I closed all of my social media accounts in 2013. Years later, I'm happy I made that "extreme" decision. If you're considering giving up social media for good, you may be wondering what follows next and how to start preparing for this significant adjustment.
Here's what you may anticipate, based on my own experience.
1. Unexpected Reactions
When I stopped using social media, I received severe responses from both friends and complete strangers. First, there was sincere worry from those who questioned whether something was amiss with my online existence. A few individuals attempted to persuade or compel me into going back because they believed I was being contradictory.
I also got mocking stares and smirks that said, "You'll be back in a week." I was told I wasn't as keen to meet people in person. The discussion over my refusal to "stop being antisocial" online went on and on.
You'll probably see significantly less divisive responses than I did now that social media detoxes are popular. Some individuals could even respect your choice and be motivated to stop using social media themselves by it. After all, even when on a social media detox, you may maintain your connection.
In any case, ultimately, individuals close to you will accept your choice, or at the very least, their emotions won't matter to you. Be careful to have a regular response prepared to use in small conversation when attempting to explain your absence from social media.
2. Feeling Directionless Online
You can find yourself stumped every time you open your browser. Your usual digital hangouts, Facebook and Twitter, are no longer available, so you won't know where to go next.
But do not fret. This won't last long because you'll soon come across other types of diversions. Perhaps you'll have more time to pick up a new interest. I became enamoured with informative newsletters and feeds as a substitute for social networking.
To avoid information overload, are you considering giving up social media? Beware of the ongoing temptation presented by social networking sites such as Instagram. You may access the information on these websites without creating an account.
3. Being Out of the Loop
You know those times when everyone else is aware of what's going on and you're the only one who has no idea? Expect to see a lot more of them.
Lack of knowledge of Facebook statuses, Instagram posts, Twitter happenings, and social media language results in a lack of access to all the interesting allusions in talks. Quite frequently, jokes won't be understood because "you had to be there". You'll also need to respond to inquiries about other, frequently obscure social networks.
Want to view the pictures from your closest friend's vacation? You will need to wait till she mails them to you. You can't just get into Facebook or Instagram and view them yourself, can you? Everyone you know has already seen them, though.
You can become more active on group messaging services like WhatsApp or Discord to combat your anxiety over being left out of social media. You'll also need to come up with alternative—and occasionally archaic—means of staying in touch with friends and family. Remember that the answers must be practical for all sides.
4. Limited Access to Certain Sites
You won't really understand how much the web depends on the leading social media platforms until you have cancelled your accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
For the sheer reason that you lack a Facebook or Twitter login to create an account, you could have to pass up on a lot of fascinating services. Where have the reliable email signups gone?
5. Derailed Job Searches
The hardest affected by a lack of social media presence are job searches. The phrase "awesome social media skills" appears to be a constant in job listings these days. It's unfortunate that these abilities are sometimes valued more highly than the technical abilities required to perform a job.
Keeping up with LinkedIn, participating in Twitter conversations, and joining debates in Facebook groups all increase your chances of advancing in your profession. (That's actually not at all horrible.) Of course, you may be tempted to revive your social network accounts.
6. More Headspace
The greatest is reserved for last. You'll start to love the mental space you've regained once you stop using social media and get through the initial few months of withdrawal symptoms.
Social networking can make life pretty stressful. There won't be any more inane quotations, political rants, hateful remarks, or toxic friends to deal with on a regular basis. You won't have as many security nightmares with social media.
The greatest benefit is the natural change in attention from what other people are doing to what you are doing. You get the mental space required for intense work.
Yes, you'll want to feast on your social media feeds occasionally. Don't feel bad if it occurs. Treat yourself once in a while. Putting the issue into perspective for you will be seeing the same old things that you originally sought to escape.
When It Comes to Social Media, Never Say Never
If a task at work needs it, you'll need to be prepared to return to social media. Find an appropriate remedy alternatively, such as establishing an app timer. If so, consider social media as a tool or a means to an end rather than a component of your lifestyle.
The type of dynamic, quick-paced contact that social media offers appeals to and fulfils many individuals. But it could be harmful to a lot of other people. There isn't, in my opinion, a clear right or wrong way to use social networking. There is just what you find effective.