Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

One Year without Social Media

I closed all my social media accounts one year ago. I had conducted a trial run without social media through January of last year, and having survived that, I decided to go off social media permanently. So I deleted all my accounts at the beginning of February. I was nervous, I admit. I felt cut off from individuals and groups that communicate primarily or exclusively through social media. I missed the photos of family, and the rediscovery of long lost friends.

But overall, it felt like a relief, and has continued to feel that way, except for the occasional inconvenience of trying to get information about a business or an event that is available only on social media. I realize that a lot of the social interaction I was engaged in on my accounts wasn’t really very social. Instead, many of the “likes” and quick comments felt lacking in genuine connection and relationship. And I definitely don’t miss those ads.

In the last year, I have made more effort to contact friends via email or phone, and enjoyed more in person visits. I haven’t spend so much time checking my phone or computer. And I made my peace with having a much smaller audience for my writing. Quality over quantity. (That means you! Thank you.)

After a year without it, I rarely think about social media. In fact, I would not have thought about writing this post if someone had not asked me recently to reflect on my decision. I’m not nostalgic for the days before cell phones and internet, but I do like feeling more directly engaged with my life and the people in it. I like the freedom from noticing or caring if I have more followers, or likes, or comments.

And I like the buffer of not having so much information coming at me all the time. In fact, I have now gone a full week on a “news fast.” I’ve deleted all the news feeds on my phone and computer. It’s like a psychic detox. Not sure how long this will last, but so far it feels great.

I readily acknowledge and appreciate the importance of social media for many purposes. I have no fundamental objection to it, or to those who enjoy it or need it for business reasons, and I make no apology for the aspects I enjoyed myself. Ultimately, it is a personal choice about what feeds your soul and what doesn’t. That’s really the key, isn’t it? We are responsible for our own choices, and isn’t it wonderful that we all have the freedom to choose different things?

Trust your instincts, and make judgements on what your heart tells you. The heart will not betray you. ~David Gemmell

10 thoughts on “One Year without Social Media”

  1. I have no social media accounts and have lived to tell so far. Like you, I probably miss out on some events/things that are communicated on those platforms only. However, there’s usually someone who informs me of things that are important to me, the old-fashioned word-of-mouth. It seems to me that there are just more ways NOT to communicate. I still prefer IRL. It never ceases to amaze me what I don’t need to know. FOMO has never been in my wheel house.

    1. I had to look up IRL — in real life. That is a new one for me, and now my new favorite acronym. Thank you for that!

      Glad to know I’m in good company, Mona. Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts on social media and communication in our current times. It is amazing, as you say, how much we don’t need to know. Going a week now without any news feeds has been liberating.

      I should stress that it has been liberating for me. I can only speak for myself. I know plenty of folks whose lives are enriched by their connections on social media, or whose businesses depend on social media. How wonderful that we have so many choices about how we communicate with each other and access information.

      1. I am not quite there yet. Facebook is still active for me because that is where my daughters post pictures. Othetwise, I am gone from social media.

        I don’t think I could go without my news apps in the morning. Most of what I read causes me to shake my head or mutter some unkind words. But, I feel more comfortable knowing what is out there.

        1. I know what you mean. I do miss the photos from family and friends. Thankfully my kids will text me photos, but I’m missing out on a lot of others.

          About the news, I have a mini news fast every other weekend when I’m at the cabin, but going a whole week without has been interesting. Not sure that will be a permanent thing, but maybe reduced from what it was before. I was prompted to give it a try by Philippians 4:8 — “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” I thought I would take that to heart, at least for a short time. Like I said, it feels like a psychic detox. Very refreshing.

          Thanks for your comment, Bob.

  2. Hi dear friend,
    It’s been a while since I have written a comment. I haven’t quit social media, but have cut back my time spent on sites.
    This was a great post and perhaps, I’ll do this too.
    I always enjoy reading your posts.
    Blessings and hugs!?❤️

    1. LeAnn! So great to hear from you! I hope you and your family are doing well and that your new year is off to a good start. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  3. I love your post and reading all of the comments! I feel my body respond to social media in a way that mimics a “too much, too fast” trauma response as well as a suspicion about authenticity. I have been watching this. There is so much that is incredible about it and… It’s wild choices we humans have and remembering there is choice is empowering. Quality over quantity as you say.

    Appreciating you, your gift of writing, and all the others who have contributed here!

    1. Thank you so much, Liz. That is an interesting connection to trauma response. I had not put that word to it, but yes I can feel what you mean. Also appreciate your observation about the empowerment of remembering that we have choices. Every time I hear someone say “But I have no choice!” I see how trapped they feel by that misperception. Owning our choices moves us from victimhood to freedom. Thanks for commenting.

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