How to Stop Social Media From Controlling Your Life

Jordan Mendiola

Photo via Unsplash

Right after I graduated from high school, I decided to do what many 18-year olds do. I took a gap year.

My gap year plan was to travel to tons of new places and go on a journey of self-discovery. I would post my practically my entire life on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Friends and family would tell me, “You were just in Chicago yesterday! Now you’re in Hawaii? What’s next?”

I loved the attention. But I still didn’t feel happy. Now I barely post anything on social media and experience more fulfillment.

Here are some of the things I learned from my experience with social media.

Do What Makes You Happy Without the Urge to Share

You should be able to do the things you love without the urge to share it with everyone. During my gap-year of traveling, I knew I was doing exactly what I wanted. But not for the right reasons.

Was I doing it for me, or was I doing it for the attention? It was the attention.

Most people have the same wishes and aspirations to travel. Doing so at a frequent rate made me feel like I made it in life, but I was just getting started.

If you love cooking, post some dishes you recently made. If you’re a painter, post up all of your works online if you want. The moment you start sharing on social media for attention and validation, that’s where things can become dangerous.

Not Everyone Is Interested in You

I know this one sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.

Not everyone cares that you went on vacation to Disneyland or bought a new car, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Is there a message in your Facebook or Instagram posts that gives them a reason to care? In some cases, people post on social media to either flex on everyone or keep them updated on their life.

When I discovered blogging, it gave me the space I needed to express myself while giving value. Readers can pick my brain and read absorb my thoughts. That’s valuable. It gives me true fulfillment.

Be aware of your intent with the things you share on social media. Try to understand what you want out of it, and then go from there.

People Who Actually Care About You Will Check-In Regardless of Your Social Media

We all know people who we consider fake or unloyal friends and even family.

I know some people who have followed me on social media and only reach out to me for either discounts or favors. These special favors would be for concerts, traveling for nearly free, and doing them favors.

Without those posts I shared on social media, they wouldn’t have checked in on me, and that’s the sad truth. Some people want to use you for your resources and aren’t genuinely there for you.

If you have people from the past who reach out to you regardless of your social media updates, then you know they’re a real one.

Don’t Feel Like You Have to Impress Anyone

Constantly trying to impress people used to be a terrible habit of mine.

I would post for the likes, the comments, and the attention, which is not healthy. We should post something online and not care if we get one like or 100 likes.

It doesn’t matter how much engagement you get online. Your presence on social media doesn’t define you. You define you.

If you live your life based on seeking approval from other people, you’re never going to be happy. I lived it, and I know how hard it is to get out of the cycle.

Final Thoughts

I recommend taking the time to review your social media accounts.

Take a long, hard look at the things you post and what your intent was behind them. If you didn’t post what you did because it made you happy, then there’s probably a void somewhere else in your life.

Do what makes you happy without the urge to share. Remember that not everyone is interested in you, and that’s okay. People who genuinely care about you will reach out regardless of your social media, and don’t feel like you have to impress anyone.

Once you find the void and your intent, you’ll be set free from the shackles of social media. You will be the one in charge.

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Creative entrepreneur, U.S. Army Engineer, and dedicated runner. Committed to sharing ideas that lead to more fulfillment in all areas of life. Email: 08.18.20 ?

Chicago, IL

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