Social Media Hiatus: 20 Reasons To Quit Social Media
Social media has made it easier than ever for us to stay connected with others and the world around us. We also use it to get news and information as quickly as possible through social media channels. While it may be hard to imagine a life without it, here I will share 20 reasons to quit social media!
For Every One Reason Not to Quit, There are 20 Reasons to Quit Social Media
There are of course many benefits of using social media, many of which I enjoy on a daily basis. It may seem hypocritical for me to share 20 reasons to quit social media when I myself still use it. However, I have gone on social media hiatus many times and have learned that there are effective ways to use social media. There are also more destructive ways of using social media.
This list of 20 reasons to quit social media is designed to help you understand and think about the way you use social media. This will help you adjust your social media habits so that you feel less anxious about (and less committed to) social media.
If you are interested in quitting social media, just know that it doesn’t have to be a permanent and dramatic exit. Taking a brief social media hiatus will help you take the time to reflect on the way you use social media. Let’s dig into these 20 reasons to quit social media so you can start thinking about the habits you would like to change.
20 Reasons To Quit Social Media
#1. Social media is another thing to ‘check’
The first reason on this list of 20 reasons to quit social media involves ‘checking’ devices. Do you ever wake up in a panic and reach for your phone? Do you feel your heart racing as you frantically search for the nearest device? Even though social media now plays a fairly minimal role in my life, I still find myself being pulled toward my phone first thing in the morning to check out what is going on in the world.
Using social media makes this worse. You already have emails from a job that stresses you out and you wish you could find the courage to quit. And you have your own personal text messages and voicemails to check up on. Do you really want feeds upon feeds and a flood of notifications to catch up on as well?
#2. It is another way for people to contact you
It is hard to think of what people used to do before cell phones existed. Imagine the freedom and privacy people would have had. If someone wanted to get ahold of you, they would have to phone your house, or come over and ring your doorbell!
Now that our culture is so dependent on mobile devices, it is so easy to have someone just show up unannounced in your day. Having emails, text messages, and social media notifications dinging at you 24/7 makes it really hard to disconnect.
Some people take advantage of this and expect you to return their messages right away. This means that you are made to feel as though you have to be constantly available to everyone. This can be very exhausting when you have responsibilities to balance that require you to be available in real-life!
#3. A social media hiatus will help you stop feeling so busy
The next reason on this list of 20 reasons to quit social media involves something we all want: extra time!
There never really seems to be enough time in a day to accomplish all that we want to. However, using social media is a massive time sink. How massive? Well, grab your device and head to your Screen Time tracker to see!
Life is very busy. But, it feels even busier when you end up spending all of the down time you do have scrolling through a feed. Social media apps make it so easy to use even 30 seconds of time (and we all know it’s never just 30 seconds) to quickly catch up on the latest from all of your favorites.
The thing is, if you do this once every 15 minutes, it really adds up! Instead, wouldn’t it be great to use this time to set and work toward achieving your goals? Imagine what you could accomplish if you had more time in a day!
#4. A social media hiatus will help you be more productive
Once you realize that you have a lot more extra time than you thought, you can start to fill it with many more meaningful and productive tasks!
One of the easiest ways to get distracted at work (or even at home!) is by tapping a social media app. Without social media, you will find yourself less distracted from the tasks that matter.
Motivation is the key to productivity, and with less distractions you will find more motivation!
If you are on a social media hiatus and need a break while working, take a walk outside and enjoy a nice breath of fresh air. This will help clear your head much more than filling it with the latest on your social media feed.
#5. Taking time away from social media will help you be more present with the important people in your life
Going on a social media hiatus will help you connect on a deeper level with the real-life people in front of your face.
We can all relate to this story:
Everyone is sitting around the dinner table ready to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Conversation is upbeat and delightful, filled with expressions of gratitude and thanks. With the exception of one Tommy Texter who is catching up on the score of the big game for the 10th time that minute.
If you know someone like this (or you are someone like this!), it is easy to see why this makes this list of 20 reasons to quit social media. It is really hard to connect with someone you care about when they are more interested in anything that isn’t the conversation you are trying to have.
#6. Social media makes you anxious about problems you don’t have in your life
Long before the rise of social media, people used to have to wait to find out important news from around the world. However, getting the latest updates is now just a matter of picking up the device that is pinging in your pocket.
