Yep, you’ve seen this before. I mean, at least I’ve seen thousands and thousands of videos and blog posts about quitting social media. Some of them are really informative and fun to watch, others are just some self congratulatory bullshit that makes you wonder if quitting social media is not just another thing that people do just so they can, ironically, share it on the social media.
So I wanna try it for myself and I have some…
Good reasons to quit social media
Let’s make something clear — I’m talking mostly about instagram and twitter. Although I have a facebook account (which I might keep for practical reasons like buying second-hand stuff), I don’t use it at all for years now. Reason being that facebook became this toxic waste type of social media that, well, you know when you eat something you used to like and it makes you so sick for some reason that you can never enjoy it again? That’s why.
So what are the reasons to leave social media?
- TIME: well, this one is expected. I spend a lot of time on twitter and instagram. It’s not as much as other people do, I’m not CONSTANTLY on the platforms, I don’t use them at all while I work or when I’m with friends. But I end up using it a lot on my free time. And that’s where it fucks with me. Reason being that I want to relax, watch a movie, go for a walk, read a book, zoom call with a long distance friend, listen to some music, play an instrument, write something, make myself a glass of Tom Collins and I’m getting pretty annoyed that I constantly interrupt myself while doing these things to check what other people are doing. I’m spoiling some real quality time by checking photos of people who barely know me, who are not necessarily friends and who I have no business with if they took their dogs to the pet shop or if they are traveling to India.
- RELATIONSHIPS: I have just realized recently that I have lost contact with a lot of my good friends during the pandemic. Worst than that, I’m constantly engaging in conversations with strangers, replying to and receiving replies from stories. See how fucked up is this? I’m trading texting good friends and having nice conversations with people I care about for spending time on a platform where most people who follow me (and this is not their fault) would only know if I died months later, a lot of then wouldn’t even know. I don’t blame them, I wouldn’t either…
- ENERGY: Social Media is such a mood killer. So you wake up, you have so much to get done. You take a shower, you have your coffee, you open instagram and there you go: the war, the crisis, the hunger, the death, the misery, all the bad people doing bad things and being bad, all the good people doing good things and letting you know that they are better than you. And of course all of these things are important, but what are we doing with this information? Sharing it and getting on with our day? I barely see any real action coming out of that so yeah, in the end you receive a daily friendly reminder that the world is a terrible place. And you still have your shit to do. This is just not healthy. I understand that we need to be informed, but there are better ways. I fail to see how becoming a nervewreck will, in any way, assist me on being a better person to the world.
- REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES: After years and years of doing things and feeling that unavoidable urge to share it online, I think our brains became hardwired with the idea that we HAVE TO share every cool thing we do. And most peope won’t admit it, but how many things don’t we do just so we can share them online? How many opinions we don’t fabricate on subjects we are not well-versed on just so we have something to say? I really don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to do things or create things or be things just because of the internet. That is bad, really bad, REALLY FUCKING UNFORGIVABLY BAD. I need to reconnect with the reason I do things, the reason I enjoy things and be free of that motivation to have my private life out for the world to see.
- I DON’T HAVE TO BE THERE: this one is also a game changer. Social media should be this piece of entertainment where you go to have fun, pass the time and whatnot. But there is this feeling, this crazy feeling that kind tells us that quitting social media is like commiting suicide. That somehow we are socially forced to be there, that we would be losing so much if we left. As if we would be deprived from an essencial piece of our lives that is vital to our well-being. I call it bullshit. I don’t believe social media plays a main role in making my life better and I’m convinced it is quite the opposite.
So yeah, basically my reasons to quit social media are: having more quality free time, having better, more meaningful relatioships, having more mental energy and better relationship with information and reconnecting with my real life experiences and why I do them.
And what do I think is going to happen?
I believe I will feel lonely at first. Which is a natural reaction, since I was always “surrounded” by people and their lives. So I think it will be strange to live in a world where I’m not being constantly told what is happening with others. I also think I will feel bored, like, REALLY bored at first because I won’t have that escape of opening and scrolling twitter or instagram. So I think it will be extremelly uncomfortable at first. But I also expect to be able to fill in those gaps with things that might be more interesting and things I’m lacking more. Well, we’ll see…