Why I’m Leaving Social Media
The reasons to do it are all around us…so maybe I should have titled this post, “Why Did It Take Me So Long to Finally Leave Social Media”? That’s the real question I keep asking myself…and it always came back to a short list of excuses. They’re the excuses that kept me engaged on those sites for soooo long, and a few might even sound familiar to you: (a) it gives me a way to keep up with my friends, (b) it allows me to stay on top of world events, (c) it’s entertaining, and (d) I can post videos and pictures of my babies for all of my family and friends to see.
Then one day — after listening to me air my frustrations for the umpteenth time — my husband said I should make a list of all the reasons I should walk away. Ugh. That’s not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I gave it a shot anyways. Here were the two, primary reasons I came up with: (a) the platforms are designed to help you waste time, and (b) they’re addictive, toxic, misleading, disappointing, performative, censored, disingenuous, exhausting, comparative, and empty. I could probably keep going, but those latter one-word answers are what came to my mind immediately. My number one reason, however, was my baby boys. As parents, I know how loudly our actions speak…and while it may sound trite, they easily speak louder than our words. Knowing this, I don’t want my children growing up thinking mama’s amount of “phone time” is normal, healthy, and okay, because it’s simply not.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I’m good at following my instincts and standing strong in my convictions. I realize that, to the outside world, leaving social media may look a little crazy…but I continue to remind myself of the many blessings that have come from having been obedient to my instincts and convictions. The fruits from those choices have all been well worth the chance of being labeled as someone who’s “a little crazy” for deleting “the apps”. I’m certainly not under the impression that it will be easy — these companies are really good at keeping us all hooked and wanting more…but I’m excited to begin doing what I can to lessen their grip on my attention and giving more time to the things that truly matter. And focusing on the most meaningful things in your life doesn’t always come naturally; it takes intention and practice.
And before you think that I’m going to quit cold turkey, I’m not. I’ve implemented a bit of Cal Newport’s (who my husband listens to!) wisdom and created a “dummy” account — an account where I don’t actually post anything but rather simply follow a *strict* set of accounts. This way, I can gather home, cooking, homeschooling, and other ideas, only logging into that account on a specific day and for a set amount of time each week. It’s like watching your favorite TV show — “entertainment” that’s on once a week, after which I’m logging off to be with the boys, whip something up in the kitchen, or write another blog post for y’all.
I have so many more thoughts on this topic that I’m hoping to share with you soon, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts below about where you stand with social media. Have you considered walking away as well? If so, what’s keeping you on them?