Social Media Exile
One day in September of 2020, I woke and thought, “today is the day.” I had contemplated deleting my social media accounts before, but that day just felt like the time had come. I started with Facebook-owned products: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. I kept Twitter, since I used it more and it was related to my work, but after a month or so had passed, I decided to give it up as well.
What motivated me to do all this? I decided that I cared more about being focused, than feeling some sense of continual connection or being “in the know.” I figured that if I really needed to be in touch with someone or if they needed to be in touch with me, then they could use our mutual friends to do so. Focus was the big thing for me and I realized that my attention could no longer be a commodity. I wanted to read and write, but I felt a constant pull toward things that ultimately did not matter or were fleeting.
Seven months later
Seven months later, I figure it’s time to reflect. Some quick observations:
- I don’t miss my Facebook news feed.
- I don’t miss my Twitter timeline.
- I forget people’s birthdays all the time.
- Most people haven’t needed to be in contact with me, or at least I don’t know if they’ve needed to be. This is actually freeing.
- As far as I can recall, there hasn’t been anything that I haven’t been able to use other than the social media services themselves.