Straying Away from Social Media
I was in an elevator, riding up two floors to get to my dentist’s office. Also in the elevator, stood a mother holding her young daughter, surrounded by 3 kids. One of the little girls looked up at me and said, “Hi!” Immediately her little sister (being held by their mother) lit up and said, “Hi!” The big mushy heart inside me melted all over the place and I was reminded, I want!
Dealing with infertility is this really strange balancing act of wanting to be surrounded by children and pregnant women; and at the same time, not wanting to be reminded of a hole in my life. I think that kids are hilarious and babies are perfect and I love being around them. Pregnant women are interesting and their bodies are miraculous and I am fascinated every time I see them. But to be honest, I feel kind of traumatized when I consider the fact that I might never experience pregnancy. My now 26-year-old body could go an entire lifetime and never make a baby—that’s crazy. And depressing.
I used to look at social media every day. Wake up, take a minute to check notifications; scroll through pictures during slow times at work; whatever. One morning, I saw a pregnancy announcement from a woman who I didn’t know but loved her pictures. She has a husband and two beautiful children and they live in the woods, posting magical pictures of catching sap from trees and making recipes from wild mushrooms. Obviously our lives are very different. Anyway, that morning it hit me that this woman and her husband had gotten pregnant, had a baby, and were expecting again—all before we ever had a hint of starting a family.
They get one, two, THREE babies and we still have zero zero zero. The injustice took my breath away. Almost immediately, I decided that I would stray away from social media.
It’s hard to put my finger on an exact reason and it’s even more difficult to say exactly how I’ve changed in the month since I’ve stopped checking my notifications. But things feel noticeably different! Without any prompting, my husband told me he noticed a change in me; that somehow I seem more happy. I’ve replaced mindless social media time with meaningful scripture study, Duolingo practice (26 day streak for French!), and a little too much Netflix binging (I’m watching The Office for the first time and Jim & Pam drive me all kinds of crazy).
Life without social media is amazing. My co-worker will show me a funny internet thing and actually get to feel the satisfaction of showing someone who hasn’t seen it already. Everyone around me gets to share world news with me like I’m some kind of outcast martian, which I love. And my husband gives me the most important information anyway! It's great.
I was never super addicted to my phone or the computer. I didn't need a New Year's resolution to change my habits. In fact, I haven't even set a specific goal as to how long or how intense my social media fast should be. All I know is that in general, I feel better. My brain is less distracted, I am more productive, and I can focus on the good things happening in my life.