Little more than six months ago, I wrote about taking a break from social media.
I did it for lots of reasons. The first thing I’d do in the morning with my cup of coffee was check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. It became a circle of scrolling/updating that saw me lose half an hour and then dash around like a lunatic so I wasn’t late.
I didn’t like a lot of what I was seeing – which I talked about in more detail here
Before you assume I’m anti-social, let me tell you I actually like social media. I LOVE a good meme and an emoji or two. I understand its value for business, for how we stay in touch and how it can make us feel connected.
But I knew it would become overwhelming and stressful for me, rather than a pleasant ‘social’ distraction for a few minutes here and there.
Since then, I have not felt as out of the loop as I expected. I thought I’d miss big life moments but I realised people close to me would call to share that sort of stuff. It’s unlikely you’ll hear anything exciting or big from your nearest and dearest on social first. (But if your best mate decides to share something major online without telling you beforehand, maybe think that friendship through).
I’ve come to accept being offline means change. Some relationships were not as authentic as I thought. There are some people who have not contacted me ‘offline’ but I’ve not contacted them either. It’s fine: things happen. Life happens.
I don’t worry about missing out on anything because I don’t know what others are doing and care less about it as a result. There’s more to talk about when meeting up with people (this can be a good or a bad thing, you decide) and socialising is more satisfying.
I don’t take as many selfies as I did (really!) and I no longer get lots of messages on my birthday, but that’s OK because I’m clueless about theirs too.
I enjoy being more private – doing things and going places few people know about unless I choose to share it. And there’s more time in the morning to drink more coffee. Bonus.
I think carefully about the data I share, sign out of accounts and turn all notifications off (mainly from watching the Social Dilemma which I highly recommend!)
My decision to log off was not a complete obliteration of my online presence. I still use Messenger and Instagram, but have no plans to reactivate accounts elsewhere or set up new ones. Maybe one day I will feel differently, but right now I am enjoying life without comparisons, distractions or FOMO.
Why not try it? Let me know how you get on!