What’s the first thing you do when you snap a cute photo of you and your BFF? Post it to Instagram, probably. That’s just how social media works. When you have an update to share, it’s hard to find a reason not to tweet or blog about it.
Not everyone is hooked on social media these days, believe it or not. It’s a great way to connect with people you don’t get the chance to see every day, but it doesn’t have to be your lifeline.
There are a few major differences between those who are constantly glued to their social media channels and those who aren’t. Here are five reasons why those who don’t rely on social media to document their lives are more confident than those who do.
They make more of an effort to maintain relationships
Social media makes it almost too easy to keep in touch with family and friends. Except, by “keeping touch” we actually mean reading their Facebook statuses and liking their photos. It’s a one-sided interaction. When people go long periods of time without posting anything, we lose touch with them immediately. That’s enough to put a dent in anyone’s confidence.
People who don’t rely so heavily on social media actually make an effort to keep in touch with those they care about. They’re willing to sit across from their best friends at a café, with their phone tucked away in their pocket, and share the details of each others’ lives they don’t care to share online. In their world, “I’ll see you later” actually means, “I’m planning on meeting up with you again next week, okay?”
They are more aware of their surroundings
You might feel like you can reach out and touch every inch of the earth through the articles you read and pictures you see others post online, but as you’re sitting at your desk reading about different current events and cultures around the world, there are hundreds of people walking past your office window who have seen those things in real time for themselves.
Stepping away from social media, at least for the majority of your day, gives you the chance to explore the world around you and observe life through your own eyes. Those who do this are more confident because they don’t need to rely on someone else’s viewpoint of the world to form their own.
They don’t hide behind a screen
Have you ever posted a comment or status saying something you never would have been “brave” enough to say in person? It probably made you feel pretty good at first. “Wow! I can’t believe I posted that,” you thought to yourself as you waited for the likes to roll in. What happens when no one responds, though? That façade of bravery shatters instantly.
When you don’t have a screen in front of you, but you have something to say, do you? People who don’t rely on social media have trained themselves to speak up without a protective shield. Their confidence stems from their ability to express their thoughts openly and verbally, where, often, an audience has no choice but to listen.
They live in the moment
In this social media-saturated world, an adventure is nothing more than a chance to snap a few pictures to see how many likes and comments they’ll get. You’re not enjoying the concert, really: you’re staring into the screen of your phone to make sure you’re capturing every moment for everyone else to see later. When we’re alone, we scroll through today’s TimeHop memories and secretly cringe at all the things we said back then.
Those who treat social media as a supplement instead of a staple follow their sense of adventure without worrying about how it will look on camera later. They cherish the actual sights and sounds they experienced firsthand. They are also able to leave the unflattering images of their past in the past where they belong. If that’s not enough to boost your confidence, we don’t know what is.
By cutting back on your social media use, you can improve your relationships with loved ones, immerse yourself in the real world again and stop spending so much time looking back on “what used to be.” Like anything, social media won’t hurt you, if you use it in moderation.
Featured photo credit: Jason Howie via flickr.com