Two months ago, I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts. I knew they were toxic, but I didn’t know how toxic.
Here are the ways my life has improved:
I don’t compare myself to others anymore.
As much as you might deny it, you are constantly comparing yourself to others on social media: the food you eat, the restaurants you eat at, the body you have, the fun you’re not having, the life achievements you’ve yet to accomplish etc… It’s endless and enormously harmful to your mental health. Without social media, I don’t compare myself to others anymore, and it’s unsurprisingly liberating.
I have so much more free time now.
I never really realized how much time I used to waste mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feeds. The first couple of days after deactivating, I would often find myself picking up my phone to get a quick fix (it’s an addiction after all), only to realize the only new updates I had were on LinkedIn. I’d swiftly put my phone down, and proceed to do something more worthwhile with my time. And trust me, you never really miss your profiles because guess what… they never added anything to your life to begin with
I only stay connected to the people who matter.
Do you really care if someone you took one class with back in your university days got married and has 12 kids? The incessant updates about random acquaintances who have no impact on your life do more harm than good. Don’t worry about losing touch with the people you always cared about. If they truly matter to you, you’ll stay in touch (Hello WhatsApp – another time-waster, but at least it serves a purpose).
I enjoy the moment… instead of photographing it.
Let’s face it, when you have a social media profile, your mind is constantly looking at things through a social media lens whether you like it or not. “That pizza would look great on my Instastory.” “I need to let people know I’m vacationing in Paris.” Without the self-inflicted pressure of posting, you actually enjoy moments instead of trying to capture them in the perfect light.
What about the drawbacks?
They’re very few. As a group fitness instructor and the founder/head writer of an entertainment website, I obviously don’t have the reach that I used to have without my social media profiles to boost my latest posts. But the positives far outweigh the negatives, and my sanity is much more important that the number of likes I could get.
How about some alternatives?
I still use Twitter to stay up to date with the websites and businesses that interest me, and I use LinkedIn and Flipboard for the kind of intriguing articles I used to find on Facebook (and at least here they’re not surrounded by self-obsessed clutter).
If you’ve been feeling down lately, consider this detox. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.