Eight months ago I deactivated and/or deleted the few remaining social media accounts that I had. Last week I shared about all the things that I miss about being on social media. You can find that post here:
Today I’m sharing all the things that I DON’T miss about Social Media. Here they are (in no particular order):
- The Time Suck
This probably goes without saying, but I don’t miss the time suck that social media constantly was for me. To be fair–YES–I can absolutely waste time doing all sorts of things (and trust me, I have)… BUT, there is just something so pervasive about social media. It’s like a black hole. Or a time warp. I would pick up my phone to do one thing and the next thing I knew, 30 minutes had flown by and I was looking at random photos of someone that I didn’t even know.
- The Noise
You know what I don’t miss at all? The constant feed about ALL. THE. THINGS. The complaining. The politics. The fear. The ignorance. The hate. The filters. If you’ve never felt the utter suffocation of the noise of social media, then it’s probably just because you’ve never been away from it long enough to notice how loud it is. Have you ever been sitting in your house when the power goes out? You may have even been sitting in what you thought was “silence”, but as soon as the power goes out, you realize just how loud everything is. I’ve found it to be a lot like that with social media. You may build up a “tolerance” for it, but it’s still there and no one is immune to it.
- The Obligation to Have an Opinion about EVERYTHING
I know I might be opening a giant can of worms here, but I don’t care. Earlier this week I was chatting with one of my best friends and she was mentioning some of the bizarre and destructive things that she’s seen posted or had sent to her since Russia invaded Ukraine. It brought back so many memories of times in the past when crisis or tragedy have hit the world and millions of us (myself included) have taken to social media to “advocate” for others. There is immense pressure to have an opinion and share it with the world– as soon as possible. Nevermind taking your time to educate yourself or choosing to just be silent and pray (unless you tell everyone that you’re going to be silent and pray, of course).
- Getting my “News” from Facebook (also Polarization, Censorship and all that nonsense)
Entire books have been written on this topic, so I’m not going to spend too much time here. It just blows my mind to know that what you see on your feed is intentionally crafted and catered to align with your specific tastes and opinions (thanks to algorithms), so everyone is seeing the world through a filter without even realizing it. I can’t tell you all enough how amazing it has felt to get my news and information from a variety of sources and people.
You know what’s really awkward? Making a new friend in real life (yes, some people still do this) and really enjoying their company… but then (here’s the awkward part), “friending” them online and feeling like their profile is for a completely different person. Turns out that so many of the weird or hurtful things that people post publicly online aren’t always the same things that they go around talking about. And (thank God) most people don’t sit down with you over coffee and show you all the filtered selfies they took this week. This might sound silly, but I actually like people more since I haven’t been on social media.
So where does this leave me exactly? On one hand I’ve got a whole bunch of reasons why I genuinely miss being able to make connections with friends online… and on the other hand I’ve got a whole different group of reasons why my life is legitimately better because I walked away from social media. Like I’ve shared before, I don’t think there is one solution to the social media epidemic. It’s something that I think each individual needs to be intentional, prayerful and diligent about. So who knows… I might never log onto a social media site again… or I might decide to make it part of my life again in some way next month. But, for now, here are my favorite books on this topic.
- Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
- 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
- Switch on Your Brain by Caroline Leaf