At the start of 2019, I stopped checking my Instagram account.
A few months later, I deleted my Twitter account, and let the 30 days pass that rendered my account gone forever.
In an age of ever-connectedness and constant communication, I’ve decided to step away.
I realized that there were algorithms beyond my understanding that were set up to manipulate me and disrupt my life. I didn’t like that. I wanted to regain control.
I realized that a key component to developing skills that matter is long periods of uninterrupted, focused work. Social media was doing its best to claim my attention. I wanted my attention back.
I realized that I wanted to live, not just exist.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
I realized that each trip through my feed made grumpier and generally more dissatisfied with life more often than not. I like being happy.
I realized that a better alternative would be to create my own platform, a place I can control and mold into whatever I want it to be.
I realized that “dead time” social media checks were depriving me of the necessary inner solitude to process life and disconnect.
I realized that I could better upgrade my brain by reading books than by scrolling through everyone’s 280-character brain dumps.
I realized that I needed to create margin in my life. I needed breathing room. Social media chokes out every last bit of breathing room.
I realized that I could be more present with my wife on a daily basis if there was no pull to check social media.
I realized my life would be better off without social media.
And that’s why I quit.
Simple as that.
Will you be next?
Endnote: It seems like every blogger I follow has written about their experience with a social media detox or quitting social media altogether. I don’t want to mimic those books and articles, but I do want to highlight a few pieces of writing that had a profound impact on my decision to essentially quit all social media. Check out the books and blog below if you are thinking of doing the same things.
- Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport
- Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Jaron Lanier
- Deep Work, Cal Newport
- Farnam Street Blog, Shane Parrish