4.24.2018 San Diego, CA, USA

Vintage blouse, Vintage turtleneck, Urban Outfitters trousers, Dr. Marten oxfords, Vintage sunglasses 
In the past five days, I ate banana pancakes with my boyfriend. I took an enormous step in manifesting the dreams I've had since I was five. I drank painfully trendy boba, explored new coffee shops, and strolled through my favorite farmer's market in search of the world's best vegan cookie. And I didn't Instagram any of it. 
I deleted all social media apps from my phone on Friday night, fresh out of yet another glazey-eyed anxiety-ridden time warp of refreshing Instagram notifications every five seconds. 
Over the past month I've noticed my time on social media dominate any free time or headspace I have, while my self confidence and creative independence take a sharp decline. I stopped freely dressing well because it makes me happy, and started slipping into the trend-ridden coma that most Insta-famous girls I follow seem to orchestrate. The simple act of getting ready turned into a forty-minute panic attack about whether or not I could put together anything that was worth 'gramming. 
Would this outfit get enough likes? What pants can I wear besides these ones, because I posted them two days ago and can't look repetitive? Why does this photo have 36 less likes than this one? What on earth can I do, short of selling my soul, to get more engagement while everyone around me seems to be flourishing so organically? 
A couple taps on my iPhone screen later, and an enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders. I've gotten back to dressing well simply because it makes me happy, spending way too much on iced lattes simply because I like the taste, and doing the things I like to do simply because I like to do them. Experiencing life without thinking of engagement strategies, VSCO formulas, best times to post, or what so-and-so with 10k followers was doing that I wasn't. It doesn't matter. There's something so beautiful about going off-grid
As soon as an algorithm of code in the app store begins to tamper with your individuality, it's time to take a step back. No amount of followers or likes or comments could possibly equate more than the value of raw, individualistic passion. 
I'll definitely be re-downloading my digital vices within the next few days, and there's a big chance you're reading this because you tapped the link in my Instagram bio. However, my attitude towards social media, as well as my relationship with it, will be drastically healthier. 

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