52 thoughts on “Why I Ditched Social Media and Never Looked Back

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  1. Robyn

    Great post! I just took three weeks off of social media, and although it was a little painful at first, each day I spent less time thinking about it. I found so much time to read entire books, get some chores done, etc. It really opened my eyes to how much I was fooling myself by thinking “it’s just 15 minutes here and there”- those multiple sessions of endless scrolling really add up!

    And you’re right- there is a floaty feeling that comes with the freedom from constant comparison and consumption. I’ve logged back on to my accounts, but feel better equipped to limit how much time I spend there. And the best benefit of taking a hiatus is that the desire to be there actually wanes quite a bit. :)

    Reply
  2. Sorcha

    I don’t think I’ll ever give up social completely but I’m definitely more interested in only using the platforms I enjoy. Too much digital clutter is just as bad as too much physical clutter!

    Reply
  3. Daisy

    Great post, Jessica! I first thought of ditching social media entirely when Alexandra Franzen shared her thought about it (http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2015/08/19/why-i-do-not-use-social-media-anymore/) and you’re reminding me to be intentional about it.

    I have a lot of long-distance friends I only meet once a year, and social media’s the way I can remain close with them in between those visits. Aside from that, my profiles are generally pretty quiet these days, and like you said, I never realized what a time suck they were until I stopped using them so much! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      I agree that social media, when used intentionally, is a great tool. Personally I have friends in another country and just lately I’m challenging myself to writing letters instead of sending emails. It takes more time, but who doesn’t love receiving mail?! And thank you for your lovely comments!

      Reply
  4. Kasey

    Yes! I gave up Instagram and Facebook at the start of the year and I haven’t looked back. I wouldn’t say I’ve been more productive but I definitely feel the “light as a feather” comparison you reference above. Pre-the downsize I’d walk around feeling like I had to take pictures of everything to eventually upload to one of the platforms (mostly Instagram). I like not feeling like this anymore; The unnecessary, ridiculous pressure. Now I just enjoy what’s around me.

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  5. Our Frugal Escapades

    As someone who was born in the seventies long before we had the internet, I can certainly see myself getting along just fine without social media. I am convinced that too much social media presence can eventually lead one to become antisocial in a sense. All I have to do is think back to all of the social and community events I was a part of way back when compared to today. Big difference! I think it would be more beneficial if we spent a little less time on social media and a little more time actually socializing! – Mrs. FE

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      That’s a great way of phrasing it! Just because social media is labelled ‘social’ doesn’t mean it’s sociable! Hopefully you’re inspired to downsize digitally – and perhaps do without social media at all :)

      Reply
  6. Lindsey

    I cannot speak to getting rid of social media (maybe some day), but a lot of what you are describing came when my boyfriend and I decided to get rid of all internet in our home (initially a monetary decision, but now, perhaps, a lifestyle decision). We still have our phones (with a limited data amount–once its gone for the month its gone), but as a result we are doing other things. Tackling other projects. I find that our house is cleaner, dishes done more frequently. I’ve been utilizing my cookbooks more and getting rid of stuff we don’t need. When we do need internet for a prolonged period of time we walk to library or a cafe and enjoy each other’s company at the same time. You get the picture. Not exactly the same thing, but without limitless access to the internet we do check our social media less. And boy is it nice.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Lindsey, sorry my reply is very late – I recently went through an experience similar to yours. My home did not have internet for three months, so if I wanted to use the computer I had to go to my local library. It definitely helped me be more intentional with my internet usage and, as you observed, chores were done more frequently! Now home internet has been restored I’ve noticed a dramatic drop in my productivity, so thank you for your comment as it helped me realize I need another break away from the internet.

      Reply
  7. Dacero

    Great article!! I ditched social media and dont have a facebook, twitter or instagram, and deleted my whatsapp account more than a year ago for good, this year played around with telegram for a couple of months, deleted it 2 weeks ago, it was too time consuming and in the end you are wasting your time chit chatting, there is no mistery with those apps, I live better without them. What do you think about instant messaging apps, do you use whatsapp or those kind of apps?

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Dacero, thank you! Great question – I used Google hangouts earlier in the year for a while (as a free alternative to texting). Instant messaging isn’t really under the same umbrella as social media. I haven’t used it recently as I simply prefer email, texts, writing letters, etc.

