Confronting Your Past and Manifesting Your Future
September 6, 2018
Nine months ago, I published Looking Back on Logging Off, my personal critique to the world of social media and declaration of abstinence from it. Now, I am looking back on re-logging onto Instagram.
Due to events in my personal life, I had needed a break from the constant notifications—it had become too overwhelming. The social echos were clogging my ability to function as a normal human; so, I first deactivated, and later permanently deleted, my account.
The buzzes were replaced with a deafening silence. I was so conditioned to receiving continual notifications that I experienced withdrawal. Though, after a while, I began to notice the world around me, rather than the lack of alerts on my phone. My attention was diverted solely to whom was accompanying me, and it was a strange sensation, to complete a task without being interrupted. For the first time in a long time, I could hear myself think.
Come June 23rd, I was relaxing at my friend’s house and realized how much things had changed: I was no longer felt attached my phone, I didn’t check my devices constantly when engaged with others, and I now took pictures for the sake of memories, not posting. My mindset was altered and for the better.
As I continued to recollect and reevaluate, I began to wonder what my life would look like with Instagram again. I missed viewing the virtual scrapbook of my friends’ lives and sharing funny videos with them. For the first time, I craved the connection—not the attention—but, I did not wish to retreat to my former ways.
So, here I was, entertaining the idea to redownload Instagram, wondering if I could practice safe social media.
This decision may seem menial; after all, it is literally just an app and creating an account on it. However, this was me going against my public opinion and acknowledging a complete personal upheaval. It is mortifying enough to condemn one of the most prevalent aspect of our society, broadcasting a wildly dissenting opinion to your peers, let alone retracting that statement and rejoining the masses.
I was so set in my beliefs, and to go through with this was to abandon my former principles while advertising my change of heart to society. Plus, if I felt liberated, why would I download the app again?
This is why we must reevaluate our habits, our routines, and the fundamental notions by which we live. Life is a constant ebb and flow, so it is plausible that our thoughts and morals would reflect this. I urge you, as much as I am able, to recollect on the past, explore how you’ve changed as a person, and see how you can improve your quality of life. Of course, don’t become a lifestyle hypochondriac and stress over every aspect of your days, for they quickly will become unenjoyable. Truly see the light and bask in it. And then make the necessary changes: This can be as drastic as switching political parties, going vegan, or cutting a toxic friend out of your life, but it does not have to be radical: simply purchasing a better shampoo, completing your homework on a regular basis, or allocating more time for your loved ones all count, as well.
And thus, I redownloaded Instagram and continued onward with my life.