Why I Quit Social Media

Wait! What’s that? Can you feel it? It’s like something is different. But everything is still the same. My brain craves for something, but it’s not sure what it is. Maybe it’s food? No, my body is the one who needs to be fed. How about the chair I’m sitting in… It doesn’t quite feel the same as before, right? No, even the chair is still the same. But then what’s going on?

A few days pass by, and I feel ordinary again. But other people don’t look the same anymore. Why are their necks bent so abnormally? And why are their faces weirdly illuminated? Why are they bumping into everything all the time? Why do they let their time go to waste without taking control? And then complaining that they don’t have enough time to do what they love? Weird.

How my brain imagined my brain

That’s what I expected to feel when I finally ditched the remnants of that “toxic social media”. But I didn’t feel it. Apparently, quitting social media isn’t the key to eternal happiness and being better than others. But it’s a start. A start of a journey…

Why, tho?

Most of the people I’ve talked to about social media say that they mainly use it for two things: chatting with friends and posting about themselves. Well, I don’t need a Facebook account to talk to my friends, and there isn’t a point in posting about myself if nobody cares.

I can still talk to my friends

Facebook has both Messenger and WhatsApp that are designed just for that. No endless feeds of rare great content mixed with boring stuff and ads (much like a lottery). Well, at least not yet.

However, since Facebook plans to integrate all three services into one, I’m going to need another messaging platform to rely on. I’ve been using Telegram for a while now, and luckily, more and more people start using it as well.

Nobody cares

Social media is excellent at convincing us that people care: “look at all those likes and emojis I got!” But the truth is, people are self-centred and will most certainly not notice when you disappear.

Here’s a simple experiment: change your birthday to private at least a few weeks before it takes place and see how many people congratulate you. Yes, your mom will call you, but about 99% of your “friends” won’t, because they simply don’t care. In fact, how many your friends’ birthdays do you remember without the help of Facebook? You know the ones of the people that are most important to you – the people you care about.

I started to quit social media by deleting my Facebook account in September 2017, and then I got rid of Instagram in June 2019 (I don’t have any accounts on other major platforms). Since then, the only people that have wondered why I’ve disappeared are the ones I meet regularly in-person. Not a single one has said they miss my content, they’re just curious why I made the switch. That’s something to think about, ain’t it…

Non-existant privacy

Do I even need to elaborate? No, I don’t. Just read this, or this, or this, or this, or this, or this, or this, or THIS. That’s good enough to start with.

Wait, what about others?

You’re right. I’m not quitting every social media platform out there. A straight ban on everything isn’t healthy either. I keep using the ones that I find useful enough to outweigh the downsides. Such services include YouTube, Messenger, some blogs etc.

Every service is a separate tool – both positives and negatives should be considered before starting to use it. I’ll take YouTube for example. The pros are that I can watch entertaining and educational videos, which support my development as a human being. The cons are that I might get sucked into the rabbit hole of hours and hours long session. If that takes me on a three-hour trip from a five-minute productivity hack video to 50-minutes long rant why Apple products are garbage, then it might not be worth it. However, since I’m able to turn autoplay off and control myself, I get more value out of it than I put in.

So, what’s next?

It’s just a small step towards a better life – a life where I’m not chained to my phone. A life where I can enjoy the company of friends without ranking them by the number of likes they gave me. A life of more profound and meaningful connections.

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