Why I deleted my social media

Why I quit social media

After I got home from my last trip abroad, I deactivated my Facebook account. It had been contributing to a negative state of mind for a few months, so I knew it had to go. While my Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat accounts are still active, I typically don’t have them installed on my phone, and I try to avoid spending time on them as much as possible.

Here are the biggest benefits I’ve found since minimizing social media’s influence on my life.

1) Social media might make you more depressed

Studies have linked social media use to higher rates of depression, and I certainly found this to be the case in my own life. Even though I’ve been off of Facebook for a few months, I know that an extended session on Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest can make me feel discontented and unhappy.

While there are things I don’t have or can’t afford, and sometimes other people’s lives look very different from mine in a way I’m envious of, when I don’t focus on those things, I am a lot happier.

2) I have more free time

TV and the internet are such massive time sinks. During my last trip in the UK, I didn’t have my laptop with me, and I was astonished how freeing it was to not be on my computer all the time. I watched TV now and then in my hotels, but overall I had much more time to work on hobbies and do things I was actually interested in instead of just turning my brain off and watching a show or scrolling through Facebook.

Over the course of my month-long trip, I had time for the following activities that I almost never did back home:

  • Writing in a journal each day
  • Reading two classic books (The Scarlet Pimpernel and A Room with a View)
  • Making a cross-stitch bookmark
  • Practicing taking photos
  • Going to bed early

Now that I’m back home, I try to fill my evenings by spending time with friends, being active, drawing, or reading instead of being online. I feel a lot better about myself when I’m investing time in my talents and hobbies instead of feeling like I’ve wasted it on Facebook.

I’m also more productive at work, since social media isn’t there to distract me.

3) Friends text me instead

I was concerned I would miss out on events that are posted on Facebook, but my schedule has been busier than ever. I let my closest friends know that I wasn’t on Facebook anymore, and they text me whenever I am invited to something (or send a Snapchat, which is why I haven’t gotten rid of that app entirely).

Generally, when I see friends or family throughout the week (at church, class, etc.), I find out what they have going on that week and see if there’s anything I can join them for.

I also keep an eye out for local events on posters and billboards that look entertaining, and I join email lists for groups I’m interested in.

4) I’m more grateful for what I have

When I’m not constantly playing the social media comparison game or checking up on people I envy, I feel good about my own life. I am able to focus on ways I want to improve rather than on ways I feel I can never measure up. I appreciate my friends and family, the city I live in, and my work more because I am enjoying them for what they are and not how they compare or look to others.

I think social media can be a valuable tool for some purposes, but having gotten rid of it, I don’t miss it at all. I am also meeting more and more people who have given it up like I did. Have you tried giving up social media? What was your experience, or what’s holding you back?

For more posts on travel and mental health, click the ellipsis at the top of the page and select Follow blog via email. Thanks for reading!

12 thoughts on “Why I quit social media

  1. I like WordPress for getting news and updates. I am like you, I don’t have my Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest account install on my phone. The fewer the apps the better, and no game apps. To distracting and to many notifications. I really wish I could get off of Facebook, but I manage several business accounts on Facebook. Every time I log out, something bad happens and I need to start monitoring it again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, I always get so distracted by apps on my phone so it is better to just take them off altogether.
      Facebook is great for building and managing businesses, so someday I will probably end up joining again with a business-only account.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know that! I really enjoyed it. 🙂 There was so much beautiful imagery of Italy and England, and it also had unexpected and interesting perspectives on being educated and urbanized. Plus it was a fast read! What did you think of it? Miss you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually read it before I got to Italy so it was the perfect tour guide to Florence haha 😉 it’s a shame though that Forster demonises the ‘religious’ characters, but it was still a good read to fill time when solo travelling 🙂 Miss you too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As you say, I think social media is a valuable tool for some people. However if it’s a detriment to your mental health then you’re better away from it. If people want to be in your life they’ll still make an effort and catch-ups are perhaps more rewarding as you haven’t seen what eachother have been up to over Facebook, IG, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat and everything else.

    Personally I’m not likely to quit social media any time soon but I can see why others do! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your response, Jason! I agree that it is up to each person to use or not use social media in a way that is most beneficial for them. I have been happy to find that people do still reach out when they want to catch up. Ultimately friendship is friendship with or without Facebook. I appreciate your perspective! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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