“If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.” ~ Debbie Macomber, Mrs. Miracle
I deleted all of my social media accounts, with the exception of Twitter and Instagram. I kept Twitter to read daily snippets of news, and Instagram because I genuinely enjoy looking at photography. I no longer use the social functions of those applications, however. I had found myself feeling pangs of envy whenever I was scrolling through friends’ pages. While I was honestly feeling happy to read the successes of my friends, there was a part of me that had started to feel inadequate somehow. My age group is particularly competitive. Being at the lower end of middle-age, society demands a certain level of financial and relationship success. We are middle-aged, so should we not already be stable financially, and should we not already be in at least a decade old relationship? Most of my friends have socially enviable lifestyles, with their beautiful kids, beautiful homes, and beautiful cars. While they drive through life with their Porsches, I literally and figuratively drive around in a Honda. Scratch that. I actually donated my nineteen year old Honda to Goodwill in January. So actually I am going through life on foot, while everyone else is cruising through life in a Porsche.
Lest I sound like an ungrateful person, let me just say here and now that I am very grateful for what I have in my life. I have a daughter who gives me love and happiness, and a purpose in life. I have a job that I love, one that challenges me and allows me to live a comfortable life. I have a family that gives me consistent headaches, but whom I love beyond words. I have friends – amazing, extraordinary friends who have been with me through thick and thin, ride or die. Really, I could not ask for more in life.
But social media is toxic. It is like a poison that seeps through your skin, flows through your bloodstream, and before you know it, your thoughts are on fire and your self-esteem levels rise and fall according to the amount of likes and hearts you receive on your posts.
I decided that I did not want to live my life that way, constantly assessing the success of my life based on the number of new followers I gained, or on how many people “liked” my post. And I no longer wanted to know that X bought another new and expensive accessory, or that Y was on her sixth lavish vacation this year. Many of these X and Y people were not even really my friends. Most of them were just acquaintances, and many of them I had not seen or even spoken with for many, many years. So did I really need to know all this information about them? The answer is no. Although I am happy for everyone that their lives are all pomp & circumstance, while my daily life is rough and tumble, I do not need constant reminders.
All I can say is, now having deleted my social media accounts over half a year ago, ignorance really is bliss.