In 2008 I desperately needed to change my life and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I had to finally quit smoking, I had to lose almost 100 lbs, I had to get myself into a good career, I had to get myself out of debt, I had to start saving money, and I had to start repairing my credit score.
I needed to do all of these things just to get my life back on track. Do you want to know the first thing I did? My first step? I deleted all social media. There’s a few reasons why I knew I had to delete social media if I wanted my journey to be successful.
First and foremost, It is quite literally a distraction. The obvious elephant in the room when it comes to the negative effects of social media is the immense waste of time it can be. It’s a distraction from real life. There isn’t any time to focus on your own life and the things you need to do, when you are constantly distracted by checking, posting, and updating social media.
The second reason is the risk of social media diluting my self worth and my vision. Due to the innate nature of social media, it inherently leads to comparing your life to lives of other people when you see their posts. You see their lifestyle, where they are vacationing, what kind of car they just bought, all the delicious looking food they’re enjoying, etc. It also had the potential to not only dilute my self worth (by becoming discouraged if I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life yet) but it also had the potential to dilute the clarity of my vision.
For example, If I see that my friend is posting pictures of their Hawaiian vacation, that will take up some space in my head by giving it my attention and my brain power. When you have goals of your own to reach, you need to be obsessed with those goals until completion.
Lastly was the element of surprise. I wanted everyone to really feel the effect of my accomplishments. When I finally got in touch with them again, I wanted them to be surprised with everything that I had done.
It’s the same concept as when you see the same child daily, you tend to not notice that they are growing little by little everyday. But if you see that child once and don’t see them again for a couple of years, when you finally see them, you are amazed by how much they’ve grown. I wanted people to be amazed by how much I had grown.
There’s no way that could happen if they saw me and my status updates everyday on social media. I honestly didn’t want anyone to be a part of my journey. I only wanted them to see me at the starting line and then not again until the finish line.
When I look back after those 5 years at what I had done on my own, I realized that this transformational journey was actually quite a spiritual experience and that wouldn’t have happened if I’d had an audience.