People Share What It Is Like to Say Goodbye to Social Media

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…

168 thoughts on “People Share What It Is Like to Say Goodbye to Social Media

  1. I have also stepped back from social media and all the comments on your post are correct the people who want to speak to me still do and in all honesty, I am happier 🙂 less pressured and more time to check my stats…sigh…yes I am a stats checker 🙂 x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I read the feedback with great interest, Jim, and my over arching thought is that it all comes down to self discipline. I enjoy social media, in particular wordpress which I find to be the most meaningful social media. I have friends here in the blogosphere and I learn interesting things from their blogs [like this article]. If I comment on a post, I have read it and thought about it and sometimes even looked up something for purposes of commenting so that I can share information back. This being said, social media has its place in my life and I am disciplined about it. It does not interfere with my work or my writing time. I control the amount of time I spend on social media and also where I spend it. I do like FB, I keep up with a lot of colleagues, friends, and family members there but I don’t spend a lot of time there. I also like Instagram, I love seeing what is happening in people’s live. I have a great curiosity about other people, they interest me a great deal. I only follow family, friends and writers/bloggers. I do not read political posts and I never share them. Happiness is something people have to deliberately seek out and find, it doesn’t come from no-where. That is the same as all other good things in life. A long ramble today, Jim.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You seem to have come up with a social media plan that works well for you. I also like FB to keep up with people, but that does not take too long. And WordPress is the best in terms of the community of people that use it. Thank you for your thoughtful comments – they are always appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think like most things in life moderation is the key. It’s interesting that I don’t associate blogging with social media, because it definitely is a way to stay in touch with friends. I usually spend a few minutes on Facebook each day, but frankly it’s not as stimulating to me as reading a blog. I usually post my blog posts to Facebook, and they don’t get as many comments there. My hypothesis is that Facebook is more of a visual media than blogging and more people are there for the photos. I rarely use Instagram, and I don’t do Snapchat or TikTok.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t really think of WP as social media either and I think the reason is because there isn’t drama on WP! Which would be the reason why WP is my favorite “social media” account! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like that about blogging—very little drama. If the only drama is WordPress stats, that says something😉. I live a pretty dull, drama-free life for the most part. It’s the way I like it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with Pete – I love word pressing, with all of its elements, and use Facebook to keep in touch, touch base, but not a lot of time spent there. I feel like I’m a pretty low key user on the scale of things. have Instagram thanks fo my teaching partner, but am very rarely on there.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Writing and posting to my poetry blog is consumptive enough without the time that FB, Twitter, Instagram, and such would demand. I share my blog posts through FB, but I do not post anything directly anymore. I agree with Pete, in that any platform can be beneficial when used in the right balance and moderation. I find most social media to be nothing more than a parade of egos. Except for that one guy who keeps posting companies financial statements….😁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Who doesn’t like a good financial statement? Perhaps I should ask the waiter for one the next time he asks if we need anything else.🤣

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m away from home riht now so doing other things and there’s been less time for online (and noe at all for writing… but I have made space to read. Especially when the sun’s out!)
    I’m hoping that school-age kids will be so fed up with working online through the pandemic that they will get their phones into perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know my friends at BA (Blogoholics Anonymous) would agree with this post, and have probably read it. I think it’s easy to quit social media. I’ve done it plenty of times. At first I feel a little shaky. Then the convulsions begin. My eyes roll back in my head, and my skin feels like bugs are crawling all over it. But these symptoms always go away, and I’m left with a sense of exhaustion and mental expurgation. That’s when I can relax and feel refreshed and free from blogging. I find this feeling very inspiring, which leads to a flood of ideas for blog posts. And before you know it, I’m back to blogging and my posts are better than ever.

    Liked by 4 people

                    1. No, but I was once attacked by a flock of flying fish, while water skiing on Lake Okeechobee. A species know as the Volant Piranha. They were merciless, pecking at my scalp, ears and elbows. I would have been a goner if a pack of pelicans hadn’t arrived upon the scene. They gobbled up a good portion of the flock, while the rest scattered and got the flock out of there.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    2. “Haha!” It just took awhile to show up on here for maybe I was too busy doing it for real! I would claim the excuse of being tired but….I got sleep. Its tonight I won’t get sleep. Leaving for work now.

                      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve always said about places like Twitter, it always finds something for you to be outraged about that you won’t remember in a year!

    The problem now is accessibility- when it was on computer there was a bit of control. With phone it became constant information.

    It helps to switch off notifications, mute/block people who annoy you and click ‘not interested’ for topics the algorithms are trying to get your attention with!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I visit Facebook three or four times a day, probably less for Twitter, but I don’t post much on either. I also have Instagram but have to force myself to remember it. If I detoxed I doubt I’d notice much difference…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I quite social media for a while. I stopped using Instagram for like a year and haven’t used Facebook in a few months. I gave up on Insta because I could tell it was becoming a problem and I was using it too often and so I stopped using it till I knew I could use it responsibly which is what I am currently doing. FB just got annoying.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I have slowed down on my social media due to my hours at work increasing! That is good though because it means we are giving out more vaccine!! I do make time to check out my favorite bloggers on my days off! I have noticed though, since I’m not on here daily anymore that my stats have went down. 🥲

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is so accurate. Back in September I was pulling OT working COVID ICU as a bedside nurse, and then in my limited free time pulling OT perusing facebook feeds (and mindlessly watching the news). My mental health has never been worse. After watching “The Social Dilemma” I decided to take a hiatus from all things electronic. Picked up cross stitching. Took on some 2,000 piece puzzles. Started reading again. AND, I started writing. Almost immediately my mental health improved. Now…everything in moderation. I check it once a day, and just ignore things that trigger me, lest I get sucked down the rabbit hole again.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Without social media life is much better. Period. And oh, keeping up with new trends is entirely overrated. Most of them are just useless noise.

    By the way, may I ask what you think the reason is behind checking constantly your WordPress stats?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cutting back on social media does seem to free up a lot of time.

      and as for a reason for checking my stats – good question. I guess it’s just become an addiction/obsession…


  14. A few years ago I made the decision to cut out most of the social media in my life. The only thing I use is YouTube (I don’t post) and my blog. I’m on the fence about whether or not I consider it social media. In some ways I suppose it is because we’re sharing our lives in the same type of posting medium and like you, I can get wrapped up on the stats too 🤷‍♀️ but for some reason it just feels like I’m doing something productive at the same time… Like writing to share experiences 🙂 I like the camaraderie of it all 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Professor Mark Williams has done a decade of research into the impacts of technology on people and found that it is detrimental to people in general. It is well worth looking at his studies. I covered this in Antipodean Angst part 3 with regards to how technology amongst other things has dumbed down population and creates many social problems.
    It appears that many of the comments describe the betterment within peoples lives as they abandon social media so the tends to reinforce his findings.
    I put a social media ban in my house (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc) in 2017 and now only have to deal with ‘normal’ teenage angst for the most part. I can always tell when my son has broken the rules as his behaviour changes and even he can now understand the problems with the use of technology when it becomes the master and not the slave.

    Overall an interesting article.

    Liked by 1 person

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