After deleting all of my social media a few weeks ago, I’ve lived without it entirely. Most people think living without social media would be a burden. Without it, you can’t find out about parties or the little things going on in each other’s lives. I’ve found that far from being a burden—in fact, living without social media has brought a lot of blessings into my life. These are just a few of them.
1. I take photos just for me. I used to keep an eye out for situations and photos that would look good on social media as a matter of habit. That was the only reason I took photos. Now I keep an eye out for situations and photos that make me happy. I’m taking far fewer selfies and far more photos of friends, loved ones, and sights I think are beautiful.
2. I can actually be alone. When you have social media, you’re never really alone. Your thoughts and attitudes and opinions are always being influenced by those around you. It’s only when you close all your social media that you are truly alone, and it’s only when you are truly alone that you get to know the nature of your self and your life. You can only experience true solitude when you are free of the inputs of others.
3. My friendships are high quality. Instead of doing a bunch of low-quality digital socializing, I’m spending more time in-person with fewer people. My relationships are deeper and more enjoyable. I also don’t waste any of my time talking to people I don’t like all that much via social media.
4. I know who is important to me. With social media, so many people pass in front of your eyes that your mind can get cluttered with them. You easily lose sight of the ones who matter most to you. Without social media, I have to make an effort to get in contact with people. I can tell who matters based on who I get in contact with the most.
5. I can be myself. Social media requires that you spend time trying to present the most likable version of yourself. While you may not lie, you pick and choose the parts of yourself you think will get the most Instagram likes and display those. Without that, I do whatever I want to. For instance, when anyone could see what I was listening to, I listened to music that fit into the image I was projecting of myself. Now that I have no social media, I listen to whatever I want, no matter how bizarre.
6. I can tell when other people have a social media problem. When I spend time with people who also don’t use social media a lot, our phones stay put away the whole time. When I spend time with people who do use social media, I have to fight for a chance to talk in between when they look at their feeds. It’s like living in an episode of Black Mirror.
7. It forces me to focus on what matters in my business. Many writers feel that they need to have social media to make it as a writer. But when you look at the numbers, social media usually only works as a marketing tool when your business is already doing well. Not having social media forces me to ask the question, “What really makes a difference for an aspiring writer?” The main answer is, of course, how much you write.
8. I’m waking up to life. The endless social media feed pulls your attention in a thousand directions with a million different posts. Even if any of those posts might be valuable, the sheer number of them clutters the mind. Without social media, I’m able to pick a subject and read about it or pick an activity and do it. Instead of being lost in a haze of distractions, I’m focused and alive.
These are just a few of the things I’ve began to experience without social media. You may think you’re just fine the way you are, but I promise if you try a social media detox, you’ll experience the same thing too.