is filled with hard, good decisions that must be made in order to grow. Growth is so necessary and if we’re not constantly trying to make decisions that will lead to our change, what’s the point? What is the point of life if we stay the same throughout the entirety of our days? I hope that I will continue to change each and every day of my life. I hope that this period away from social media will lead to the most growth I have ever faced. 

It is truly remarkable what happens when we decide to do the hard things in life.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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