After my abusive boyfriend left me, I realised I needed to make some changes around my life. In that relationship, I completely lost sight of who I was. My whole life was surrounded by other people’s lives – their happiness, anguish and pain and I quickly began to feel those emotions alongside them. I became surrounded by social media – obsessing over what I posted, over who said what. I lost the fun bubbly Tatiana I worked so hard on rebirthing after the sexual assault incident, then, after this boy left me, I realised I was but a shadow of the person I once was.
I felt broken and unfixable. I was back at square one with therapy and I had a whole new group of people to avoid and a load of rumours I had to try ignoring. I had no idea what to do but I knew I needed to do something. After a while I began speaking to the girl I’ve known pretty much since I was born (I’m afraid we don’t have any cool nicknames like I do with my other buds, but she does call me a goose a lot. I’m not too sure if that’s a good thing or not either but I’ll take it as an endearing term.) and she told me about something she found super beneficial to her mental health. For about a year, she had completely stopped going on all social medias and she found she still rarely uses them. I was dumfounded. At the time, it felt like my whole life was online and that I needed that anchor. In reality, the anchor was dragging me down.
For some background, I downloaded Snapchat and Instagram in February of 2019. I’ve had WhatsApp since I’ve had a phone and I had a Twitter account at one point, but I think that was mostly to stalk celebrities. I’ve also had Pinterest for a few months now. I had three different Insta accounts: one for my blog, one as my main one for all my mutual and a private one for friends. Overall, I think I had maybe 300 followers – please don’t quote me on that – I can’t really remember! As for Snapchat, I had one account with pretty much everyone from my year at school and a couple of others. I posted frequently on both and I was a very typical teen, posting constantly on my stories and ranting about whatever came to mind on my private stories.
After my friend spoke about how much happier she was off social media, I wanted a taste of some of that happiness. I deleted Snapchat and Instagram in February and I haven’t looked back since. I feel so much more connected with the world around me now and as corny as it sounds, I am really happy I chose to detox. My phone was my life, not a part of it and it was impacting me negatively.
Through this experience, I really have learnt who my true friends are, and I feel a lot less pressure overall about events and experiences. I began detoxing as my therapy and medication began to work and then the virus came about. All four of these events have helped me to eat regularly and healthily, become more self-confident, get out and active and spend more time with family and friends.
Of course, there are days where I just want to whip out my phone and scroll through Instagram and mess around online, but I don’t really feel this way anymore. I feel I am finally getting better and I am improving, and I don’t wish to put the life I have begun to live slip though my fingers.
Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, turning off social media does give you a chance to not be involved in drama and gossip. I find that if something is really important, my friends will text me, and nothings happened that’s that important. This summer, I am considering getting Instagram back as that is the only social media I really miss as I love posting photos. Snapchat however, I found this detox to be my lucky escape into a lifetime of childish fights that I didn’t care about.
All in all, try reconnecting with others more, it’s beneficial in more ways than one! Let me know if you found it helpful or any more advice you can give! Just remember: your life isn’t online and it’s okay to ditch the bs once in a while 🙂