For too long, social media took over my life and I’d find myself looking down at my phone instead of being engaged with the world around me. The amount of time I used to spend on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. is mind-blowing and kind of depressing. In an attempt to get my life back, I decided to delete all my social media — and I was shocked at how much my life changed in a very short amount of time.
1. I’ve started focusing more on my hobbies.
Within a few hours of deleting all the social media apps off my phone, I realized that I needed something to distract myself from the FOMO I was experiencing. I went back to what my true passions were before social media took over my life, and writing was at the top of the list. All I needed was my computer, headphones, and a few hours of alone time.
2. Instead of liking a status or picture, I call or text people.
Commenting on someone’s Facebook wall or Insta Story to wish them a happy birthday or congratulate them on a life achievement is so robotic and unemotional. We should be picking up our phones and making it personal again. Once I started sending personal texts to my friends instead of commenting on their social media accounts, I stood out among everyone. I started to become a person again rather than being lumped into a bunch of randoms who took five seconds to post a generic message on the internet.
3. I quickly realized who my real friends are.
Deleting myself from social media was a true test of who was going to make it out alive. I was prepared to lose a few friends and flings in the process, and that’s exactly what happened. The people who made an effort to get in touch with me by text or phone were the ones I know truly care about me because we talk just as often now as we did before.
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5. I sleep so much better.
Not only did I discover the miracle of the “Do Not Disturb” button on an iPhone, but I also stopped incessantly checking Instagram before I fell asleep and actually looked at something other than a glowing screen before bed. I put down my phone and picked up a book instead. Reading slowed my brain down while social media stimulated it. I was able to shut down faster and fall asleep more easily.
6. I’ve stopped feeling judged and comparing myself to other people.
Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, when we’re scrolling through endless streams of ads, sponsored content, and influencer and celebrity drivel, we’re comparing ourselves and our lives to what we’re looking at. It’s the #relationshipgoals and the #gymdays that make us feel like we aren’t doing enough. Once I got off social media, I stopped all that and it felt pretty amazing. The only person I had to compare myself with was myself, and I loved it.
7. I don’t feel the need to jump every time my phone goes off.
Social media and phone addiction are real things, to the point where we jump up immediately when we hear that old notification ding. Being able to ignore that was one of the best experiences I never knew I needed. I started leaving my phone in my bedroom while I was getting ready for work or making breakfast, and while it was hard at first, now I don’t even think about it. It’s incredibly freeing.
8. I’m more present in and pay more attention to the world around me.
I used to spend way too much time taking selfies or pictures of my food, trees, and God knows what else to post on my Instagram. Since deleting my accounts, I’ve actually started putting down my phone and paying attention to what’s happening in the world around me. I feel much more alive and much less isolated this way.
9. I appreciate my appearance without having to snap a selfie every time.
The amount of time I spent getting the perfect lighting and angle for a selfie to get likes on Instagram was really sad when I sit back and think about it. Instead of taking a selfie for a stranger’s approval, I just need to look in the mirror instead and know that I’m beautiful. I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m trying.
10. I don’t feel as out of the loop as I expected.
Before deleting my accounts, I was afraid that I was going to miss an engagement or baby announcement. Then I realized half of those announcements are from people who were never close to me in the first place. I don’t need to know that the kid who sat behind me in chem class 10 years ago got engaged and is having a baby. My best friends are the only ones I care about achieving those big life milestones, and I’ll be the first one they call when it happens. I won’t hear about it from social media first, and that’s how I prefer it.
11. I’m still the same person without social media.
Considering I spent a large portion of my time on social media, I didn’t know what I’d be like without it. I was afraid I’d drift away from what was going on in the world and feel like a loser, but I’m still the same person I always was. I still talk to all of my best friends every day and am up to date on all their life events without social media. There’s always an option to go back, but for now, I’ll stick to life without it.