      Reply
  8. Kayla

    Deleted my Facebook a month ago, and it honestly feels great. The reason I deleted Facebook was due to having a breakdown over it, Taking up my time in the day, not talking to my Family, Snapping at others for no reason, and not getting things done… So after I had taken my account down it feel wonderful. Deleted twitter a couple months back, barley getting on youtube. I guess I’m just getting tired of it.. I get ahold of my family, and friends by calling them, and mailing them… Time flies by quick… Don’ waste it by being consumed with Social media.. My relationship with family, and friends has mended back, and it makes me happy…

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  9. Lianne

    Im planning on taking a detox soon as I’m convinced it’s the best thing for me… but what about work? My blog is my business. Social media is my way of connecting with opportunities (I believe) so does anyone have tips on how to get around that? Do I just share to social media and never check my messages? Do I boycott everything and rely on my SEO? Does Pinterest count? I can’t stand social media but it’s where my audience is :/

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      A detox sounds great – especially as you’re convinced it’s the best thing for you! I don’t know what’s involved with running a blog, but I do know that I want to wake up excited every single day to go to work (or to work from home). I want to wake up feeling like I’m making a difference and enjoying myself in the process. If those feelings are resonating with you, I really encourage you to take a break from social media. You could even involve your audience by blogging about it.
      So don’t be afraid of taking time to rediscover what’s important to you. Don’t be apologetic for taking time to explore alternatives. Who knows, you might even inspire your audience to do the same! I hope you’ve found this helpful & I’d love to hear how you get on :)

      Reply
    1. Molly

      I see you’re not going to respond, which I guess I understand why now that I see you have a strong presence on social media. Was this article written just to get traffic? Disappointing.

      Reply
      1. Anna Newell Jones

        Hi Molly, this article wasn’t written by me. It was a guest post by Jessica. My guess is that Jessica hasn’t responded to your original comment because she’s not as plugged into social media to see every comment and notification. Although some days I feel like I should, I haven’t taken a break from social media yet. ;-)

        Reply
    2. Jessica Beer

      Hi Molly, sorry I didn’t reply to your comment sooner. As Anna pointed out, I’m not plugged in to any social media networks so it’s a little harder to keep track of comments! In reply to your question, I have not yet returned to social media nor plan to in future. I’ve toyed with the idea of Instagram, as lately I’ve been getting into photography, but I’m simply not convinced returning to social media is what’s best for me. I know it would end up being a timewaster, even if I started out with good intentions.
      Having said that, what’s best for you (or anyone else, for that matter) is entirely dependent on your circumstances! I’m not ‘anti social media’, rather I think too many people have jumped on the social media bandwagon without fully considering the pros and cons.
      Hope that answers your question & do let me know what you think of social media!

      Reply
  10. Anonymonousos

    Wow. I just deleted most of my social Media accounts a few days ago except for Pinterest and Tumblr. Mainly because I use those two sites as inspiration for my art and recipes, plus I never interact with people on those sites. But, I found this article by mistake and felt so good about closing my social media accounts that I had to share my comment on social media. Hope this is not too long!
    I’ve always had issues with social media. I am old enough to remember when Facebook came out (Ha, I’m not that old!!) and when I started my Facebook account it was not like how it is now. But I’ve always thought social media was toxic and most people don’t even see it that way. Social media is just a place for people to log in to this fake” internet world” and log out of real life and real friendships. I’d deleted my Facebook account months ago along with Snapchat and Twitter but I couldn’t let go of Instagram. I was just a little obsessed with Instagram….ok maybe a lot obsessed with Instagram and it was taking over my life. I had told myself that my Instagram account was just for my business and I needed it so people can see my stuff. Sadly enough, Instagram was just making me feel sad, unattractive, lonely and unsuccessful. I’d realized the guy I was interested in had no interest in me romantically and had no interest in even being friends with me. Not even on Instagram. I felt so down and sad everyday when I used Instagram and I’d had enough of it. It was taking my time away from me and not to mention draining my energy so I decided to delete my account. Instagram was not so great for my Mental Health or sanity. It never will be either.
    That’s why #5 stuck out to me the most because you realize how fake and phoney people really are and that most people are not your friends. They don’t have you best interest at heart. That guy was never my friend and never will be.
    Logging into the real world is much better for my mind body and soul. I feel lighter, I feel better. I don’t have this urge to check my Instagram account to see if that guy is talking to me. I don’t feel bad about how I look anymore. I feel 1000% better and I hope that other people start to realize how toxic social media is becoming. Social media is a dark place, even if you try to be as positive as you can be. Some people think I’m a weirdo for saying social media is dark and toxic but it is lol. This article has made me realize I’m not the only one who feels this way and that I’m not alone. I’ve connected more to my family, real friends and to the world around me. I’m more aware than I’ve ever been and I love the closer connection to myself, God and nature.
    Ty for this.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this article! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with social media. Definitely the best thing about getting rid of it is having the time to reconnect with the things important to you. As you said, I too have experienced a deeper connection with myself, God, and nature. It is so freeing to spend time doing things you love without worrying about sharing it on social media.

