I’ve done it. I’ve quite social media.
What started out as a time management issue (goodbye Twitter) grew into a privacy statement (goodbye Facebook) and exploded into a philosophy (goodbye Instagram).
For me it has been a transformation and required some serious introspection. I wanted to share a few thoughts I used to eventually cut the social media cord.
Acknowledge Your Weakness
One of the things I struggled with was attempting to control my usage. If I just had more discipline I could control my usage and keep it manageable. I failed at this numerous times. I eventually accepted that I can’t fully control my usage and it was best to cut it cold-turkey. I also heard an interview with David Goggins where he talked about our internal silence being lost in the noise today. I realized that even when I tried to manage my usage I was filling my downtime with social noise. Quitting social media has allowed me to rediscover my internal silence (at least after the kids goto bed).
Examine Your Motives
I always felt that Instagram was the lesser of the evils. I enjoyed viewing pictures of green gardens and outdoor scenery. However that eventually devolved into following pictures of watches, Porsche 911s (beautiful cars btw), and other material goods. While some feeds are flat out advertisements I slowly awakened to the fact that all of the feeds I was following were attempting to influence my purchasing decisions. The subtly of some of it can be amazing. When the thought of quitting all social media crept into my mind I had to stop and ask myself why I had such a hard time giving up Instagram. Why did I have such a hard time letting go? After careful examination and some hard truth I had to accept that I had a problem with materialism. I liked these “things” and they were influencing my thoughts enough that I finally had enough.
Double-Down On IRL
Maintaining real relationships in this day and age is difficult. When so many people are updating their social media feeds, no one feels the need to update people in real life. As I withdrew from social media I realized I would have to make a concerted effort if I wanted to keep in touch with friends. Instead of a passive acknowledgment of something happening in a friend’s life I feel more connected when I get updates in real life.
Quiting social media isn’t for everyone, it is definitely an alternative lifestyle in this modern age. I still keep a finger on some things but only what I can tightly control. I read blogs via RSS and Feedly. I listen to podcasts via Downcast. Though it seems that won’t last, I don’t understand why people feel the need to release a 2+ hour podcast. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I rely more on email now. I feel it is a good direct messaging method. However, nothing beats good ol’ fashioned fellowship.
What I can say, and I strongly urge you to do is that if you’ve felt the desire or the idea has ever crossed your mind then take action. Don’t hesitate.