“Why would you do that?” my brother asked me when I told him that I deleted most of my social media accounts. For the sake of job prospects and networking, I left my LinkedIn page up and my Facebook profile does still exist; however, I only use it for its messaging feature. My clubs at college use Facebook Messenger to communicate information and so if I were to delete my account, I would miss out on some important announcements.
Other than that, my Instagram and TikTok no longer exist, including my Snapchat and other miscellaneous platforms. From the very beginning of my time online, I didn’t keep up with people all that much. I would post pictures maybe twice a year. I never owned a Twitter account because I had nothing useful to tell the world. Merely to entertain myself, I spent hours scrolling through other’s comments, pictures, and propaganda. Looking through the screen to get a false sense of another friend’s life once filled the empty pockets of my day, such as waiting for the bus to arrive, or waiting at a doctor’s office.
Why did you do it?
Occasionally, I would take social media breaks, in which I would delete the app off of my phone–not the account–to stop wasting those pockets of time. I would do this several times throughout the year. The biggest reason came from my constant depressive mood after scrolling and scrolling, watching the successes, relationships, and joys of other people. Instead of laughing at a silly video or learning something worthwhile, I would only see the happy half of my friend’s life.
Take for example, on a typical day, I would probably open up my Instagram feed and the first picture I would see would display an old, old classmate from the fifth grade who celebrated her twentieth birthday. I haven’t talked to her since fifth grade. While a picture of a birthday party sounds harmless (and it is), the abundant amount of people at this former classmate’s party would get me thinking about all the birthday parties and presents I didn’t have, instead of reflecting on the surprises I had gotten. Between hearing about another friend getting a Saks Fifth Avenue internship while I got declined from my third one in a row and seeing how a group of peers traveled to Bora Bora on the weekend, Instagram became a place where my happiness would fade away through comparison. No matter how much I told myself not to feel jealous and make quick judgments, my mind irresistibly resorted to doing so. Therefore, I knew soon that if I wanted liberation, my Instagram would have to disappear permanently.
In the same way that a person can decide what to post, a person can decide what account to use.
Unlike Instagram, I never posted on Tiktok. In fact, I never even uploaded a single Tiktok nor even a profile picture! I didn’t even follow a single one of my friends because I longed for a refreshing feed. But once again, the cycle of seeing the adventures and successes of others overshadowed any comical Tiktoks that I would spend days laughing at. This past October, after my online classes, I would shut down my laptop, plop onto my bed, and pull out my phone to watch TikToks. What felt like just twenty minutes turned into an hour. Once I got the will power to turn off my phone, I would rub my eyes and feel unproductive. Staring at a bright phone screen after spending time online for class drained my mind before I even had a chance to do my work.
Finally, I decided to put a halt to this negativity that infiltrated my mind constantly. Clicking on a new browser tab on my Mac one afternoon after class, I looked up how to delete my Instagram (and everything else), and did it. I hadn’t used Snapchat in over a year and I never remembered my log-in, so all I had to do was delete the app and I never thought twice about it. For Tiktok, I didn’t know if I even had a log-in, so I simply deleted the app and I haven’t downloaded it since.
Should I delete my social media?
My reason for deleting all those accounts stemmed from a place of wanting to stop the voices of all my insecurities. After I realized that my self-doubt appeared mostly because of social media, the thought of complete eradication of all of that came easily. Moreover, I came across a real life-changing documentary on Netflix that stole a place on the top chats and that’s what tipped the boat. It’s called The Social Dilemma. Watch it!
If you make the choice to delete your social media, do so freely and without the pressure of feeling like you have to. There exists many, many people, such as influencers, celebrities, and YouTubers, that make their living off of views. These platforms all have the vast power to expose and share so much and unite people like none before. Social media also has a ton of humorous memes, and I love a good meme (which is why you should download the Buzzfeed app to see all those memes in one article). For example, if YouTube had not been created, I would not know how to do many things, because I first go toYouTube before even reading instruction manuals on how to assemble things.
One might consider this blog a form of social media. To some extent, I publicize my posts and have the ability to upload photos. People can even like or share my post. In which case, I technically have yet to delete my WordPress account, but I love this blog, so I won’t be doing that in the future, lol!
Do you regret doing it?
Nope! I live a lot freer.
It seems like everything–from the Bible app having Instagram-type stories to scholarship websites that ask you to explain your life story–have a form of online connection and encourage you to create profiles and share, share, share. Therefore, it seems that one might not have the ability to get rid of all social media, but luckily, you still have a choice. In the same way that a person can decide what to post, a person can decide what account to use.
Thank you for reading! I look forward to talking real soon!
With love, Victoria