      Reply
  11. Zu

    Love this post! It’s coming to three weeks since I disconnect from social media and, it’s weird to say this, but leaving the social media realm is so refreshing. I’m keeping Instagram though – for my pet cat daily activities. I keep it strictly within the animal lovers community – to share and gain cat parenting advises. I’d always remind myself that the primary reason I ditched Facebook and Instagram (I deleted my personal account) is to escape from the constant unhealthy comparison and negative posts that spread wildly these days. I’m enjoying my life in private! Don’t you agree that a private life is a happy life?

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Zu, your comment has given me some food for thought! I’m inclined to agree that “a private life is a happy life”. However, privacy means different things to different people. One person might conclude that a happy life is living in a remote place by themselves, whereas another might be happy living in a city but keeping their affairs to themselves. So I feel it would depend on the individual’s take on ‘privacy’, but thanks for sharing your thoughts, they have given me much to think about!

      Reply
  12. Ana Chades

    No facebook, no Instagram, no nothing!
    I really feel good with my decision to back to MY center, you know, in face I am backing to MY real Life! I ditched social media and i’ll see the progress of it in MY Life… God bless us!
    And I Loved this article??

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  13. Jen

    Great article. So many people waste their lives on social media and screen time. Life is meant to be truly lived, and there’s so much beauty around us that people aren’t experiencing. So many people don’t even speak to one another in the same home. I know many children longing for a conversation with their parents but their parents don’t put down their devices. People look at pictures on social media of sunsets instead of experiencing a real one. So many kids have a device stuck in their hands so early in life and they are very anti social and don’t know how to play or experience life. Sad. I have to do some social media for work and hate it. I am on Instagram myself as I am a photographer, but lately i just am not a fan of any of it as I see how screen tims is a complete addiction to so many people. Thanks for this article.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Thanks for your observations, Jen. I too have noticed an increased dependency on digital devices amoungst adults and children alike, and I agree it is very frustrating to see. But it also prompts me to look inward and ask myself deeper questions about my own screen time and internet habits, so I try to remind myself that it’s better to share about living without social media than it is to judge someone else for using it. Sharing your story is a good way to inspire others to change.

      Reply
  14. Frances

    Great post!! Just went off IG and deactivated my fb. At first I felt that little panic feeling. lol. I’m just on day 3. And
    I pick up my phone and just look at it. Nowhere to go has been pretty dang nice! I can’t wait to get past the month marker and be totally free of it. I’m keeping Pinterest because it’s not so much a social media. And I’ll keep my blog. But the two time wasters are history. Yay!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Frances, I hope you are still going strong without social media. I’m glad you could see instagram and facebook for what they are: timewasters! Sadly so many people will never come to that realization. Thanks for your thoughts & all the best for life without social media!

      Reply
  15. Lee M

    Great post. I deleted my Facebook Account permanently a couple of weeks ago and was the best thing I have ever done. Twitter gone too. Kept Instagram as this is for photos only. I found every time I went on FB I was constantly seeing negativity and people living fake lives and wasting far too much precious time on there for nothing. I suffer from depression and have done for the last 3 years. I really do think that Social media played a huge part in this too which is an interesting way of looking at things.
    I deactivated my Facebook on many occasions and always went back. At least now by deleting it permanently I won’t go back.
    I feel like a weight has been lifted since coming off social media. People actually ring me now or text me. Plus When I do catch up with friends I can sit down and go through my holiday photos on my phone rather than posting everything online.
    When I came off social media people thought I was crazy and didn’t think I could do it. I highly recommend this to anyone who needs a break from it.

