I always thought that you were supposed to be happy 24/7.
I always thought that you were supposed to be happy 24/7. I thought that was normal. That everyone was happy in their lives all the time and even if they were having a bad day that they were still happy deep down. I didn’t feel happy though, I would look at how everyone else was portraying their lives, scrolling through social media seeing the smiles, the promotions and the proposals and think why isn’t that me? Why am I not doing the things that everyone else is? I would compare where I was in my life to people who I hadn’t even spoken to in a long time. I would think about when the last time was that I had any successes to put on social media. Until I realised that this isn’t healthy, and all this comparison is what’s actually making me unhappy.
Social media is a mask, it is a façade used as a way to hide who we really are
I think my phone has contributed to more tears, jealousy and anxiety than events happening in ‘real life’. I can easily wind myself up in just five minutes of looking at social media. Thinking my body doesn’t look like theirs, I’m not pursuing anything at the moment career-wise or I’m not working out after work or doing extra curriculum activities. Instead, I’m falling asleep on the sofa after gorging on an enormous amount of chicken nuggets. I am slowly learning though that it’s okay to not be doing something all the time. That we are all on our own different paths and that social media only shows what people want us to see. I have been guilty and I’m sure others have been to of posting that selfie and feeling rubbish while taking it. Social media is a mask, it is a façade used as a way to hide who we really are and what our lives are really like and that’s kind of sad.
A celebrity recently spoke about social media and how when selfies are being posted, ask yourself why they are posting this, because it can be a way to get the validation or reassurance that they need in order to help them overcome the struggles that they are facing themselves.
It’s a good way to come back to your actual life, in the real world
I’ve admitted recently that I am addicted to my phone, its always in my hand and if its not in my hand then I’m thinking about it. Thinking about what I’m missing out on, if I’ve received a message back or what emails have come through in the five minutes I had to put the phone down. I am currently weaning myself off my phone for my own mental well-being. Starting with an hour at a time. As I write this, I have an hour set before I can look at my phone again and I am thinking about it, how badly I want to go and get my phone. I have also challenged myself to not let the phone be the last thing I see before I go to sleep, so I started reading now and I have found I fall asleep so much quicker. With dimmed lights and a good book, I can switch off faster than when I spend time looking at videos or social media on my phone that then hypes me up and makes my brain start thinking about lots of things.
I think limiting phone time especially when you’re a phone addict like me or a workaholic is an excellent type of self-care, it’s a good way to come back to your actual life, in the real world. The one that’s around you right now, rather than the one that’s on a screen.
Happiness isn’t something that’s constant
What I’ve realised recently is happiness isn’t something that’s constant, nobody ever feels happy all the time, rather it’s moments of happiness that happen. For me I identified an area of my life which was hindering my moments of happiness and that was my phone and how I was reacting to what I saw and how I would interpret that information, which would normally be in a very anxious way.
Your life is more than a series of stories posted online, it doesn’t matter what that person you went to school with is doing now, what matters is what’s happening In the real world. On an hour’s phone break I have written this article and it shows me how productive I can actually be. After being overly engrossed in social media and watching videos online I am trying to come back to myself and figure out who I could be if I wasn’t always looking down.
Therefore, as a way to help ease my anxious mind and practice self-care I am carrying on with my phone detox and starting off with an hour at a time in the evening and slowly working up to more. Focusing my attention on other things like hobbies, going for a walk, reading, spending time with friends and family with the phone turned off or put away as it really allows for more time spent on important things. We aren’t going to remember our phones in the end, only the things that happened to us in our real-life world.