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