This may be a first in five years of blogging every day.
I’m sharing articles written by the same reporter, two days in a row.
Yesterday, I shared a story written by Brittany Wong at HuffPost that explored the fear that people have of meeting new people, and how to manage such fear.
Today, I read another fascinating article by Brittany that looked at people’s reactions to dropping off of social media:
- Fanny, 38. Without Instagram, I sleep better, my mind feels lighter. I feel less anxious, less angry, and better able to organize my thoughts around what can be done with regard to social and political injustices rather than just being mad. I feel the gloom and doom is more manageable. And my friends are supportive. I have to make an added effort to check in with them via text, which feels more meaningful to me.
- Tate, 21. My mental health has improved drastically (since I deleted Facebook). Although I still spend quite a bit of my time on my phone, as most 21-year-olds do, I find myself not feeling as stressed or pressured when I post things on Reddit. My friends and family supported my decision, because of course I still talk to them and update them on my life. Overall, I’m not regretful of my decision in the slightest.
- Glenn, 40. I find that I have considerably higher productivity and less overall screen time these days. My worldview and political thoughts are more nuanced and less inflammatory than those of my peers. Most importantly, I’m free to live in the moment and experience the real world around me. As it turns out, the air is sweet, your neighbors are good people, and most humans have a desire to leave the world better than they found it. Over time I realized that those who are truly important to me will stay in touch regardless.
- Jody, 40. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything because what’s most important to me is what’s right in front of me: my kids, my close friends and family. I still have all of that. It actually means even more to me now. Life is short. With the pandemic, I think that’s a lesson more people are realizing now. I know I will never look back and think, ‘Gosh, I wish I had spent more time on social media.’
- Zufayri, 22. The detox had a positive impact on me … or that’s what I thought initially. For the first three days, I noticed that I used my phone less and my battery lasted longer. It felt refreshing at first because I found myself doing productive things: cleaning, reading and also writing. But as the days went by, I started to be anxious because I couldn’t really keep up with new trends. Basically I was missing out on the latest news and ‘tea.’ My friends would personally DM me posts on Instagram and once they knew I was doing a social media detox, they shared stuff with me via text so that I didn’t miss out on current trends. No one I knew was particularly upset because I explained the reason I did the detox. I ended up reinstalling my social media back because the fear of missing out kicked in. Would I do it again? Absolutely.
- Roo, 30. Removing them has given me the headspace to see the wider picture. Unless you’re reminding your followers you exist (via stories, likes, tweets, etc.), people will forget about you. But that’s OK. The folks in my life right now feel closer. Rather than dishing out ‘press releases’ to the masses, we’ll trade pictures and anecdotes directly. It’s less about our egos, more about experiences.
- Justin, 41. I read more books, which was nice, and I finished a couple projects I’d been putting off for too long. I kept in touch with friends mostly via phone calls while walking the dog. The problem is, I have a five-month-old baby, and he can be completely exhausting some days, and on those days I just need a way to completely turn off my brain for a couple hours. Without social media I fell into a habit of reading the world’s dumbest listicles on you-know-which-sites while watching reruns. It wasn’t an improvement. Some accounts I’ll delete permanently, but for others I’ll just trim them down and keep around.
- Mehret, 26. Quitting social media was the best decision of my life. It allowed me to live life to the beat of my own drum. It’s a very freeing feeling. When I’m doing things, I don’t care to capture the perfect picture or think about how it will look online. I’m fully present in the moment. Take a break. Social media can wait. Life cannot. Rediscover the pleasures of the offline world.
As you can see, most people were quite happy with their decision to stop using social media, while a couple of them cut back, but continued to use it.
I don’t think I spend too much time on social media. My biggest time warp, as many of you know, is incessantly checking my WordPress stats.
But I guess it could be worse, I could be spending time posting financial statements to Instagram, and waiting for people to like the post…