8 Reasons for why you should delete social media.
Technological advancements have and continue to alter the very fundamentals of human communication.
Is this in our best interest?
Did you know the average person spends over 2 hours per day on social media? If you do the maths, over the span of a lifetime, this can equate to around 8 years.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to throw away 8 years of my life on low quality entertainment.
Excitedly i shared my newfound statistical insights with friends of mine, after viewing their screen time, their expressions said it all- for some time spent was upwards of, 3 to 4 hours per day. These platforms are powerful.
Within my peer groups, Instagram was the most pervasive, sucking people in for extremely long periods of time.
More concerning is the fact it isn’t even unreasonable to suggest these statistics may be underestimates. It’s undeniable just how deeply interwoven social media has become in our day to day life, and how these figures may with time increase exponentially.
I recognise that everyone’s relationship with social media is different, and a healthy relationship can be established- but this is extremely difficult. If you identify yourself as someone who is spending too much time on social media, or for whatever reason have become disenchanted with it, ask yourself the following ‘Why do I use a particular social media? (be it Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat). As with everything, it is wise to explore your personal motivations.
And secondly are you okay being fed bare-minimum content, digitally engineered by teams of specialised psychologists whose express interest is the manipulation of our emotions.
If neither question rings alarm bells, then this isn’t the post for you. If, like me, you don’t like the idea of being passively manipulated and the ramifications it has on your wider living, read on.
Without further ado; here are my top 8 reasons, why you should consider deleting your social media account.
“If you love life, don’t waste time because that is what life is made of” -Bruce Lee
Imagine witnessing someone throw their money around like they don’t need it, you would likely think this person Is insane.
Why do we not think the same of wasting our time?
Time is your most valuable asset, guard it as such.
Instead of scrolling your thumb down to the bone, think what could you achieve with an additional 2 hours each day?
You may choose to invest this time to enhance your relationships, knowledge, wellbeing, or creativity.
For example, you could learn how to play an instrument, learn a new language, or even build a business!
Just as you need to watch your food diet, you also should consider your mental diet.
Remember ‘Input dictates Output’.
My experience with social media involves wasting vast amounts of time mindlessly scrolling though hordes of photos, are you active on social media or do you spend your time exploring others’ lives?
As a thought exercise, if you could view yourself in the third person during your days spent on these platforms, what would you see? Would you see an inspired motivated self?
Alternatively, there are thousands of great pieces of literature which can transform your perspective on life, offer wisdom, and expand your imaginative faculties.
After reading a great novel or non-fiction piece I feel recharged, energised and positive. I don’t feel restless or lacking in creativity and having a general indifference to solve my problems.
Again, don’t just consume- read and apply what you learn. Take action and aim to be among the creators.
Conversely, scrolling through applications such as Instagram, I would often feel lethargic and irritable. Only recently did I make the decision to delete my Instagram account, but within a few weeks I could see noticeable shifts in my thinking.
I could articulate my thoughts clearly, with less brain-fog, and was able to focus on projects for longer periods of time. Conversations had more depth, and I could emphasise with others more easily.
It seems social media can be likened to Pandoras box- once opened, you are met with many undesirable aspects of your psyche; social media has been linked with higher levels of envy, loneliness, anxiety, depression, narcissism, and decreased social skills.
There are many explanations for why this may be the case but essentially, it is the consequence of allowing your ego free roam online.
You, and everyone else on the platform enjoys the luxury of becoming their own PR manager. Only sharing the best photos, with vigorous editing-at the most luxurious locations, with their finest clothes.
Ultimately crafting a virtual ideal version of oneself, which you cannot realistically live up to in real life. Admittedly, I was treating my personal account like an art gallery.
This is then compounded by the natural tendency to compare our lives with others. Unfortunately, on a platform where everyone is broadcasting a fake highlight reel far from their ordinary existence, it can spark a cascade of lethal psychic blows — wreaking havoc on your self-esteem, as it is easy to fall into the trap of perceiving others to be doing ‘better’ than you.
Going through life with low or a fragile self-esteem is like going through life with the handbrake up.
Everyone procrastinates. How can you blame yourself? The modern person has a mountain of responsibilities and the temptation to quickly check your feed or reply to a message can easily lead to a 2 hour scroll through videos and pictures.
This is because your mind works by forming comparisons- read a book or scroll through Instagram? Instagram wins all day.
