One day I woke up and decided to delete my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Account. I closed every group and site I had created, left every Group I was part of and deleted the accounts for good. I wanted to do this for a long time, but I always had reasons and also fears that held me back. All I want to say at this point is, that my life improved and leaving Social Media was a huge relief and a very small loss.
This story is about Why I did it and what happened after I had left.
Why I decided to leave Social Media for good
I don’t know exactly how it happened, but one day I realized that Social Media had became like mold. It slowly creeps into your life, not visible for the longer time, but poisonous. It gets into your body, your lungs, your brain, takes hold of you emotions, thinking and acting.
You think you are connected with the world and oversee how you lose connection with the actual world and people around you.
Instagram starts to destroy the present moment because you are busy photographing, filtering and posting it, and then observing how it goes in case of Instagram.
On Twitter you experience the anger, the cynicism, the aggression and frustration of random people you should never have met.
On Facebook you look at the pictures of wonderful and personal moments of other people, you get a little jealous, you suddenly also want to be on that beach, read that article, want that money or this success or the opposite. You want to share something too, nothing brings more “rewards” than a beautiful picture of yourself or the luxury Hotel you are in.
Stop feeding the monster – and eating from it
Over time, social media brings out the worst of me, you and most people. And I am not even a Teenager, but a grown woman, with a life, a decent education, a career, a past and a future. But Social Media functions on a level that speaks to our instincts, creates an unconscious reactivity and requires a lot of energy to be handled in a healthy way.
I am convinced, that the posts, tweets, pictures carry the inner and emotional state of the person sending it, and we, our body, our mind, our energy field gets in contact with it, we can read and connect to these states, even written, even on a physical and time-based distance.
We get affected and we get infected by the trillion negative emotions that are being uploaded, transmitted and inflated by Social Media. They don’t only add up in a linear way, they multiply each other and create reactive emotions like fear, anger, frustration and aggression. And no matter how reflected, educated and distanced you think you are, on an energetical level you are drawn into this field
Social media is not all bad, it has it good sides too.. but
Now you might say: well, there are so many great features, like being in contact with people you like, find people you thought you lost and get good advice and “I need it for my job”.
I would answer, that yes, this was my fear too: what would I be losing? First of all a platform to display myself and my personal life. Actually this is a good thing, because I feel I was way too open about this. I enjoyed the feedback, the acknowledgment, yes, I admit it.
What happened after I closed Facebook, Instagram and Twitter down?
I will list my fears that held me back for years from quitting – and what happened.
1. I will loose connection to people and become invisible out there.
Well yes, I have lost traction of where everyone is for vacation and how the spent the weekend and what they think about the vaccine. The truth is, I really don’t miss this information at all. I also don’t miss the fact that other people – many of which I have never met in person – don’t know about my status of relationship, location and emotional state. This year we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, the picture would have been a big hit on Social Media. There was this one moment that I regretted not to be able to share it, but then there was a second thought: how wonderful to keep this intimate moment between the two of us.
I rather decided to pay more attention to the people around me. And the amazing thing is, that I still have the same level of social life that I had with or without Social media. Absolutely nothing changed in my real life, except that I decided to now invite friends for dinner that I haven’t seen for a while. Social Media gives you the illusion that you are in contact anyway, but you are not.
2. I will miss critical information
I was so convinced that the real background information is shared on Twitter by all the journalists, politicians and scientists that I followed. The truth is – and I realize this only now – that I was overwhelmed by the amount of information, threads, sub-threads, graphs, comments and it all collapsed into a loud noise in my head. I felt like I couldn’t afford to not have this information – that is was my duty to be informed and get back-ground information on the vaccine, corona, Afghanistan, Trump, climate change and whatever.
Now I don’t have Twitter and my life has not deteriorated. I get in some way to all the critical information that I need and sometimes I get it 2 hours after Twitter. Most of my choices are not Twitter-Information based, I would have gotten the vaccine anyway, even without working myself through endless discussions and reports. I have more time now. I focus on the information and world around me, that is overwhelming and intense enough. And I read selected media on the internet. It is enough, I swear.
3. I need Facebook and Instagram for my business
No, I don’t. Yes, I had a Company Site and Community on Facebook but it never got a lot of traction. I shared my blog posts and Facebook and nobody cared. Facebook was not interested in my thoughts of life but in my pictures of my life. For example the beautiful show-off view from the terrace over the sea, how many billion of these same pictures have been shared across the world? By the way we save a lot of energy by not littering the world and servers with our uploaded pictures and by loading Feeds and movies into our mobiles.
However, I decided to stay on one platform for business visibility, which is LinkedIn. Here I merely show my professional persona, share my blogs and create my official image. That works for me. even though I would prefer to leave it too, it has become a terrible hunting and selling platform and it is difficult to keep away all the “Online B2B Lead Generators”, until lately this wasn’t even a thing. But the overall character of the platform is less personal offensive, aggressive and undermining.
And even if I left LinkedIn my life would go on and my clients would not stop working with me and recommending me. This is how I get to my clients, by doing great work and helping them, not be “Lead Generation” and “Ego-Inflation”. If I had a business model fully depending on Social Media I would be worried. Just imagine that there are people who have lost business just because Facebook was down for 6 hours!
4. What if I need advice, an apartment or have a question to the “crowd”?
I found out that there is still the good old google search where you get all the information in no time. Of course by asking for “great places to eat in Madrid” on a Google search I don’t get information from people I know and the whole bragging effect gets lost too. But there are amazing food bloggers, restaurant tips and by the way, I started again to ask locals and my Airbnb Hosts where to eat.
OK, now: my nephew is looking for an apartment, where do I post it? Nowhere. All I can do is message people I know who could have an idea, directly.
How my life is better now
I have been off social media for months and so far I have not disappeared from social life. I regained my peace of mind, time, and the ability to enjoy the present moment.
I have been on Facebook for about 15 years and it has become part of my life and almost identity, but now, only 2 months later I have totally forgotten about it.
Sometimes I sneak into my Husbands Instagram and Twitter account, that he absolutely never uses, and after a short time I want to get away from it. You know this feeling when you smoke a cigarette after a long time and realize how dreadful it tastes? This is what Twitter (in my opinion the most toxic platform) has become for me.
It is such a relief to not have to deal with all these opinions, feelings, emotions, information and energy of the whole world together but focus on the present moment and trust, that the right information and people will get to me in the right time, intensity and quality.
My life without social media is definitely even better.