    Reply
  16. Makeda

    Hi guys. I have Deleted my Facebook, Instagram and Messanger account. For a 20 year old I have been spending constant time on Facebook since I was 12 years old first it was fun spending hours and hours on social media sounds nice huh instead of me going out and communicating with others I preferred to be home on social media 24/7 meet my first boyfriend on Facebook everything was Facebook eventually I start-seeing a lot of negative things which send me into a negative thinking patterns suddenly sent me into all kinds of negative thoughts depression sleepless nights days etc So I have seen my parents lived without social media and they are happy strong focous and I want that life also because they are role models and my role models which I know about so now I prefer to spend most time doing Mathematics, going out socializing etc I even wish I never had a social media account it cost me a lot of time and I stop letting it do … It’s hard but I believe by Gods grace I will better without social media even curtain tv channels like LMN it only focous on negative things Thank you

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Makeda, you make a good point that our parents survived – and thrived – without social media, so I think that makes it pretty obvious it’s not necessary for our happiness or well-being :) I’m sure you will have a more fulfilling life than most other young people thanks to your realizations.

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  17. Addict

    I used to love my social media accounts. I loved following inspiring people, learning about things, getting ideas. There also came a time when I got anxious about not measuring up next to others and felt the need to share everything. I started to allow social media to take over my life and I had had enough. A few years ago I gave it up for a good few years. This time I’ve given it up and I haven’t said for how long. It’s been a few months and it doesn’t bother me anymore. I like the feeling of going for a walk or on a holiday without needing to tell anyone. My life is calmer and better for it and I’m certainly more present. Each day one day at a time and who knows, maybe one day I’ll use it sparingly but for now I’m enjoying my own company and the many laughs I share with those closest to me who know me best.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      The way I see it the one good thing about social media is that it is a great tool for inspirational images and motivational messages. It’s when we see others people’s private lives that comparison takes hold. Even if you do go back to social media you will have learnt so much just from taking time away from it and lessons learned from your observations without it.

      Reply
  18. Sean

    Really good article! I very much feel like I need to detox from social media. I’m spending far too much time on it and not getting stuff done. I’m a freelance photographer so don’t have to be at an office working so it’s easy to just get up, go online, and the next thing a few hours have passed. It is a bit of a catch 22 as I have used Facebook and Instagram to connect with people in the industry effective and put my work out there. But at what cost? The really bad one for me is YouTube! I’m finding I watch far too many videos that don’t really add any value to my life, and it really sucks one time. So I need to come up with some kind of strategy and a way forward.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Sean it definitely sounds like you would benefit from a social media break. I also work freelance so I know how easy it is to check emails first thing and spend several hours trawling through YouTube. I’m not on social media myself but I often get the urge to check out other creatives. My current strategy is to block social media sites with a Chrome app called Block Site – just copy and paste this address in your browser https://blocksite.co/ Hope that helps!

      Reply
  19. Alyssa

    I recently deleted all of my social media and only kept Messenger to keep up with my friends and group chats. I’m a PhD student and it was the best choice I ever made. Even during the first few days (which tend to be the hardest) I barely thought about it. Deleting it has kept me grounded in the present moment, increased my productivity and instantly eliminated a lot of anxiety that I had.

    Great post!

    Reply
  20. Anne

    Instagram is my main source of distraction on my phone. I think I will keep the account open but delete the app off my phone. And see what happens! I deletdled Facebook off of my phone two years ago and totally dont miss it. The account still exists but is linked to my insta posts. I never log on anymore and have no desire to do so. But maybe its time for insta to go too. I’ll give it try!! Thanks for the advice!!

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Anne, it sounds like you’ve done a great job of removing the apps from your phone. If you think you can do without Facebook altogether then I really encourage you to give it a try. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  21. Nancy

    I totally agree with you! Those are all the reasons I ditched Facebook.
    It is so freeing. And I feel like I am staying in touch with the ones that matter!

    Reply
  22. Tracye

    I got off FB because of a Ex stalking me on FB and feeling the need to keep making him happy to know what lm doing I changed my number and email but I couldn’t stop FB until now I was depressed not living feeling anxious all the time I need to stay away and focus on me

    Reply
  23. Odie

    Is it really possible to have 200, 300, 1000 friends? Heck, I have around 5 close friends and it can be exhausting just trying to carve my time amongst them, on top of balancing my own life career etc.
    I haven’t been on social media for more then 5 years and my life couldn’t be better. Family and friends pick up the phone and call me if they want to get hold of me.
    I surf, I garden, I travel, I hike, I read, I work, I cook, I’m productive, I do sh1t. I don’t need to spend mindless hours on social media sites.

