It’s been three whole months since I deleted all of my social media (I can’t actually believe it’s almost April already!). I did wonder if I would miss it and quickly regret my decision to “quit forever” but honestly I don’t. Not one bit. For me personally, quitting social media has been a very healthy and positive thing.
I’ve gained a lot of benefits from quitting that have definitely helped to change my life. Firstly, and most importantly, my mental well being has improved tenfold.
Quitting social media has made me a happier person
The biggest problem with social media for me was comparison. I was always leaving the sites feeling depressed. I’d see a girl who’s fitter than me and tell myself I was lazy. I’d see people starting businesses and tell myself I’d never be smart enough to do that. I’d see everyone out with their friends while I sat at home and tell myself no one likes me. And of course I didn’t genuinely believe any of those things. But social media had a way of warping my mind and making me believe that everyone’s life was perfect except mine. It was extremely damaging.
Since ditching social media I feel totally free from all of that. I can have a shit workout and still feel proud of myself for trying because now I’m not comparing myself to fit girls on Instagram. And I can sit at home on a Saturday night being completely content and happy because I’m not concerned about where everyone else is. Comparison aside, quitting social media has also given me so much free time. (Technically, I always had the time… I’m just not wasting it all scrolling through Facebook now!)
With that extra time I’ve thrown myself into web design and recently finished coding my first website. I’m starting to enjoy college and that feeling of “what will I do for the rest of my life” has gone. I’ve started working on some new personal projects and feel that the past few months have opened up a lot of possibilities for my future. I’m feeling really optimistic and excited about the rest of my life, and if you read my post about travelling to escape, you’ll know that’s a HUGE deal.
Without social media, my phone has become way less important. At first I kept opening my phone and then I’d just close it immediately after when I realised I couldn’t use Facebook or Instagram. I downloaded games to play to fill that void but now I no longer feel the need. I’m quite happy to go for hours without my phone when I’m with friends or family. I can sit and talk to people and actually listen, completely, to what they’re saying. And in those awkward or boring moments where I’d usually reach for my phone, I’ve enjoyed being consciously more present. Looking out the window on a bus journey instead of down at my phone…little things like that.
More genuine interactions
Rather than having shallow connections with loads of people, quitting social media has helped me interact better with the most important people. Those “likes” on social media between acquaintances and I have now become really long, in-depth email conversations- at least with my far-away friends. It’s so much nicer and more personal. Way better than that false sense of connection I used to get from liking someone’s post.
Also, being off the radar is pretty great. I can have real catch-ups with people without hearing or saying “I saw it on Facebook already“. Ugh.
I feel more in control
I feel way more in control of the information I’m consuming now. When I watch a video or read an article, it’s intentional. I’m only consuming media that I’m genuinely interested in and that I want to see. That’s very different from the negative news articles and memes I used to click on just because they popped up on my timeline.
I also don’t feel overloaded with information anymore. You don’t really think about it, but reading about what 200+ people are up to, plus seeing hundreds of photos and videos every single day, takes up a lot of brain space and mental energy. Life is still OK without knowing what my friend’s auntie’s cousin had for dinner.
People ask me why I don’t just spend less time on social media but my friends will tell you that I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I tried cutting down my usage multiple times. But I was addicted, and time after time I ended up back on there. Deleting it completely was the only thing left for me to do.
I no longer crave validation
Before, my phone was filled with hundreds of photos because I wanted to share everything I was doing on social media (or as I like to call it- stunting, lol). Now, I barely take photos. Without worrying about how many likes a photo will get, I’ve realised how nice it is to just enjoy the moment. And while I’ll still be writing the odd post about my travels, I no longer feel attached to how many people will read my posts or if they’ll like them. It’s OK for me to have a good time or do nice things without having to get everyone else’s approval.
And lastly, I feel more true to myself
Without the distractions and comparisons that come with social media, although you’d think the opposite, I’ve actually felt more motivated to work on myself. I feel more confident in my abilities and my looks, and I’ve been way more focused on my personal goals. Instead of living up to this persona that I created on social media, I can just relax and be myself- flaws and all.
Has anyone else ever thought about quitting social media or actually took a break from it? How did it go?