How to Feel Like You Belong Off Social Media

How to feel like you belong off social media

Loneliness is an epidemic is our society today which can leave you questioning how to feel like you belong. Everyone looks at their cell phone, eyes glued to social media, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and the other endless streams of newsfeeds which feel like a vast void.

There comes a point in the middle where people feel like they don’t belong because they feel like their lives don’t match up to the picturesque landscapes that people portray online. Not only does media elicit negative feelings such as guilt, shame and self-loathing, the workers at organizations like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat build these platforms to be addictive.

Even though there are positive and funny posts on social media, social media exacerbates addictive behaviors that make people even more lonely, as if they don’t belong. I know this deep down inside, which is why I’ve made a vow to end my own addiction to Facebook as of April 15th, 2017.

As a substitute to my own addictive behavior, I’m replacing every impulse to check Facebook by texting a heart emoticon to my mother. This seems rather foolish, but I’m honestly embarrassed by the amount of hearts that I’m sending her. If I’m sending her approximately 20+ hearts per day, what does this mean for the rest of our society? Does this mean others are as addicted to social media as I am? Are others feeling a lack of connectedness and trying to fill the void by painting their own beautiful picturesque landscape of the world in an attempt to get likes, hearts, and positive comments?

People have a tendency to be overly negative on social media.

Over the last few years, my natural tendency is simply to block or unfollow these people. My newsfeeds were curated and presented an unrealistic world of happiness, positivity, and joy. Even though I strive to live in happiness, positivity, and joy, social media made it seem too contrived.

I admit I may have had an addiction to social media… that’s because I felt connected to other people when I’m on there. It makes the world feel less lonely for a few moments. Even though I’m not much of a drinker, I compare my social media behavior to that of someone who drinks to excess. One drink per week isn’t bad, but it gets dramatically worse when you drink 4-5 times a day.

As I write this, I honestly feel embarrassed about my behavior which is why I feel compelled to offer several solutions to feel a sense of belonging off social media.

Here are five ways you can begin to feel like you belong off of social media:

  1. Cultivate existing relationships with friends and family members.
  2. Read a book and write in a journal.
  3. Find another website to spend time on.
  4. Go for a walk.
  5. Meditate or practice stillness.

These practices take patience and persistence. None of these may come easy at first. The more you focus and apply discipline, the easier it will become.

Trust in yourself that you have the power to cultivate your own sense of belonging and that there’s more to life than selfies, likes, and a false portrayal of what life is really like. Real life and connection are right in front of you without your phone, all you need to do is look around you and observe.