Depending on who you talk to, social media is either a blessing or a curse. It has certainly helped us to connect with one another in ways we never thought possible, but on the other hand, and quite ironically, it has made us far more antisocial. We’ve seen many platforms comes and go over the years, with the current cool kids club consisting of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Through these mediums you can follow celebrities, discover new recipes and even find a job, but despite all of their uses there are still many reasons not to use them at all.
10. It’s an Expectation
Social media is so commonplace these days that it’s become an expectation you have a presence on the main networks. Even from a professional standpoint, many organizations expect employees to understand and use the sites as part of their job. But shouldn’t it be a personal choice? If you’re tired of social media or it just isn’t for you, then quit! You shouldn’t have to explain yourself or feel the need to conform to societal norms.
9. It Encourages Superficial Relationships
Your Facebook friend count might be at 746, but how many of them do you actually have personal relationships with? Social media allows us to feel like we know people better than we really do because we are privy to the photos and life moments that they share on their profiles. But what’s shared on social media is often a picture-perfect version of people’s lives, and may not necessarily reflect marriage or career struggles. Why not quit social media and focus on developing true friendships with a select few individuals, by connecting via phone or in person?
8. It Can Damage Your Reputation
For many companies, checking the social media profiles of potential employees is part of the hiring process. So if you’re the type that feels compelled to post pictures from the wild house party you went to on the weekend, you should just quit social media while you’re ahead. Also, while it may be tempting, social media is not the place to air your dirty laundry or share brash opinions. Anything posted on the Internet is there forever, even after you delete it.
7. It Makes You More Negative
For many, social media is an outlet for all of their stresses, frustrations and heartbreaks, or a place to share their thoughts and feelings on the tragedies of the world. And while it may make them feel better, it certainly doesn’t relieve those who are reading it. In reading comments like this on a consistent basis, it would be hard for even the happiest person alive not to absorb some of the negativity. Shutting down your networking accounts will remove you from this sticky web, and help re-focus your time and energy on your own feelings.
6. It Doesn’t Often Teach You Anything Valuable
Given the amount of time we spend each day on social media, are we actually learning anything valuable? And I don’t mean that your cousin’s baby is now eating carrots. I mean the types of things that enlighten or inform you about something new, guide you through important life decisions, or assist with personal growth and development. It’s not often that we come across this type of content on social media, nor is it the kind of gripping human drama that has us constantly hitting “refresh feed.” Why not quit social media and reallocate that time to quality education?
5. Privacy Issues
Since social media networks are all about us, the users, it’s easy to forget that the companies who run them are in it to make money. Every element of information that you post, ‘like’ or put in your profile becomes valuable information to the organization, which they then sell to advertisers and other third-parties. This, alone, should be enough reason to quit social media.
4. It’s Addictive and Unhealthy
Addictions of any kind aren’t healthy, and excessive social media use certainly isn’t excluded from this statement. We’ve far surpassed using it moderation, to the point where addictions centers have created treatment programs for those who are struggling. And researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway have developed the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS), which asks participants about their usage habits and feelings toward the social network. Preventing this kind of addiction, or breaking it, are perfect reasons to part ways with social media.
3. It’s Not the Same as Being Offline
We’ve become so obsessed with capturing all of life’s greatest moments to post on social media that we’ve forgotten how to live in the moment. I love being at concerts and watching people try to capture video of the band playing their favorite song. They’re so focused on getting a good shot and keeping their phone steady that they can’t enjoy it by singing and dancing along. And nothing buzz-kills a romantic dinner like whipping out your phone to get the perfect picture of your food. By quitting social media you’ll be allowing yourself to capture these moments with memory alone, and years later those rose-colored memories will be far more attractive than your blurry photo.
2. It Lowers Your Self-Esteem
We’ve all been victims of this. You see a Facebook post about your friend’s recent trip to Thailand and immediately feel a pang of jealousy, wondering if you’ll ever see the world. Or someone’s bought a beautiful house, and you start feeling self-conscious about the space between four walls that you call home. Not to mention engagements, babies, weddings, cars, jobs, etc. Social media provides us with endless streams of reasons to feel inadequate about ourselves and our lives, but quitting may help relieve the need to constantly compare against others; it’s difficult to be envious of someone’s new sports car when you don’t know they got one.
1. It’s an Enormous Waste of Time
It likely doesn’t seem like it, since you only peruse the sites for a few minutes at a time, but if you tallied it all up I bet you’d be surprised how much time you spend on social media. According to new data, the average person spends 1.72 hours per day on social media sites. Given that we’re always complaining that there isn’t enough time in a day, quitting social media may be a great way to free up some time. Just think what you could do with that extra two hours? Maybe a workout, or a fresh-cooked meal? The possibilities are endless.