Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Andrew W. McElroy Is a Writer who is Exploring the world through stories and lenses.

Fully Social, Minimally Media | Meditations

Fully Social, Minimally Media | Meditations

It has taken me a while to write this blog. I have been avoiding this one like the plague. It is one that I have constantly failed at. I call myself a minimalist, but I can not find the solution to this problem. I deleted Facebook and Twitter in 2016, but I hung onto Instagram and Pinterest like I would die if I unplugged from them. I kept giving myself excuses like, that’s where my photography community is, I have some random family on there, I need the ideas from my Pinterest boards. It was all bullshit. I could find my photography community through their blogs, their phone numbers, and even through real life *gasp*. I could actually visit my family and call them. I could read books, find websites devoted to ideas, and even make a list or two for ideas instead of using Pinterest.

Reading back on my Socially Minimal blog post back in November 2016, I noticed that I talked about being free from the bondage of social media. Unbeknowst to me, I was the captor and the captive in this world of social media. I wouldn’t be fully free until I got rid of my instagram and Pinterest, too. I encourage you to go read that blog post after you read this. As I discuss often, Minimalism is a journey and you are always improving. That was me over 3 years ago, and here I am today in a whole new understanding, but based off the same principles. Read Socially Minimal | Meditations - Nov 23, 2016

As a digital marketer, I had to be plugged into some form of social media, not only for maintaining my client’s sites, but for producing leads for new clients. I told myself that even though I don’t believe in the addictive secrets of the tech world and hate the lack of real control over privacy.

Social media management is the cash cow of digital marketing. I had to do it, if I wanted to survive.

In late 2018, after 4 years of running my own business, I sold off my client list, sold off my digital marketing business. I was tired of constantly doing something that I could not believe in. However, I kept doing freelance jobs here and there, even considered picking it back up again.

I hate it.

When I finally tell myself the truth, I hate social media.

It has no real benefit to me, instead it makes me lazy, addicted, and complacent. Sure, I know of people that I followed on social media, but I didn't know them. I wasn’t actually friends with them. I maybe spoke to them once or twice, if that. I was following the image of someone, not someone. I felt alone when I scrolled through the thousands of stories and pictures. I had read dozens of articles about the addiction of social media, hell I created and managed content to be addictive on the back end of social media. If anyone knew the truth it was me. However, I was still spending 15 hours+ a week scrolling.

I was addicted to the same addictive content that I was creating. I was the addict and the enabler.

I have always struggled with depression and am very aware of how my brain is operating and how certain things affect my mood. It wasn’t that long ago, I noticed something dangerous to my health. When I was feeling down, I went to Instagram. I guess deep down, I figured I would see happy people and be happy by looking at them. However, the opposite occurred, I felt much worse. I discovered that by seeing these perfect, happy images of people made me feel like I was a failure, like I will never achieve what they have achieved. Therefore, the thing I was seeking to help my depression was actually compounding my depression.

I hit the floor.

I hit rock bottom.

I was alone.

I not only was a creature of habit, but I was the creature creating the addictive content that was capturing other people. My life’s work up to this point wasn’t creating a story to tell, it was creating content to be addictive. I was focused on creating content that produced numbers, instead of telling stories. I was creating an environment that was every person for themselves, no community, just purely alone in this frightening world.

This cash cow was costing me far more than I ever made.

It cost me my health, my career, my purpose. I lost everything in the pursuit of something that was created to be worse than gambling. I was better off spending my time and money hoping for the lottery than scrolling hoping for a better life.

I am no longer creating art.

I am no longer connecting to people.

I am no longer providing value.

I am simply a catalyst for this behavior that is destroying people.

This is why I am purposely choosing to quit social media and to find what it means to actually be social with other people. I hope to find the cure to this addiction, however I must cure myself before I can begin to find the solution for others. Hopefully, I can break this addiction, hopefully you can too.

Crosswords | Short Story

Crosswords | Short Story

Stoicism | Meditations

Stoicism | Meditations