How many times have you tried to quit social media? Well I quit for over a month and I felt like a new and improved human being afterwards.
Reconnect with Friends
I remember when I first started using social media especially Facebook. It was simple and you were able to reconnect with people you forgot about. It was so cool to get the inside scoop on friends and old classmates who you hadn’t seen in years. You no longer had to small talk about your life when you saw people in person because social media did all the talking for you. I would see folks out and they were so proud of me, amazed at all my travels, congratulated me for my accomplishments and told me how beautiful my family was. You sort of felt like a celebrity at times.
More Money More Money
I used it for leverage in business too. When I was a realtor, I had people asking me to sell their home and they never even met me before. And everyone wanted to work with me because my LInkedIn activity let them know I was a trustworthy person and good businessman. I would consistently post content about short sales and over time I ended up becoming the expert in the minds of my soon to be customers. I made a lot of money using social media.
Love Hate Relationships
It was so fun. You felt important and you believed all of the hype. Until you realized that feeling would not last. For as many people that were happy to see you doing well, there were many more that secretly despised you. And it wasn’t all there fault, it’s easy to become annoying posting about any and everything. Your opinions ring loud in the social world and since your posts can be seen by anyone, you build just as many enemies as supporters.
Social Media Addict
Our daily emotions are shaped from social media. Whether we are debating about our favorite sports team or player, getting frustrated discussing political views, or just arguing in the comment sections about the most trivial things. You spend so much time trying to convince others to understand your point of view. It controls so many aspects of our life. We wake up to it, go to work thinking about it, and can’t go to sleep without it. We love the likes, the comments, the friends, the followers — it is extremely addictive and the more we use it, the less we focus on ourselves.
Search Inside Yourself
I’ve had a lot of success using social media. But over time, I realized how much it consumed me. And too much of anything is too much. Social media offers some value but at what cost? It’s not real life! It’s a bunch of highlights covering up the realities of life. Everyone wants to share their perfect self and not willing to accept and deal with the imperfections of self. It creates a society of followers who look to social media to figure things out versus searching inside yourself to find the answers.
To add, I have a lot of really important things going on in my life. My time is precious, but I would always find time to post on social media. And for me, this was a problem. Why am I so consistent posting on the social channels when I get little benefit from it? My energy should be focused on my personal activities and journey.
Delete Delete Delete
So I decided to take some time away from it. At that point, the longest I’ve been off was a few days. This time I wanted to push for a month. I deleted so many apps in the past only to add them back over and over again. This time I would go ‘cold turkey.’ This meant I wouldn’t respond to any messages, post any status updates, or share any posts. When I let a few friends and family know what I was gonna do, they asked “why.” They believed it wasn’t that serious to take a break. Well it was for me. I needed to do this to take back control of my life. So this meant no more Facebook, Instagram (IG), Snapchat or Twitter. Ready, set, go!!
I don’t know what I was expecting to achieve by quitting social media. I thought maybe life would revert back to how it was pre-social media. But I honestly forgot what that was like. I think it was the time when you actually met people out and talked to them without having a clue what was happening in their life. I was also hoping to use my experience to let people know they don’t really need it. Time is our most precious so we have to make every second count. With that extra time, maybe we would read and even exercise more. So let’s see how this goes.
It was actually pretty hard starting out and I was tempted on many occasions to not do it. You don’t realize how often you check your phone to see if you have a notification. You post a thought or idea with the anticipation of getting a like or comment. It controls you! I grew accustomed to sharing my day through Snapchat and IG stories, and whenever I wanted feedback or validation of something, I would post on Facebook. Not having this made me self-reflect more and seek out other ways to get answers like Google or just to talk to people face to face. After the first week, I was developing a habit of not needing it and I felt so free. But although I didn’t post or share content on the social channels, I would peek in from time to time. And it’s amazing what you discover when you are just listening and not talking. Viewing others helped me to understand how to use it more effectively.
You Have the Power
I realized during this time, that I didn’t need social media, it needed me. Instead of dealing with our issues head on, we just scroll and scroll not realizing how much it takes us away dealing with those issues. I knew I would eventually get back on. But when I did, I would only share content for my benefit. I believe we all should disconnect from time to time and it will help us see and understand why we obsess about it daily.
I recently launched my personal brand and I am still building a mobile application BOTY. And the majority of my web traffic comes from these social channels. So until I get to a more comfortable place in my businesses, I need it to grow. But this just proves my point that social media should be used to benefit you and not the other way around. As far as my personal interactions, I learned the best way to interact with the people you love and really care about is to pick up the phone or send a text.
Take a Break
I encourage you all to take a break from social media from time to time. In fact, here are 5 reasons to take a break sooner vs. later. We have to get back to interacting with people in person. And if and when we do use it, understand all the good and bad that goes with it. If it controls your life, take a step back and make a change. In fact, take a step back anyway because I’m sure you probably have not accepted that it controls you. I will continue to use it as I believe the good outweighs the bad (not by a far margin). Plus I have a strategy when I use it.
Overall, I was really excited yet nervous of quitting social media at first. I thought I would miss out on a ton of things and lose out on business. It actually turned out to be the best choice I’ve ever made and I really encourage you to do the same. Business is about connecting and interacting with people face to face and so is building personal relationships. You can always go back, but see how you feel after taking a break from it. Try a few weeks and let me know how you feel!