Living Social: Why I Quit Social Media

In December 2017 I decided to take a little break from social media.

At the time I was active daily on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snap. I was uploading at least one self-created meme each day to each platform, one self-created video each day to each platform, and several other random pictures or posts to one, or all, platforms.

Social media had become more of a job for me rather than a place to “connect” with others.

Honestly, it really was part of my job. At least part of my job in terms of marketing myself as a speaker and author. I felt that I needed to let people know who I was and about my desire to help others change their lives.

After a few weeks off, and a relaxing holiday season, I returned to my social media platforms. I decided that I was going to post less and try to just enjoy the “social” aspect of social media.

But it didn’t work.

I noticed after my return that there is a lot of negativity on social media. Much more than there used to be. Between the religious, political, and not-so-social posts and comments I realized that social media was really starting to have a negative effect on me.

I’ve been on social media for almost 10 years now. I joined Facebook in 2008. I can’t even begin to tally the total number of posts, pictures, videos, and comments that I have made during that time. I joined Twitter in 2009 and I know that as of January I had almost 30,000 Tweets over the 9 years that I had been on there. I’m not even going to include the number of Instagram pics and YouTube videos that I’ve uploaded over the years.

In 2009, when I was living in Missouri I noticed then that there was a lot of negativity on social media. I decided to dedicate my social media efforts toward being a positive voice. I wanted to share funny, positive, and uplifting material to somehow try to counteract all the negativity.

I wasn’t perfect. I had my moments of negativity myself but for the most part I stuck to my plan.

And when I returned in January of this year after my short break I decided to re-focus on being positive.

But it was just too much.

I tried unfollowing friends whose posts had become overwhelmingly negative. I tried to avoid conversations with people who were doing little more than trolling others for some type of weird excitement – as if starting an online argument was the highlight of their day.

But I noticed that I started spending more and more time going down the rabbit hole of these negative conversations. I found myself getting angry at people – some friends – and others just random people – that I didn’t even know.

It really started to affect my overall attitude. I was letting the negativity and conflict of social media really get to me.

In addition, I started doing the math and calculating how much time I was still spending on social media each day just mindlessly reading posts and comments, looking at videos of random things, and commenting on things that really didn’t, or really shouldn’t, have mattered to me.

As I thought more about the wasted time and impact on my overall mental well-being I decided that it was time to make some drastic changes.

And so on January 29th I deactivated, or deleted, all of my personal social media accounts.

It was honestly one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done.

But in now in hindsight it is one of the greatest things that I’ve ever done.

I have found over the past 4 months that my overall state of mind has improved, and I don’t feel the anger or frustration that I felt almost daily when I read the negative posts and comments.

I also have a LOT more free time to focus on other things, like my family, my speaking business, and things that I truly enjoy doing.

Now don’t get me wrong I am still on social media but only for purposes of promoting my speaking business.

And more importantly, I still have a Facebook business page and a LinkedIn account where I share my positive messages. It is very important for me to still try to be a positive voice in the world of social media.

I no longer spend hours each day mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I no longer spend time posting pictures of myself, or my food, or my family, or all the random things that go on during my day.

It truly has been a freeing experience.

I do miss interacting with my friends but the best part about this is new journey is that I’ve been much more intentional about interacting with them in person rather than just through a screen.

Life without social media is better for me. Much better.

And that is why I made the decision to quit social media.

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