Deactivating Social Media
Since deactivating all my social media accounts 2 months ago, I've received numerous messages (emails or texts) from people asking me why I did it, and checking if I was okay (I guess to do a bit of snooping as well lol).
The benefits since deactivating my accounts have been mind-blowing (mind-erasing really). I'll tell you about those new found benefits, but first, I'll give you some back ground on me and my social.
I was a big user (it used me) of Facebook and Insta, and would go on my LinkedIn a few times a day as well. Now when I say I was a big user of FB and Insta, I was on it a lot! Making a few posts a day, storying (that a word now?) my daily activities and thoughts, and then refreshing the page regularly to see new posts, but more importantly to me, to see who liked, commented, or shared mine. Sitting around doing nothing, or even when I was busy doing other shit, I was always scrolling. It was my go-to when I was bored, happy, found something funny, wanted to share an enlightening thought, or when I was looking for a date night.
As a motivational speaker for Primary schools, High schools, Corporations, and Reducing Stress & Anxiety workshop facilitator, I used social as a way to promote my speaking (mostly my ego), to get a date night, and manipulate my posts to look cooler than I am.
I would also use my swipe up option (notice how I used those few words to continue my blog, but also show off that I had swipe up option... over 10k followers on Insta! I must be cool!) to sell copies of my book, Stabbed Ego.
I would also share posts of my speaking tours and messages (one of the beautiful messages below) I received from those in the audience.
I'm big on always looking to progress in any area of life, and convinced myself that having social and gaining a good following with strong interaction, was a way for me to reach more people, and help others.
However, I'm also big on calling myself out on my own bullshit, and knew deep down that all I was doing was promoting a false mind made self. I was living most of my real and beautiful life trying to promote a false one in a small device held in my hand. This device held my soul imprisoned, with my near impenetrable ego gaining even more force with every manipulated post.
"How was I ever going to find myself when all I was doing was promoting a false-self...?"
My speaking journey, and strong connection with those I speak to, is a result of me showing the audience the impact of ego, how being your true-unique-self is what life is made for, and without this, you're going to never live an actual second of this beautiful dream we call life.
How was I going to be authentic in this approach if I was standing on stage after stage and talking about the importance of self-awareness, being your true-self, detaching from ego, and living this exact moment, but then immediately after my talk, I'd ask for selfies with my audiences, sift through them, find the ones where I looked good, and only post those?
I would then go back to my accommodation, receive endless messages from the audience, not really feel any of them on a deep level because all I was doing was waiting for the ones that sounded the best to then post on my social media accounts. The next day I would wake up, turn my phone off airplane mode, and watch the flood of messages from people telling me how good I am.
Remembering it was time to put up a story, I would then tidy up my hotel room so people didn't think I was a grub, and then have a few false starts in recording because the first few didn't make me look or sound as good as it should.
After being happy (not really, because we always doubt our posts until we get social acceptance) with what I posted, I'd then leave my accommodation to explore (to post about) the new town I found myself in.
This was my regular speaking tours, and at the end of each one, I couldn't wait to post a collage of the photos (the ones I looked good in) and how much fun I had on the tour. Did I have fun? Was I grateful for the experience? Without being present, I could never really know. I may reflect (stepping away again from the present again) on the tour and tell myself (ego) how great the tour (I) was, but it was then just a manipulated memory (just like a fake post).
Looking at my life, and knowing what was most important to me, and what helped me get out of my harsh past, I knew I had to go deeper to reconnect back to the true me. How was I ever going to find myself if all I was doing was promoting a false self or living in an illusion (some would say this life is an illusion. And I agree to some degree. But to live in an illusion inside an illusion, I didn't want)?
When I say that I wanted to find myself, that's fundamentally wrong. It's never about finding yourself, because deep down, you are already you - your unique-self, so it's about getting rid of what is not you, and revealing, and releasing, your soul.
So what is not me? There's plenty of shit I could put here, but this is about social media, and that was definitely not me nor the online world I had created to form an extension of ego.
So... it had to go.
I initially got rid of FB and Insta, and would tell myself that I was rarely on LinkedIn and I should keep it for work.
The first couple of days I actually found myself opening FB and Insta app to see the login page. Deactivating it wasn't enough, as the incessant and persistent ego, searched for stimulation where it knew it could find it most. I then deleted the app, but then observed myself spending more time on LinkedIn and scrolling shitty business memes.
It had to go as well.
About a week in, I was starting to peep through the programmed mind, and the obsessive need for social acceptance was lessening.
In the real world, I found myself doing things that would have otherwise only been done for a couple of moments to post about.
I was going for walks, I bought a long board skateboard to cruise the beaches, swimming regularly in the ocean, chatting with strangers, playing frisbee with my parents, and sitting down having conversations with them without the back-of-the-mind thought of my phone.
Not having social, I would go out for a full day and not even take my phone. There was moments when I was having fun and thought it would be great to post about it.
For what? Or for who?