I gave up on my social media presence and feel the need to evangelize. Here’s how I got there.
I had fallen into a habit. Every day when I got home from work I would flop down on the couch and go immediately to Instagram. I was tired and drained from work and I just wanted to be mildly amused after several hours of drudgery. After an hour or more on Instagram I wouldn’t be any less tired and by then feeling a little bad about myself. Looking in the mirror in my uniform, I didn’t look anything like the remarkably talented people I had been consuming. If I had the time and energy after making dinner I would attempt to work on a project before bed. But first, I would stop by Instagram to “get Inspiration”. There I would be inundated with pictures of finished pieces hanging in galleries, or full-time artists working in their airy studios. I would feel small, in every way imaginable. How could I possibly compete with anyone sitting in my obscure little corner, worn out from a day of obligation? I started making note of how I felt before and after spending time on Instagram and there wasn’t a single instance when Instagram made me feel better.
One day I just got rid of it. No announcement, no gradual winding down. I just cut it out. I’m slightly ashamed to admit it, but for the two weeks afterward, I would often go to pick up my phone only to realize that it wasn’t there anymore and I was just trying to distract myself. But after a while, I didn’t think about it anymore. I dyed my hair green, something I’d always wanted to do but held off because I didn’t think I could look as cool as everyone else I saw. I gauged my ears, something else I’d always wanted, but been afraid to do. Before long, I was noticeably happier than I had been. I looked more like how I wanted to look, I had more time and energy for things I thought were important.
Since then, I have also deleted my Facebook and am more careful than ever with how I do spend my time online. I’m not going to claim that getting off social media is some kind of magic bullet that will make you more productive, but I am happier and I’m not looking back.
TL;DR You don’t need a social media, other people need you to have social media.