I Quit Social Media

At the start of the year, I decided to take a break from social media. The only account I had was Instagram, as I’d already deactivated my Facebook back in 2017, and I’d never gotten into TikTok, Snap Chat, or Twitter. Instagram is a great app, and I really enjoy posting travel pics, keeping up with my friends, and following inspiring accounts. However, I realized that I was spending an inordinate amount of time scrolling through random reels and photos, wasting hours each week.

I’m not one of those declare-that-I’m-quitting-social-media kind of people; those posts always come across as attention seeking to me. I just quietly signed off, deactivated my account, and deleted the app, unsure of how long I’d be away. When January 1st came around, I began my hiatus. While it was difficult at first, and my habit of picking up my phone multiple times a day took an embarrassingly long time to break, after a while, I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would.

I figured I’d stay away for a week, maybe two; I didn’t think I’d be away this long. In some ways, I think I should go back, since I miss seeing my friends’ photos and finding new ideas for school. On the other hand, I worry I’d go back to my old ways and waste time again instead of using the app sparingly. I’ve read articles and books about the power of social media and the grip it can have on someone. These apps are designed to make it hard for people to stop using them, and despite knowing the tactics they use, I still fall prey to them.

Social media can connect you to other people, but it can also isolate you. Finding balance between the two is like walking a tightrope. Since signing off, I’ve lost touch with some people, and I don’t always know what’s trending at the moment, but I’ve gained more connections with people in real life, as I’ve prioritized my social life now that things have opened up more here. Whenever I decide to get back on social media, I hope I can do it in a balanced way.

20 thoughts on “I Quit Social Media

  1. hardly an artist

    Going from “social media” to “social life” should be a more rewarding switch. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. livinglife816287820

    I agree totally, I wouldn’t be on it if I didn’t feel it was necessary at this stage for the school’s sake and keeping up with teaching stuff. I’m sure you’ll find the balance when you’re ready to return.

    Reply
  3. Leigh Anne Eck

    I have taken breaks for quite some time now. Although they have been short-lived, I needed them. I am finding myself back to mindless scrolling, and I needed to read this post, especially about prioritizing my “social life.” Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
  4. Fran McCrackin

    I had to read this and I appreciate your honest consideration of the issue. I also enjoy finding out about friends that I wouldn’t otherwise keep up with, but then I consider all the other people I am not creating/maintaining relationships with. You’re on to something.

    Reply
  5. littlekathy81

    I’m with you – I took a break from my main social media accounts and it has been so peaceful. Sometimes the things we really missed have a way of coming back to us in the end. I agree wholeheartedly with your post and glad I’m not the only one in the world walking away from social media, at least for a little while.

    Reply
  6. Elisabeth Ellington

    I’ve never gotten into Instagram, but I’m addicted to Twitter. I ended up taking two months off Twitter this summer (my one month hiatus turned into two) and I have to admit that it was the most peaceful and fulfilling two months. I agree that it takes a long time to break the habit of picking up the phone. March has been good for me because I’ve been reading and commenting on slices for my scrolling time rather than mindlessly scrolling Twitter. It’s probably time for another hiatus.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      Glad it’s not just me that gets sucked in. I have a feeling I’d be really addicted to Twitter and go down teaching…writing…PYP…cooking…reading rabbit holes, so I’ve avoided it like the plague.

      Reply
  7. karpenglish

    My Instagram account and a few games that I like to play on my phone are the big time suckers for me. I am one of those late night scrollers, so I decided to put a sleep focus timer on my phone, and it shuts down at 10:30. It is easy to override it if I need to, but I find that more often than not, I stop and think, “Do I need to do this right now? Do I even want to do this right now?” and then just put my phone back down. Seeing that blank screen with a little bed picture on it instead of all my brightly colored apps and alerts makes it a lot easier for me to break that time wasting cycle. Of course, at 10:30, I can’t really build my in person social life, but at least I get more reading time.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      I know what you mean…they do suck your time! I put on time limits and the focus feature, but I was overriding them too much. I guess my self-control is shitty! haha

      Reply
      1. karpenglish

        Hahaha! I think I manage okay with just a reminder to step back, most of the time. Really bad days tend to get overrides so I can watch endless pictures of kittens on Instagram.

      2. karpenglish

        Yep! I have carefully curated my Instagram so it is basically kittens, knitting, books, poetry, and LEGO. If I want to catch up with anyone who is not my sister, I go back to Facebook for a bit!

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