The Reasons I Quit Social Media and How you can benefit from quitting too!

Before I start listing all the reasons I quit social media, let me tell you what social media sites I used and why I opened these accounts in the first place.

I signed up for a Facebook account back in college just because it was cool to be on Facebook. Everyone was a “friend” and that was OK. However, after graduation, I dialed back on “friends” and took a break from the site. To be honest, I took a break because people on Facebook Fakebook were, well, fake. I eventually returned to Facebook sometime ago to keep in touch with my cousins and far-away friends, but I have not logged in in a long time.

I opened an Instagram account about two years ago. My reason for this was to market my handmade jewelry business and build a network of entrepreneurs. However, I don’t think I was very successful with my intent. I quickly grew tired of the push to gain followers and likes. It was draining! It was like I️ was screaming for attention, and it didn’t feel right. It was out of my character.

I deactivated my Instagram account in August 2017 and I feel great! There’s no need to constantly view my feed to find out who liked my posts, how many likes and how many followers I have gained.  It was all too stressful for me, so I QUIT! I have been more successful conducting my business face to face. I make more sales when my customers are able to see, feel and try on my handmade jewelry before making a purchase.

I️ also opened a Twitter account for same reason I️ opened an Instagram account. However, I️ never really liked the platform, so I barely use it.

The benefits of quitting social media:

You have more time for other interests. You can get involved in your community through volunteering or start a business with the time you spend on social media. I️ have picked up reading motivational books and I listen to podcasts instead.

You take fewer selfies and photos in general. When you find yourself “dressing up” and “doing it for the gram”, it might be time for a break. Before you take or post your next selfie, ask yourself, why am I️ doing this? Is this a true expression of my true self or it’s what I think social media will react to?

Deactivate FOMO, a.k.a, fear of missing out. There’s no need to check your phone when you stop at the red light, before you go to bed and first thing in the morning.  How many times have you gotten into bed and then spent 30 minutes to an hour on social media? Or wake up and get glued to it again? It has happened to me many times; I would tell myself I’ll put my phone down, but time just flies by. I even tried to break this habit by leaving my phone in another room, to fight the urge to check my social media. However, I learned that it is all about discipline and making good choices. I eventually deleted the apps from my phone and fought the desire to download it again. The struggle is real…😩.

Reduce anxiety and sleep better. Let’s be honest, how do you really feel after you make a post on social media? Do you get anxious to see how many likes your post has garnered? So you keep checking to keep updated on how many likes or followers you have gained. And then if you don’t get as many likes as you expected, you become disappointed and may even delete the post altogether. You’re putting yourself through unnecessary stress. Get a break from your phone. You don’t have to be attached to your phone all the time anymore for updates. It definitely feels good not be glue to my phone ALL THE TIME! I am very comfortable having it in a room while I’m in another, and sometimes when I come home from an outing, my phone remains in my bag for hours at a time. I know if I get a text message or an incoming call from my Fitbit device.

Fewer distractions, especially when notifications are enabled, with sounds or vibration. Why do we do this to ourselves? I honestly can’t stand having so many notifications on my home screen. Notifications from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Whatsapp, etc, are all fighting for our attention. And don’t you get annoyed when you’re talking to someone and they’re focused in on their phone? We once visited a couple who periodically checked their phones (several minutes at a time). No need to say, we didn’t stay long. Don’t get me wrong, no one is trying to tell you what you should or should not do in your house or on your phone, but it’s just plain rude.

Save your battery power. Hours on social media will run your battery down. Staying off social media can also reduce the anxiety of not having a charging cord or finding an electrical outlet while you’re out and about. I used to have to charge my phone to full charge three times a day. Now, I can go a whole day and not have to recharge once.

Spend Less Money. Spending less money ties back to “doing it for the gram”. Active social media users consider minute details of their posts. It’s not cool to post a selfie with you wearing the same shirt or shoes, or earrings from last week, so you need a wardrobe that will match up with your lifestyle. Also, active users travel often to get cool and different backdrops for their photos. Ready to burn some gas and rack up travel costs? I confess, I couldn’t keep up.

Reconnect your with your spouse or significant other. Have you ever heard the saying “a private life is a happy life.” Staying off social media can reduce the likelihood of bringing your relationship’s good, bad and ugly to social media. No one needs to know the details of the great or not so great current situation in your life or relationship.  I’ve heard about people who experienced broken marriages because they tracked and reconnected with their exes or had affairs with people they met on social media. It’s best to leave the past relationships in the past and cherish the present, which is very difficult to do when you’re keeping contact with everybody and their mother.Cherish people who matter to you. Spend quality time with them. Travel and try new adventures for the fun of it to make memories together. Talk to them often and remember to say “I️ love you”, “Happy Birthday” and “Happy Anniversary” and other details in person or via phone conversations. Your “friends” and followers do not need front row seats to every conversation you have with your spouse or significant other or family members. Protect your relationships.

Reduce frustration. Social media does a disservice because one might start comparing their relationship to that of others and forgetting to appreciate what they have and the people in their life. Please don’t believe everything you see on social media. Some people are just putting up a fake front. Social media is a breathing ground for jealousy and comparison. Some people go above and beyond to portray a lifestyle on social media that is far beyond their current reality, because they live for the attention.

Learn about yourself. When you’re hooked on social media, you might forget who you are because you have taken up the personality of who you portray yourself to be on social media. Take a break. Take time to take care of yourself, think about where you are in life, your goals, your plans for the future. Don’t use social media as a distraction. Face your fears and make difficult decisions about your life and future.

I know we all use social media for different reasons, personal or business. However, I believe it’s important to stay focused on your initial intention and reassess your usage from time to time.  Know when it’s time to take a break and take time to refocus.

Update – July 2019: I still use pinterest, but only for blogging purposes. It’s the only social media platform is best for sharing my content. I still have my twitter account, but barely use.

Do you feel like you need a break from social media? Leave me a comment.

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