Goodbye Social Media – Hello World
Welcome, 2021. I woke up this morning to Scott asking me if I knew Andrew Harnett, the CPS member killed last night in the line of duty. As I wiped my eyes and attempted to wake up, my response was, “I don’t think so.”
Upon seeing a picture of him, I recognized him but didn’t recall any time I actually worked directly with him. I do, however, know several who did know him. Several who did work with him. Very close friends of mine who worked alongside him and who held him in high regard.
As I started to scroll the news and communicate back and forth with those who are experiencing deep shock and intense grief, I asked myself, “what is my role, and how can I best support those who need it right now?”
Although I started this entry with the above, this was not how it was meant to start when I decided this would be my last social media post before shutting it down. I wish this weren’t how I started my last social media post, and I wish so many people weren’t hurting as they are right now.
Scott and I included.
It is never easy to hear about those who have died in the line of duty, and it never will be.
This entry is not about this loss, though; this entry is about me saying goodbye to social media.
Over the last few months, I have been strongly contemplating getting off social media, particularly Facebook. Although I have worked very hard to have a healthy boundary with specific platforms, there is still something that keeps me going back, and I believe it’s the same addiction we all feel.
Social media is designed to keep us coming back. The very purpose of everything those platforms do is to keep us coming back, even when we aren’t even really thinking about it, even when we don’t really want to.
Social media is designed to manipulate us and make us believe that we need it. It is designed to make us think that we benefit from the connection that it provides us, even though what is happening is sometimes the complete opposite.
In the future, I plan to dive so much deeper into the adverse effects of social media as it is something I am genuinely fascinated with. Still, today, I just want to use this time to say goodbye to all of those that have been a part of my social media family for a very long time.
I have felt truly blessed to have been able to share, receive, connect, grieve, celebrate, congratulate, and admire all of you from afar.
I do not for a second take any of that for granted.
The reason I am exiting social media is not that I don’t appreciate or value the people I share this space with. I am leaving because I genuinely value real relationships, and I feel like I am losing those connections because of social media.
Over the last year, I have witnessed immense confusion, fear, pain, anxiety, grief, and anger. Much of which was fueled by others’ posts, opinions, stories, or depictions that have often been unsolicited or unverified. I have had countless conversations with people who are tired of social media and profoundly stressed and hurt by things they read or watch on social media. I have worked professionally with people whose whole life is dependent on social media and who measure their worth by how many likes, comments, and followers they have.
It does not have to be this way; no matter how much social media tries to make you believe otherwise, you can thrive without it.
After all of these encounters, I ask myself, “what am I doing to help these people?”
Every time I post something on social media, I feel like I am inadvertently adding fuel to the fire. I am not saying that everyone who posts on social media is doing so recklessly and in a damaging way. Many of you are so incredibly inspiring, and I will truly miss seeing what you share.
I am also not saying everyone is impacted the same way I am. Over the last couple of years I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I feel deeply and I am highly sensitive to emotional overload and too much “noise.” This doesn’t mean I can’t handle it, it just means I must make it a non-negotiable priority to have healthy boundaries and practice real self-care. When I say self-care I mean things much deeper than taking a shower or lighting a nice candle.
What I am saying is I don’t feel aligned. I wholeheartedly believe social media is one of the largest contributors to depression and anxiety, and I just don’t want to be a part of it anymore. I want to go back to when social media wasn’t the default form of communication.
I have spent so much time talking to Scott about how much I despise social media. How I have seen it deplete so many people’s energy levels and self-esteem. How I have seen and experienced how it can shift the trajectory of your day within seconds. I have talked about how much I want to do things differently, both personally and professionally, and how I know I need to in order to show up better for myself and others. I have known for a long time that this is what I have needed, but I just couldn’t seem to find a way to let go.
Trust me, I know there are loads of positives aspects of social media, but for me, the negatives greatly outweigh them. At least for now they do.
This is not about convincing you to exit social media. If social media is something that brings you joy, please keep using it. If, regularly, it brings you any amounts of anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, grief, or if it makes you question your faith in humanity; please consider taking a break.
I know several people who have done this already, and they have shared with me that it was the best decision they ever made.
I start my Master’s of Counselling on Monday, and for me, it is the first day my passion and purpose are being realized in a big way. Over the next two years, my life will be incredibly busy, and I have no doubt it will be life changing.
I need to begin this journey with a clear mind and with complete intention.
I need to let go of the things that may stand in the way of me showing up for those who need it. I need to let go of the things standing in the way of me showing up for myself. Once I become a registered psychologist, I need to make sure that when I open the doors to my private practice, I will be ready.
If you are interested in knowing what I intend to name my private practice, please inquire. I am beyond excited to share.
I need to make sure that I am prepared to take people in with deep empathy and compassion and know that I have become prepared by embracing my journey and listening to my intuition each step of the way.
I can’t encourage you to do the same if I am not willing to do it myself. One piece of healing is working on letting go of what does not serve you, and I can’t expect others to let go if I can’t let go myself.
Today and for many days, my intuition has told me to step away from social media to allow the Universe to send me connections that are truly meant to be MY connections. Whether that connection is intended to be for them or me, I want to know that it is on purpose.
My intuition has told me to trust that those who are meant to be on my path will be on my path regardless of which way that occurs. Those lives I am meant to be a part of and those hearts I am meant to heal will be healed with or without social media. I must believe that no one platform defines any of us, and I must know and trust that I can make a difference and my dreams will be realized even if I don’t post on social media.
I desperately need to experience what it’s like to go back to simply not knowing everything and not knowing ALL of the time. I also don’t always need to know everything in real-time ALL of the time. I want to know and experience what I am meant to know and experience and I want to let go of the rest.
So here I am, saying goodbye to social media and hello to this new experience.
I am sad, I am excited, and I am scared.
I will miss all of you.
My hope and request are that if you have found any bit of benefit from connecting with me on social media, you will reach out to my email or phone number below. I am in the process of backing up my data from my 14 years of being on Facebook, including all of my connections, but it doesn’t mean I will have a way of reaching out to you in the future.
Please give me a way to contact you 😉
I have been advised that this backup can take some time, so I will remain on Facebook until it is complete, but after that, I will disconnect. Maybe someday I will reconsider trying it again, but for now, I must pause.
The reason I wanted to share this is so that no one would think I was ghosting them. I have valued all of your encouragement, guidance, advice, input, love, and willingness to allow me into your life, far too much just to disappear.
Many of you got me through the darkest days of my life, and I will never forget that.
I plan to build connections in a new way, and if you would like that as well, please let me know your contact information so we can keep in touch. Trust me; there are many of you that I am not done with. I trust that our relationships will not end today, and I genuinely look forward to connecting with you in the future.
Here’s to 2021. May you all be blessed with health and happiness and know that if you enter dark waters, my door is always open.