Nothing. There’s your answer! Click on the next post. Just kidding. But really, I made the decision to quit social media last summer and went dark in September 2016.
No more Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (it was a graveyard anyway), or Pinterest (I never used it).
Why? Here are the bullet points:
- It wasted my time
- I didn’t care at all what other people were doing
- I didn’t feel the need to share
Big picture wise, my life has stayed the same. I was never one to post super personal things on social media anyway, but I definitely have lived with a lighter air and less of a burden to share. I no longer look for things in my life that are shareable, I just live. Knowing I’m the only person in possession of a certain picture is really cool.
Here are some observations of my life post-social media.
- I Google more.
Specifically, I find I question things more. I don’t have a feed of celeb gossip or movie trailers so I have to look everything up that I hear about. The sky didn’t fall when I googled “new Beauty and the Beast Trailer” or “new Ed Sheeran.” In fact, I think it got bluer.
- I still go on Instagram.
Gasp! I know. I tend to use Instagram for research purposes. For example, if I’m looking into a purse and want to see what it looks like on, what it’s like in different lighting, etc… it’s extremely helpful to see everyone’s pictures. The same goes for makeup and just about any other product. I won’t lie, I also check up on a few celebs every now and again.
- But I still don’t watch the news.
I hate the news. It’s extremely depressing, stressful, and contrived IMHO. For me, it causes anxiety and just an overall bleh feeling.
- …So I get my news from those around me.
News hits Facebook first, and it used to be my main source of happenings with the Trending sidebar. Now, I usually hear about anything newsworthy from my family. Whether it’s what Blake Lively wore to an event from my mom or the latest scoop on Washington politics from my brother, I don’t feel like I miss out. Don’t tell them I said this, but I would even be fine if I didn’t get the updates. Ignorance really is bliss, and there’s little point in stressing over things you don’t have a direct impact on anyway. I would rather focus my time and effort on furthering my dreams.
- I don’t miss anything or anyone.
I still reaallyyy don’t care about the minutia of people’s everyday lives. They started a new diet! They ran 5 miles today! They got a promotion! (I mean congrats on that last one, but still.) My time away from social media has allowed me to become more introspective. I started journaling again (it’s hard to stick to!), reading more, and keeping a book journal.
- I still wake-up with my phone.
I don’t literally sleep with my phone like tons of people do (how do you get any sleep?!), but I haven’t kicked the habit of checking my phone before getting out of bed. I’m trying hard to implement boundaries. Instead of checking social media, I check email. The ultimate goal is to not impulsively check anything.
- I didn’t quit LinkedIn.
This is technically still social media, but for professional reasons, I just couldn’t get rid of it. I check it more often than I used to but not obsessively.
- I rejoined Facebook temporarily to promote my book.
I didn’t want to do it, but the main pull of the FB is that it has the largest group of people I know, so to get the word out, I felt like it was worth “cheating” to tell everyone I wrote a book. I’m getting rid of it as soon as I can!
And I can proudly say that once I do I will be happier 🙂
Bottom line: Social media is one of those extras in life that we have the option of enjoying, but we’re by no means required to be glued to it–even if it seems like everyone else is. In fact, taking a break from your feeds can free up your time *and* reduce your stress levels! Although it’s natural to have a fear of missing out (FOMO) if you go off the grid, take heart in knowing that you’re probably not missing out on anything too important. Rather, you’ll be better equipped to tune into what matters most.
Getting rid of social media is a big move that probably isn’t for everyone. But if you find yourself the end of all your days thinking “What did I accomplish today?” it might be worthwhile to give going rogue a try.
Have you tried “going dark” and taking a break from social media?
Also by Nicole: I Was Bullied For Years. Here’s How I Didn’t Let It Destroy Me
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