Someone once told me that as you get older, you stop caring so much about the things that don’t really matter in life — Well, I’ve gotten a bit older and I can say that I’ve definitely stopped caring so much about the majority of the petty things that I used to care about.
I stopped caring so much about what people think of me. I stopped caring so much about what I was missing out on if I wasn’t out drinking on the weekends. I stopped caring so much about impressing people who weren’t significant in my life. I stopped caring so much about things that have happened in the past.
And as of recently, I’ve stopped caring so much about something that should be pretty far down on anyone’s priority list — I stopped caring so much about social media (which kind of goes hand in hand with each of those other things that I don’t really about anymore).
I’d like to say, “I guess that’s a part of growing up”, but then what would you make of the fifty, sixty, or seventy-plus year-olds who are constantly trolling social media?
Throughout my journey of becoming a Writer, I always felt strongly that social media played a significant role towards being successful. I read countless articles arguing that in order to be a successful Writer, you need to promote yourself. You need to be a marketer. You need to leverage social media.
Well, I did that quite a ton and although I somewhat agree that sharing, tweeting, and posting my articles across my social media outlets have caused a slight increase in my audience reach, I can’t fully say that it has been the primary source of my success thus far.
I never went viral through sharing an article on Twitter or Facebook and I’ve never seen a huge spike in views or readership because of it. Though I didn’t necessarily have that expectation in mind, of course, it would have been nice. However, it always stressed me out whenever I initially shared my writing.
Questions would race through my mind the minute I shared a post such as, “Is anyone going to actually click on it?” or “Did they even read it?” That kind of anticipation caused such a strong feeling of anxiety which ultimately led to disappointment when the results weren’t very compelling. This feeling didn’t necessarily apply solely to sharing posts related to writing either.
I used to frequently monitor, refresh, and close and re-open my apps to see how my regular posts on Instagram or Twitter were doing as well. Eventually, it became so tedious of a task that I had to ask myself, “What’s the point?” And when I answered that question honestly, I realized that there wasn’t much of a point at all.
You can’t experience the fear of missing out if you stop yourself from constantly checking on thing you’re missing out on.
Social media creates an atmosphere of constantly being “in the know” — We’re bombarded with a series of updates on what’s currently happening in real-time. And the problem with this is that it creates an automated response, even an addiction, to feeling like we should always be plugged in.
Just because we can be constantly in the know doesn’t mean we always need to be. Having the ability to constantly check our stats doesn’t mean that we constantly have to.
When I decreased the amount of time that I spent on social media, I also decreased my level of stress and anxiety that came with it. I decreased the level of investment I had in social media and decreased the priority that it had in my daily life. Once I did that, I became increasingly happier because I devoted less time to something that wasn’t really that important.
I understand the reason why they say that the older you get, the less you care about the unimportant things in life. It’s because as you grow older, you start to realize how precious your time truly is.
You start to realize that your time shouldn’t be wasted on things that take away from your happiness (Social media being one of those things). At the end of the day, that’s really what matters — Your own happiness.