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Why I Quit Traditional Social Media

In October 2018, I decided that social media was not for me. I deleted it and took breaks from it, but I wanted to try it for a year. Being a millennial who grew up in an age with flip phones, pressing the "end" button over and over on your flip phone when you accidentally pushed the internet button, not being allowed to have MySpace (thanks, Mom and Dad, truly), Facebook not becoming a big thing until later in high school, and Instagram not being popular until I was in college; I would say I already had a healthy relationship with it but I was noticing my time being wasted and I didn't like it. As a disclaimer, I am not perfect, but this has been good and healthy for me, so I thought I would share in case someone needed a little push to jump right in.


So, I LOGGED OUT AND DELETED MY APPS.


No, I didn't deactivate it. I had the discipline to not look at it for an entire year. My goal was not to look at it for a year; I didn't know it would turn into 5+ years. It was and is such a breath of fresh air. In that year, I noticed, and continue to see, the amount of scrolling. I am by no means perfect; I find different things to scroll. The issue is that our phones are so accessible that it makes it VERY hard not to pick up the phone and look just to look.


So why did I quit social media?


  1. Kids. I didn't want my kids growing up with a mom always on her phone, scrolling, looking at other people's lives. I have only had Quinn and any future kids for 18 years. For those 18 years, I want to be present and intentional with them.

  2. Time. Time is precious; I would easily waste so much time on social media. It was concerning to me that I would get so sucked in and tune out everything around me. I wanted not to use my awake time staring at a screen; I could do much more in my day.

  3. Comparison. I found myself comparing my life to others, and I didn't like how I would compare my great, beautiful, and wonderful life to others. Being content and having contentment grew and continues to flourish now. I realized quickly that what most people post on social media is the perfected, highly curated photos they share. I didn't like that there wasn't anything real being posted. I noticed that my everyday photos would get much fewer likes than highly curated ones. That was an issue for me.

  4. Followers/Following. Most people I followed were celebrities or people that didn't know me. Before I deleted my accounts, I unfollowed all those people and only followed people or accounts I knew. I realized I didn't need to know what celebrities or people I didn't have a relationship with were doing all the time. I realized that the deep relationships I had invested in would continue, and the ones that didn't have deep roots would fall away. My family and close friends still know what is happening in my life, and I know what is happening in theirs because we communicate and catch up regularly. This was more important to me than seeing something on social media.

  5. Expectations. I was tired of the unfair expectation to "like" a photo even if I didn't like the picture. I didn't like that there was this unspoken expectation to show support by liking an image, even if I didn't like it.


Social media has changed drastically since 2018, but I believe the issues are the same. I genuinely don't miss it, and I am so glad I deleted it when I did because I think it has become even more addicting with the addition of stories that are super easy to flip through.


So, I don't do Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. What do I do?


I have a Pinterest account, and I write on my blog. But that's it! I use my Pinterest account to drive my blog traffic and get creative ideas.


Do I miss out on stuff?


Nope! Again, the people I see regularly keep in touch with me, and I stay in touch with them. I also don't need to be everywhere just because people I know are there. I love being home, and I love being with my family. It has made me realize that being invited is always lovely, so I extend the invite when appropriate.


Isn't Pinterest social media?


Yes and No! Pinterest falls in the social media category because of the aspects of following commenting and personal messaging. It's not social media because it doesn't focus on relationships as its primary structure. I find it's very different because, on social media, I would only see pictures of what people were doing, whereas, on Pinterest, I use it as a tool to get my blog content out and inspiration for my next big idea.


Isn't a blog social media?


Yes and No! Blogs fall under social media because they can be social with commenting and messaging. They also have subscribers, which is an equivalent to followers. I like blogging because I get to show the whole picture, not just the highly curated images posted on traditional social media platforms. Blogs focus more on going deep than just a snippet of a moment.


Both Pinterest and my blog keep my boundary of no traditional social media. It's where I get to share things I have made and journeys I'm walking through; keeps me creative and always trying new things, sharing our DIY projects, keeping people up to date with an authentic, honest voice, and when I write, it's a sort of therapy.


These boundaries have been significant for me, especially knowing that in the future, we are planning not to let our kids have a smartphone, let alone social media.


Are you thinking about quitting social media? What's stopping you? What has been the most positive thing so far if you have already left social media?



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