What Happened When I Quit Social Media

an essay by colie (my sister!)

Technology is a very complicated thing. In some ways technology has changed our lives for the better. It helps us communicate quicker and more effectively, and it has transformed the way we run our businesses, buy everything from clothes to groceries, and use transportation. While I am glad it exists, I've always had a love/hate relationship with technology. I am currently in winter quarter (aka death quarter) of graduate school, and decided to do a little experiment with myself (and my fiance who chose to do it with me -thanks Logan). I deleted all of my social media on my phone and deactivated my accounts starting in mid-December. My plan is to be without social media until the end of the quarter on March 26th. It's been over a month without social media and I've seen quite a few differences.

  • There is more time and space in my life.

    • I used to get lost on my phone or laptop for so long-sometimes hours-mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. I would check the screen again minutes after just having looked. It was scary how much time I was spending in front of a screen. Without social media, I am on my computer way less. After I finish an assignment I close my laptop and move on to actually doing something, such as having a conversation with my cousin/roomie, or cooking, or doing a different assignment (lol). There is more space to think and more productivity in my life.

  • I care less about F.O.M.O. and focus more on friendships I've prioritized

    • It is so much easier to focus on the individuals in my life that I have chosen to do life with. I am no longer constantly looking at what other people are doing and endlessly comparing their experiences against my own. This used to be so exhausting, and I constantly felt like I wasn't fun enough or interesting enough. Now I don't even think about that and I spend way more time actually engaging with those around me. It's awesome :---)

  • It's helped with anxiety

    • Being glued to a screen so often is just bad for your mental health. While my anxiety is not totally gone (helllooo grad school), not having social media has helped immensely. I just feel more grounded and calm.

I’ve considered quitting social media cold turkey after this hiatus, but I’m not sure if I will. I love that social media helps me stay connected to my friends and family far away, and I miss that a little bit. This experience has mostly taught me that I need a more balanced relationship with social media and a break from time to time can be really healthy.

thanks colie! i’m not sure i’ll quit social media cold turkey but i do love restricting my use. have you ever quit social media for some period of time?