I Quit Social Media and This is What Happened

The power of social media can be an amazing tool. Through the click of a button, we can share ideas, connect with friends and family, and facilitate political change. Although it’s a useful tool, it can also be a dangerous one. Excessive social media use can lead to addictive behaviors, increased mental health concerns, and challenges in time management. It may be important to explore the role that social media plays in our lives to better determine the purpose it serves. After noticing myself grow increasingly frustrated with social media, I decided to take a break. I deactivated all of my social accounts. This is what happened:

1. I stopped comparing myself to others.

  • People only post the best parts of themselves on social media. Realistically, I know this, but that didn’t stop me from noticing the feeling I got seeing other people’s perceived happy lives flash on my screen consistently (getting married, growing families, buying homes). It seemed impossible to not feel behind. After deactivating my accounts, the invisible clock stopped ticking. I could more easily focus on accomplishing my goals without putting unnecessary pressure on myself. 

2. I lived in the moment.

  • The most significant change I noticed was that I spent less time posting about what I was doing and became more engaged in what I was doing. I no longer had to show that I was having fun, but I could simply focus on doing just that: having fun. I engaged more with others, stopped using my phone as a distracting crutch in uncomfortable situations, and felt more connected to my surroundings.

3. I put my phone down.

  • If there is one thing I already knew before starting this project it’s this: social media can be a gigantic waste of time if one allows it. And I allowed it. Oh, boy did I allow it. Being unable to fill my spare time with Facebook scrolling, deep diving profiles, and the like allowed me to fill my time with more productive tasks. I redecorated my apartment, read books, listened to more music, and procrastinated WAY less.

4. I connected with others in a more genuine way.

  • In therapy, I made my own connection between socialization and my mood. I am a person who really benefits from quality time spent with others. It’s my love language, if you will. I realized how distant social media had made me feel from my loved ones—like I was watching their lives scroll by from the outside.  By taking social media out of the equation, I found more effective ways to keep in touch with my loved ones. With my friends and family, I stayed connected through phone, text, or in person, and I felt growth in my relationships that I largely contribute to taking a more active role in maintaining them.

5. I embraced my authentic self.

  • I have always been the weird drama kid with tie-dye shirts, lime green jeans, and Chucks thrown together into what I used to call “fashion.” I have never been the person who cared for others’ opinions and have always prided myself on marching to the beat of my own drum, but somewhere I got lost. As I grew older, I started focusing more on how I was perceived by others, and it took doing this experiment to notice that social media played a significant role in that. I am already someone who puts a ton of pressure on myself, and by comparing myself to others on the internet, that pressure grew even bigger. After putting my phone down, I stopped caring. It made it SO easy to focus on myself, my hobbies, and my goals. 

It has been about two months since I have logged into my Facebook account, and I don’t see myself scrolling in the near future. Of course, social media can be a great tool and resource for staying connected to others, and I can only speak from my experience in learning that social media impacts my life in a way that is not always so great. If anything, this experiment has taught me to be more mindful of how I am spending my time, and I encourage others to examine what aspects of their daily routine may not be serving the best purpose. Have any Wellness Warriors out there eliminated anything in their lives that turned out to me more hurtful than helpful? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

12 thoughts on “I Quit Social Media and This is What Happened

  1. I am so happy that coming off of social media has made such a difference to you – it sounds like you are so much happier! I use social media through the week for my blog and with keeping in contact with home since moving away but I always try to step away from it on the weekend. That little break away makes such a difference to your wellbeing!

  2. Great insight! I’m even challenged to scale back. Everything you stated is spot on as far as the affects it has on us all and how it can become addictive and counterproductive. Thank you for sharing! I needed to read this. 🙂

  3. That’s great! I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing. I don’t use it often but it’s becoming so annoying to me. I think a nice break could be beneficial! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’ve never been a big SM fan, however feel myself needing to be pulled there to open my biz.
    I’ve actually just started a FB biz page and didn’t tell any of my real friends, as I didn’t want them to know I was on FB and expected to stay tuned 😂
    I’ve always loved blogging and can’t keep my nose out of WP, however feel that’s a bit different than other SM.

    1. It’s so hard to avoid, especially with a business! WP is more stimulating, and hence more productive (at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m stuck in a WP spiral) ☺️

  5. Hey Kelly!
    One of the toughest tasks of this century. Social media and we humans seem inseparable. Kudos for taking this self-liberating step and honestly I am having a strong urge of trying it myself in the days to come.
    I really liked your style of writing which is subtle and effective at the same time. Glad to come across your blog 🙂 .

  6. I’ve been off facebook, personal account, for about 3 years – I found it was unconsciously making me compare to others, and feel like I always wanting more – the latest gadgets, cars, holidays – totally don’t miss it, and its amazing how much more you can get done!

  7. I completely agree with everything you say. Very well written. I have quit FB for 6 months now and noticed my sadness on the weekends is gone, replaced with fulfilling things to do. The sadness was caused from focusing on FB rather than my own life. I just wrote an article about it and did a search to see what others have to say about it.

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