(Read time: 1 minute, 16 seconds)
No one can deny that social media has some value. It allows us to connect and network with others, contend with social norms, allow self-expression, remain tech savvy, create new opportunities, and grow our brands. But despite the many benefits, social media can have its drawbacks.
In my case, social media became an addiction. I was constantly tweeting or posting and I quickly became obsessed with growing my social media accounts. This led to #FOMO or fear of missing out. I couldn’t allow ten minutes to go by without checking my iPhone. And soon I was waking up in the middle of the night just to check on my social media accounts.
After a while my social media addiction effected my health and I became overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. I was completely exhausted from the lack of sleep. I was grumpy at work and I had a short fuse. It also impacted my career where I had substituted in-person networking for social media just so I could increase my digital footprint.
As a Gen Xer, I couldn’t help but look back and reflect on a time when we didn’t have social media. We didn’t have smart phones and the internet was just a baby. A time when Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist. Then I remembered how peaceful my life was, and how much more enjoyable my experiences were because I was able to focus on the present.
It didn’t take long before I got up the courage to cancel all four of my social media accounts. I said my final goodbyes to Facebook, Twitter*, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Not only did I survive, but changes were dramatic! I am much calmer, sleeping soundly, and more focused. Even better, I never miss out on the small but beautiful things about life that used to pass me by.
*In full disclosure, I have since gone back to Twitter, but I only use it sparingly.