Afraid Of Quitting Social Media? Look Here
Maybe you've seen videos like Cal Newport's TEDx talk on quitting social media or have your own reasons for wanting to quit. Regardless, I'm glad you are here and entertaining the thought.
I am sure you are having various concerns about quitting social media, it's a big change in your life after all.
And that big change in your life will almost certainly be positive.
I've also had concerns about quitting social media and I am so glad I pulled through with it after high school. Without a doubt, it changed my life for the better.
Instead of getting my sense of importance from likes and comments, I learned to get it from helping others.
Instead of using social media as a means to cope with boredom and stress, I replaced it with meaningful hobbies.
Eventually, my self-worth stopped being tied to external factors, like negative and positive opinions people had of me. It's now derived from a place of internal self-love.
Ironically, I feel less lonely than I ever was using social media. By removing myself from looking at people's highlight reels on Snapchat, I stopped inducing FOMO voluntary.
Filtering out superficial relationships that were derived from Snapchat streaks and keeping up with the Joneses helped a lot too. Now, I focus my energy towards fulfilling relationships and they are much stronger because of it.
Enough about me, this is your life and your story. I want you to benefit from quitting social media just like I have, hopefully even more!
With this in mind, I'm going to make the case for pushing you towards taking the final leap of quitting social media for good.
Only superficial relationships that suck your time and energy will.
Quitting social media will filter out people who really care about you.
Yes, your real friends will think it sucks sending memes via text instead of Snapchat, but they will still send you memes.
Yes, your relatives will dislike having to invite you via text to the family BBQ instead of using Facebook's event feature, but they will still invite you regardless.
Those who care about you will still make effort contacting you, just like you put effort into contacting them.
You only want fulfilling relationships in your life anyways. Why bother with snapchat streaks where people send you pictures of their toes to keep the streak going?
These types of relationships are purely dopamine-driven, superficial, and ultimately a waste of your limited time.
Think about it. Has any of those interactions you had on social media with that acquaintance in Spanish class blossomed into a friendship of substance and depth?
Most likely, you established the most rapport with that person offline. Commenting "Nice car, what year is it?" on Tim's new Instagram photo will only get you so far.
This is because social media is often limited to superficial and delayed interactions.
In-person relationships give you the highest chance of success for turning small talk into deep conversations that become genuine friendships. People express themselves more since they feel less pressure to conform and don't lose interest when someone takes too long to respond.
Since you remove yourself from such relationships, you eliminate the need to expend effort towards maintaining them. Instead, you can focus your effort towards the relationships that provide enrichment to your life.
Regardless if you decide to quit social media or not, you should only prioritize relationships that give you some sort of return for the time and energy you put into them.
For professional use of social media, like LinkedIn and managing business accounts, I completely agree. In fact, I encourage using social media for career use.
But for personal use of social media? Not even close.
You are trading dimes for pennies. The time and effort it takes to find valuable opportunities that arise from personal use are slim to none.
Trying to establish a deeper relationship with someone you want to know better? Maybe even have a crush on someone? If you don't see them often, you should take the initiative to ask for their number.
People who are interested in keeping contact with you will gladly do so. It shows that you think they are so awesome that you still want them in your life after quitting.
Bernard Baruch said it best – "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.". If they aren't interested, at least you don't have to view them on social media anymore. Yay, avoidance!
Unless your idea of opportunities involve babysitting Jane's kids or selling Herbalife products, social media is probably not the place to find them.
If the information is important enough, you will either:
- Relational information: Be informed about it, now or later.
- News, memes, etc.: Be able to find information about it online elsewhere.
Your Aunt Martha had a child? Great! You will be able to find out either through someone telling you or from the next family gathering.
If she is important enough to be in your life, you will inevitably find out. The more important the person is to you, the faster you will organically catch up with them.
And that's a good thing. You don't need to know what is happening with everybody as quickly as possible.
That is the beauty of quitting social media. You get to step back and stop overloading your brain with information that is not necessary, currently relevant, or even harmful to your self-esteem.
When you get the text or email that a beloved relative has passed, that is when the information is necessary for processing.
When you are catching up with your best friend over coffee, that is when it is relevant to learn information about them.
We lost the joy of getting to find out about people's lives from people instead of social media posts.
After quitting social media, I get even more excited seeing good friends and family. I always have something to learn or talk about with them.
Maybe Aliens are found on Mars. Where should we get such information and how do we know it's credible!?
Katie's Twitter post sharing a link to a conspiracy theory site? I hope not.
Facebook News? Much better.
So don't worry. If it's something publicly shareable on social media then chances are, it's something you can find with a quick google search.
This also trains your mind to stop mindlessly scrolling for random information. If you really want news or to find memes, you purposely search for them.
By doing this, you are taking your attention back to information that you are actively searching for instead of having random irrelevant information fall on your lap.
It's completely understandable if you don't want to fully commit to deleting your social media accounts. It took me some time myself.
Since you shouldn't make this decision on a whim, I encourage you to try quitting for just 30 days to see how you feel.
If you feel like this is propaganda and didn't reap any benefits, awesome! You still have your account.
If you feel like those 30 days have enriched your life for the better, awesome! You can now permanently quit without any lingering fear of regret.
Whether you have decided to quit social media or not, I hope you found your answer with the 30 day test run.