    Reply
  24. Fran

    Thanks for this article. I resonate with the confused and disoriented part. I have ditched all social completely one year ago. I am going to share what happened to me, not for bragging, but maybe this helps someone else, who like me feels their lives are being wasted. For whatever its worth here it is:

    This is a list of really hard, but really rewarding things I’ve experienced:

    – Had to work learning my self-worth w/o others validation: Using social to “get friends” quickly turned into a popularity contest. Add a failed friendship (that I learned to manipulate with targeted imagery to be liked by that certain someone) and I saw my confidence burn in flames. And what did I get in return? Nothing except for feeling like a fool.

    – Filled my life with things that actually make my life meaningful: I ditched the scrolling for 30 minutes/day of learning an instrument and 1 hour of drawing lessons after work. I learned to persevere and I no longer compare my journey to others.

    – Took a certification class: Helping a lot with my work :)

    – Learned to do things not for likes but because I love them: Social media quickly became a medium for me to show off my record collection… and I would put too much thought on the right post. Looking back I cringe non-stop. While I always thought of my self as a “music lover” I’m sure the message I was giving out was “I’m bragging”. Who wants to be that a-hole? Quickly realized that people that “liked” my posts, just did it b/c they were mindlessly scrolling, they may have the same record, or they are on a “like-for-like” game. So there is nothing creative or expressive there as much as social media platform sells itself. AGAIN there’s nothing creative about posting a picture.

    – Instead of “bragging” about records I buy, I actually put some thought on the music I listen to and I have been writing reviews for an anonymous on-line forum where there’s no likes just idea exchange.

    – I live influence- free: When did getting influenced become cool? That’s terrible path to choose. I always had a moral discrepancy with the whole idea of “influencers “. But I still consumed the bs despite truly feeling uncomfortable. I’m happy I respected myself and my beliefs enough to quit.

    – It’s been a year of full-on building myself up. It’s not hard not having social media if you play it right. That’s a myth. I chose not to be a follower, an influenced sheep. I chose my life.

    Reply
    1. Jessica Beer

      Hi Fran, thanks for your thoughts. Your comments are so well articulated and you hit the nail on the head when you said “it’s not hard not having social media if you play it right”. I hope your words provide food for thought for others, as they certainly have for me :)

      Reply
  25. Pfanelo Munyai

    THANKS FOR SUCH A GREAT ARTICLE!

    I deleted my Facebook account December last year and I don’t even miss it,at the moment I was still using Instagram and whatsApp. These two apps are so time wasting, clearly I would say Instagram is useless since I’m not marketing through it but whatsApp is much better because I am a student, so we share some ideas and academic stuff through it, but at the end of the both the apps gives me anxiety, stress and depression all the time. I am so attached to them. Even though whatsApp helps me at some times ,I came to a conclusion that I had to ditch it due to my mental health, I hope I’ll be fine without it ,I pray that God be with me through this , I’m feeling so free and light.

    Thank you so much again.

    Reply
  26. Chris

    Good post! I used to try slaving away on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook building a following. Then I realized how pointless it was. I hadn’t realized that what I was doing was not going to get me acknowledgment or monwy because i wasn’t doing anything bwsides powting motivational content bots would troll. I wasn’t doing anything like selling or porducing content that was exclusive. I didn’t like that i was chasing likes for hours a day. It wasn’t my aim but it’s what I was doing without even realizing it. Give up social media, period. Find people in real life to relate to if you don’t already. So many of us become internet friends and think we’re making enough effort to know someone.

    TLDR;
    Give up social media altogether is my advice. Ditch it for good and never look back. It’s made to addict. And does a really good job at it.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones

      Hi Chris! Thank you for sharing that experience. It’s so important to know what we do on social media and we gain from it and give to it.
      Is also true it affects our genuine social life, sometimes for the better, but not always.

      Reply
  27. Darth Illus

    I left social media two years ago. The psychological aspects in themselves are worth it to be honest. I feel freer, more productive and less jealous all the time of people. Social media creates envy to the extent we cannot even fanthom and creates depression due to undue comparisons.

    Reply

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