I’m a perfectionist. I’m an all or nothing type of guy. I’ve mentioned this many times before. Many times when I’m not conscious of it, I’m not satisfied unless I do a flawless job. Anything less than what I could possibly achieve is a failure. I could have done better.
That being said, I had a tiny victory in the last few weeks. Many may not view this as significant (which I understand), but this victory influences my happiness and where I spend my time, so I believe it’s important.
Over the past few years, I’ve deleted Instagram and Facebook at least 10 times, no joke. I knew they were bad for me mentally, and I was like fuck it, I’m leaving. But I’d gradually re-download them in the subsequent weeks. I knew I was addicted and I was frustrated.
Recently, I made do with what I had. I sought progress and not perfectionism, which is usually not the case in my life. On Facebook, I unfollowed nearly every one of my facebook friends (#sorrynotsorry). I’m still friends with everyone, but their posts don’t show up in my feed. Why’d I do this you ask? I was jealous. Super jealous. I had fomo (fear of missing out) and it made me depressed about my own life. Similarly, on instagram I muted nearly everyone. I thought about unfollowing everybody, but I thought I may offend people and so I just did the equivalent on Instagram.
I looked at these two apps objectively. They were great for keeping in touch with friends, but does that mean I want their updates to show up on my feed? If I’m interested in events happening to a college friend, I can just search for them. This creates a feed where I’m not seeing things I don’t really want to see, and when I AM in the mood to see updates on my friend’s life, I’ll go over to his/her facebook page and check. Part of me also wanted to keep instagram on my phone because I like posting pictures. I see my instagram page as a photography blog type of page.
After I did this, I essentially had blank feeds on Facebook and Instagram, and thought that I should fill it with something. If I’m going to check these apps (because I’m basically addicted), why don’t I fill my feed with positive things? So I followed things I’m really interested in. Pages on topics of philosophy, famous quotes, great movie scenes, mental health pages and buffalo cauliflower.
It’s only been about a week, so I can’t really comment yet on the effects, but I already feel better and more in the present in what’s happening in my life.
I wanted to write about this because there is a lesson to be learned.
We all know perfection isn’t attainable– I’ve been told this so many times. I hated hearing it. But, what I’m starting to realize is that perfection may not even be the best outcome. In this case, perfection was deleting social media, staying away from it, and not even thinking about it. For some people it works, but history shows that it wasn’t working for Ben Rosen.
So I worked with what I had. I still wanted to check these apps so I changed what I saw on them. My muscle memory still leads me back to these apps, but now I can see positive images that make me happy. And when I’m in the mood to check on life updates from my sisters, I’ll search for them on facebook! 🙂
This is a reminder for myself that any progress, no matter how incremental, is positive and should be encouraged. Perfection isn’t attainable, and in many cases, it may not even be the optimal result.