Sure, you can exert willpower, but this a finite valuable resource and your brains desire for dopamine is endless; think of it this way it’s you versus 3292349408930 million years of biological programming and a team of world class behavioural psychologists (know which battles to pick).
So, if you want to finish that thing that you’ve always wanted to get done but just never have- delete that app. It’s unnecessary friction- You can always come back once you’ve accomplished it, It’s not bye forever- just bye for now.
Stop willingly making decisions detrimental to your focus and mental agility.
‘Mindset is everything’ is a common sentence thrown around by motivational guru’s, but what does this actually mean?
My understanding is there are 3 major archetypes of consumers; the lurkers, contributors and creators. Which one do you want to be?
I firmly believe Instagram is one of many things which keeps you operating at a lower plane of thought, and the simple act of deleting your account can propel you in the direction of becoming a creator.
Undoubtedly, these platforms do allow for creative, expression, and are unmatched in the ability to promote business, and individual brands. However- as the old saying goes:
“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”.
If you are not taking advantage of these platforms for creative, financial or just causes, then you are simply providing your valuable data.
In a world where we are constantly connected, we are increasingly disconnected.
I think many can attest that having social media, and being in a romantic relationship is a tricky one. When you post pictures and receive likes from people you consider attractive it can give the false impression that you have all these potential suitable partners.
When in reality you are only using a superficial metric and you don’t know what the person is like, or the energy they have. Social media conditions you to value this metric above all others.
The illusion of abundance, the ability to habitually check what your partner is doing, and the subsequent jealousy are all potential negative symptoms of social media. Which over time can lead to a lack of appreciation for your partner, and even the complete disruption of your relationship.
You may worry that if you delete social media you will lose valuable friends. Truthfully this is not the case; any real friends you have will accept your decision to delete it and support it. Friends can text and call, and a friendship that only existed because of social media is probably not that valuable of a friendship.
Stop viewing life through your phone screen.
Life is amazing without the filters.
Are you living in the present, or do you find yourself constantly seeking distraction; checking notifications for new likes, follows or post?
These acts may seem harmless, but you’re training your brain to distract itself from any discomfort and relying upon these sources (outside of yourself) for coping mechanism.
Some even seek happiness though the validation of others on these apps. If you rely on anything outside of yourself for happiness you’re only going to be let down.
Bad habits invite other bad habits to join the party, the net result of bad habits can lead to desensitisation.
I have a bonsai tree, and this may sound crazy, but I never fully appreciated the plant until I deleted my social media accounts. Something as natural and simple as tending to a tree brings me more joy now.
I would find myself scrolling though Instagram whenever life became uncomfortable, such as at the gym, during difficult university lectures, or at the library. Basically whenever experiencing unpleasant emotions, I would escape by immersing myself in the life of others, and the bright colourful distractions, all of my problems would fade away while my brain was numbed for the meanwhile — but by never addressing the root of the problem you’re creating a damage debt which always needs to be paid in the long run.
It’s just not worth it.
Keeping up with the joneses
Broadcasting your ideal self, acting as your own PR manager and orchestrating the most appealing ‘look how great my life is’. Is unhealthy, and a waste of time . Although many are aware, it can be incredibly easy to compare your life and feel unsatisfied or develop a complex. Many take this to the extreme of buying expensive clothes, holidays and making decisions based entirely on their appearance to others on social media. Seeking validation is pathological and will hurt you in the long run- it’s best to drop the act, and be humble.
Stay in your own lane, the only opinion you should value is that of your own.
If you would like to achieve a clear mind, this is one step among many you could take towards achieving that goal.
It’s not a perfect journey either, I deleted and reinstalled apps several times over many weeks but couldn’t quite make the move to delete my account entirely.
If you’re not yet ready to delete the app after reading this, simply stop using the app for 30 days. During this time take 5 minutes at the end of each day to reflect upon the quality of your thoughts, mood and decision making, I’m confident you’ll decide to never return back to social media again.
Some may argue that completely removing the vice is not solving the core issue. There’s defiantly merit to this stance, but in my experience, it’s fighting an up-hill battle. The environment usually wins over sheer will power, and there are armies of marketing and psychology professionals working just to hinder you.
For that reason, I believe the most direct and easy solution is simply to delete the platform. Why tempt yourself? You make even have withdrawal symptoms for a while and notice yourself unconsciously picking up your phone to search for the application, this demonstrates how powerful the programming can be.
Life is better without it — it just requires a small sacrifice.