I Quit Social Media
- 18 Posts
- Age 20
I started it as a challenge: Hold the finger on the App, swipe up, and answer: Yes, I want to delete Instagram. I want to delete Snapchat. Twitter. Tumblr. Facebook. Ed Sheeran, of all people, was the man who brought up the idea. I remember him saying: “I was an unsociable guy who was always glued to his screen. It sucked the life out of me. And what I found was: What was I gaining from flicking through Instagram?”
But while I kept swiping I wondered… could I survive without Social Media? Could I be accepted in a society whose life circles around their mobiles? Could I be different and still belong?
Along the journey, I noticed that what other people thought of me mattered less than I expected. Instead I noticed myself change. I had more time, lived more in the moment. I got creative and active because Social Media didn’t steal my attention. I could focus better and had more energy. I made more memories with other people and felt less pressured to be likeable.
And it got me thinking. Human beings have an urge to be validated, in fact, it seems like we need validation like we need water. But how much validation is good and when does it become toxic?
Two weeks into my journey, the challenge had stopped being a challenge; it wasn’t difficult anymore. I couldn’t remember how I felt during the time I had Social Media. All the information that had flooded my brain – I didn’t miss any of it. I didn’t find it essential to my life. Now when I am bored I comb through my mind to find something to occupy me. A diary with real pages replaces twitter and I make long phone calls with friends instead of watching their life on Instagram and Snapchat. I have also started talking to my mom again – as in: really talking honestly about my feelings. Not pretending my life is ok.
It’s been eight weeks now since I quit. Recently, I read an excerpt of an article in the German Time Magazine on the topic that I would like to share with you:
“And suddenly it is like that: The best moments in life are constantly reduced to their liking potential. The first snow or your first own room or even a child’s first steps: The most private situations, the moments which would completely consume you, suddenly become moments in which theoretically hundreds watch you. And even if you don’t publish them at the end of the day: Just to have thought about it, how the sleigh ride would impress others, stole the moment its core – its presence. Instead of losing yourself in it, you have watched yourself from the outside.”
I don’t ask you to delete your Social Media accounts, of course. Everybody should walk their own path. But sometimes you should pause a little and ask yourself: Do I walk my own path or am I trying to go everyone else’s? If you agree with the second: Maybe it’s time to let Social Media rest a little.