by Natasha Castellon
We’ve all been there: that moment when you realize something interesting is about to happen, and suddenly find yourself frantically pulling out your phone and yelling, “Wait! Wait!….Imma put this on Snapchat…” Whether it be an awkward dance or a surprise party reveal, I’ll admit that I’ve repeated an action or two for the sake of a Snap.
In this day and age, having a strong social media presence has become essential to many people’s personal and professional lives. In either case, most of us can admit to having taken more than a few minutes testing captions and analyzing filters — usually in hopes of unleashing upon the world a smooth-skinned fairy princess over a #nofilter hot mess of pic.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that not everyone rides in this star-studded, flower-crowned boat. While I myself have never felt particularly inclined to keep up on the Snap Story of some guy I met at a concert two years ago, I must admit that Snapchat has otherwise become an integral part of how my life is portrayed to those around me. The awareness that others view my activities has motivated me to filter my life — tailoring it in just the right way so as to appear even a little more attractive or a little more interesting.
Most of us have taken a short break from social media at some point. I’ve decided to pay my dues and use the 40 days of Lent — a time taken by Christians and non-Christians alike to reboot different mental, physical and spiritual aspects of life — to undergo a self-assigned detox I’m hoping will put an end to my filterings and give my mid-semester slump a bit of a kickstart.
Thirteen days in, I’ve thoroughly come to appreciate both my Snapchat-less life and the freedom that comes with being somewhat anonymous to the rest of our media savvy society. While I’ve let posting become an obligation not always aligned with my healthier habits, I can already feel myself returning more fully to the person I know finds confidence in herself apart from the likes and affirmations of others.
When I decide to jump back into the loop, I am confident that this time away will have helped me approach social media with a healthier perspective focused less on how I see myself and more on how I can more authentically connect with those around me.