In late 2019, I decided to start the process of leaving social media behind for good, except for Pinterest, which, in my book, doesn’t really count as social media.
Looking back, two significant changes have hit me since I quit.
Firstly, I now fully live under a rock.
For instance, if Jeff Bezos decided to hand out $5 million for free in my neighborhood, I’d be the last to know.
Heck, I may never even find out.
The second significant change is the fewer amount of ‘cares’ I give about a lot of things.
Back when I was glued to social media, I overshared a lot and was always hyper-fixated on everyone else’s lives instead of my own.
But as I drifted away from the online frenzy, a refreshing realization dawned on me: there’s so much more to life beyond the screen.
Stepping back from social media led me on a self-reflective journey, making me question and rethink a lot of things in my life.
So, I figured I’d share some of them with you today.
Benefits of Quitting Social Media
1. You’ll realize your online friends are not real
This was one that took me some time to come to terms with. For the longest time being on social media, I was conditioned to believe that my followers were my friends.
Although I knew some of these followers from high school and occasionally chatted and cracked jokes with them via Instagram DMs. It wasn’t until I hit that ‘delete my account’ button that I realized that many of them weren’t really my friends.
Social media has a way of creating a false sense of reality. With features like Instagram stories and reels, it can often feel like we are really connected to certain people when, in reality, we are not.
Leaving social media and never again hearing from some of these online friends really showed me how important it is to build interactions in person.
2. You’ll become more aware of people’s nonsense
There’s this popular quote that says: It’s very hard to see the whole picture when you’re inside the frame.
That’s sort of what it feels like to be on social media.
Since leaving social media, I’ve become more aware of my environment, and can oftentimes tell when a person is being dishonet.
Because I no longer keep up with the Joneses, I’m starting to see through the façade that many people put up to portray a perfect life.
Without the constant bombardment of curated feeds and pixel-perfect filters, I’m now able to discern real from fake more easily, which I believe has led to more genuine connections and a better understanding of human nature.
3. You won’t feel watched anymore
I don’t know if it’s just me, but each time I was on social media, I always felt like I was being watched.
Since many social media platforms give you the ability to see who viewed your profile, I always found it quite odd when strangers or people from my past would stalk my profile for who knows what!?!
And don’t even get me started on LinkedIn and how recruiters make it a big deal for you to have an online presence so that they can stalk your page to decide if you’re worth hiring.. (rolling my eyes).
Since deleting social media (including LinkedIn), I have not had that feeling of being watched.
Plus, the anxiety that came with feeling watched completely dissipated.
4. You’ll become more cheerful
Although I’m not fully aware of any correlation between leaving social media and happiness, I can, however, attest to the fact that leaving social media can significantly improve one’s mental health.
Being on social media felt like an overconsumption of bad news for me. Every news platform was always ready to feed the latest tragedies, controversies, or threats, creating an endless cycle of fear and anxiety.
The constant news of negativity not only messed up how I saw the real world (making it look scarier and more unfriendly than it actually is) but also sucked away my energy, leaving me feeling stressed and hopeless.
However, after disconnecting from multiple platforms, I no longer feel that way; in fact, I feel significantly better.
5. You’ll celebrate more milestones happily in private with those that matter.
In today’s world, people overshare almost every aspect of their lives on social media, right down to the minute they go to sleep.
However, some experiences retain a special charm when celebrated in a more private setting, away from the public eye.
Since stepping away from social media, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to get married, embark on exciting trips, start new career paths, spend quality time with my loved ones, and simply enjoy the moments as they come—all without feeling the need to broadcast it online or seek validation through likes and comments.
It’s a common misconception these days that if someone isn’t sharing updates on social media, then nothing noteworthy is happening in their life.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
By choosing not to share every detail online, I’ve been able to live more in the moment and create genuine memories with those who matter most.
Because at the end of the day, it’s the genuine interactions and heartfelt conversations that enrich our lives, not the number of likes or comments on a post.
Leaving Social Media: A Challenge For You
If you’re reading this post, chances are you are probably thinking of leaving social media, too.
Therefore, I invite you to take a step back from social media, even if it’s just a short while, and immerse yourself in the authentic experiences awaiting you offscreen.
Connect with loved ones, explore new hobbies, or take the time to breathe in the beauty of the world around you. Who knows? You might discover a more fulfilling life waiting where the WiFi is weak.