A few months back, I decided to take the plunge and get rid of my social media accounts. You guys, it was harder to cut that cord than I thought it would be! I mean, my Facebook account was nearly a decade of my life documented with pictures and text. My Instagram was filled with photos of my daughter and places and spaces that we spent our time. It was my life, and for awhile I enjoyed sharing it with others.
There were several reasons leading up to not wanting to be on social media anymore, but the main one was that it had become all-consuming. I found myself on it when I should have been interacting with others around me or taking peaceful moments for myself. I would even find myself scrolling my news feed at a stoplight. I finally realized that it was just not good for my mental health, so it had to go. Not to mention I was setting a terrible example for my daughter, who would watch me while I was watching my phone.
The impact that social media can have on your mental health shouldn’t be taken lightly. An article in Forbes gave a rundown of ways that it negatively affects us. They include how addictive it is (and are leaning towards using “Facebook Addiction Disorder” to describe it), it promotes more sadness than wellbeing, making comparisons with others is mentally unhealthy which can lead to jealousy, and more friends on social media doesn’t mean you are more social and it can never replace the benefits of spending time with friends in person. Another article says it can also impact your memory.
After all was said and done, I found a major improvement with my own mental health and happiness without social media. Before I hit that delete button I had a fleeting thought of “if I’m not on social media, how will anybody get in touch with me??” What I discovered is that the people that truly matter will get in touch with you, and a real life friendship lives on even without Facebook.
You don’t have to go cold turkey and delete all of your accounts permanently. Facebook lets you “deactivate” your account where it is essentially is as good as gone until you log back in. All of your info will be there just as you left it. So if you find yourself in a similar situation as I was, try getting rid of social media for a week, or even a month and see how you feel. It just might increase your wellbeing!
Lisa is a former social media addict who had to step away because she wasn’t sure how good it was to know what everybody was thinking at all times.