It’s been a few weeks of ups and downs – both in my life, and the weather here in LA (causing confusion in all areas including my fashion choices). While I wouldn’t necessarily post one of my day-to-day lazy outfits on here, I do think it’s important to note that I did not wake up like this. Patches are flared heels are some of my sartorial obsessions at the moment (and both are worthy subjects of a fashion post on their own), but can we get real for a second?
I work from home, so on most days I don’t wear a speck of makeup, and sometimes don’t even get dressed until an errand requires me to leave the house. Naturally, most people only display their best moments and selves on social media (why would anyone want to see how much Netflix/sweatpants are actually taking place in my life?), but I hope that we can all remind ourselves from time to time that this isn’t reality. The glitzy, glossed over world of social media profiles is so ingrained into our culture at this point that most of us don’t even think twice as we’re scrolling past all the perfect bodies, vacations, outfits, hair… Instead, many of us (including me) are subconsciously taking it all in, thinking to ourselves that our lives are basically crap compared to what we’re observing.
This very issue of comparison is what is causing individuals who use more social media to have higher rates of depression and anxiety, compared to those that use less (read more about that here). Which brings me to the point of social media vacations. My job requires me to use social media on a daily basis, but over Christmas and New Years when I was able to fully sign off of work, I did the same with social media for a few days. The results were great – I spent more time being engaged with my family, I slept better and earlier (by not getting sucked into late-night scrolling holes), and overall gained a fresh perspective on what really matters. While social media is an amazing tool that connects people and brands all around the world at rapid speed, let’s all remember to take it for what it is: a marketing mechanism, and not an accurate representation of peoples’ actual lives. Now, here are some tips on how to successfully take a social media vacation…
Take advantage of actual vacations to sign off of social media. I know, you’re thinking, *gasp*! But I want to show off my vacation to my friends and family! While this is a noble desire, remind yourself that you’ll survive without the instant gratification of likes and comments. Take tons of pics and video as you normally would, but post them at a later date, so you can actually experience your vacation in the moment.
Delete your apps. Scrolling through social media has become a bonafide a habit for many of us, and old habits die hard. Remove temptation by temporarily deleting your Instagram, Facebook & Twitter apps off your phone. Your account will still be there whenever you wish to return to it. Breathe.
Let people know. Announce to your friends and family that you’ll be taking a break, so they won’t think you’ve gone missing or have moved to Siberia when you aren’t responding to their comments/messages/tags. It’ll even help you stay accountable. We don’t want any “hey, aren’t you supposed to be taking a social media break?” shade when we whip out our apps, do we?
Fill your time. Go hiking, read a book, visit a museum. Get out into the world and do things. It doesn’t matter what, but it’ll help distract you and eventually forget about your compulsive need to scroll.
Remind yourself of what matters. Many millennials like myself had the luxury of spending most of their childhood without social media. If you find a break to be hard, remind yourself that you weren’t born with an iPhone in your hand. When you were young, you relied on your friends, family and imagination to entertain yourself. If relevant to you, remind yourself of the ways social media has harmed your self esteem or wasted your time. This will help you keep things in perspective, once you do decide to log back on again.
Shirt by Pull & Bear
Skirt by Mango
Booties by Public Desire
Bag by Iris & Ink
Earrings by Adornmonde