While this might make us feel more connected to the rest of the world, it has made it really easy to become anxious about things that are happening on the other side of the planet that really don’t influence your life in the here and now. There is, of course, value in being a well-read global citizen. But when you are engaged in a fun family activity, getting a notification that something horrible happened on the other side of the world isn’t going to help anyone.
Take the old fashion route. Use a social media hiatus to connect with the news around the world during a dedicated time of day when you aren’t focus on other responsibilities.
#7. Social media is essentially one big, fake highlight reel
There is no better way than scrolling through your social media feed to realize that what you are doing with your life isn’t enough.
People post things on social media that make their lives look exciting and glamorous. A person’s social media profile is a place to share all the amazing things (true or otherwise) that are happening in their life!
While you may not realize it, this is damaging to your self-esteem and self-worth. It makes you feel self-doubt, question your own experiences, and wonder if the things you are doing are enough. No matter what you see on social media, you are enough. You are in control of your life and can make it exactly what you want it to be.
If you find yourself with low self-esteem or if you feel self-doubt after using social media, consider a social media hiatus to distance yourself from the negativity. Using positive affirmations for self-love and affirmations for self-doubt can remind you that you are enough and nothing anyone posts on social media can change this!
#8. Social media causes the ‘fear of missing out’
Next up on this list of 20 reasons to quit social media is one of my favorites!
A popular reason people use social media is to stay in the know about all the exciting things happening in the world. However, is being out of the loop such a bad thing?
The fear of missing out (or FOMO) is the perceived idea that other people are having more fun or living better, more exciting lives. Social media amplifies the FOMO by only showing the exciting things. We see the most exciting experiences from our connections, and we see the latest and most exciting products being advertised. There are so many exciting things happening all the time, what happens if you miss something?
FOMO is a powerful marketing strategy that can be used to sell pretty much anything. All that a business has to do is convince you that something good is going to happen if you buy their product. Then, they make you nervous that you are going to miss out on it. Phrases such as ‘for a limited time only’ remind us to be afraid we might miss out on something someone else has.
Going on a social media hiatus reduces your fear of missing out. If you aren’t seeing the highlight reel, you aren’t being told what you are missing out on. Sure, you may be out of the loop on a few things, but this can be liberating!
#9. Social media encourages external validation
If you post on social media often, you know how good it feels when someone ‘likes’ your content. A ‘like’ is positive feedback that something you are doing is of value to someone else.
However, if you pay too much attention to this, it sends the message that the things we do are only meaningful or important if a lot of people like them or engage with them in some way.
Taking a social media hiatus to stop being a people pleaser will help you be true to your authentic self, even if no one else likes it!
#10. Social media is full of complainers!
You are halfway through this list of 20 reasons to quit social media! If you aren’t convinced yet, this one will definitely help you understand how a social media hiatus can help you make changes to your social media habits.
If you are going to scroll through the stories of other people, you are going to see a bunch of people complaining about things. Of all the 20 reasons to quit social media, this one may be the most motivating to change your social media habits!
If you read the comments on pretty much anything online, you are going to see complaining. People complain about new movies because they aren’t as good as the old ones. They complain about what rich and famous people do and how it is against the newest trendy movement. People complain about basically anything, simply because they can. And social media gives them the platform to do so!
On social media, most times people complain to get attention, or to brag about themselves in some way. But in any case, you don’t need it in your life! You aren’t going to feel better about your life after reading about other people’s complaints. Instead, take some time to connect with a friend in person. Share all of the struggles you are going through, but take a growth mindset approach and look for all of the opportunities in the struggles you are facing.
You don’t often see positive and uplifting conversations on social media (unless you deliberately choose to follow these sorts of conversations). Adjusting your habits and avoiding the comment section will help you avoid floods of negativity in your day.
#11. The customized advertisements
This is probably my favorite reason for a social media hiatus on this list of 20 reasons to quit social media.
Have you ever paid attention to the ads on your social media platforms? Notice anything weird? Odds are, the ads you are seeing are of particular interest to you. Have you ever thought about why this is?
Well, the answer is super creepy and enough to make you want to go on an indefinite social media hiatus! Your activity on the internet is constantly being tracked. Anytime you interact with anything online, this data is tracked and stored in some way. Companies like Facebook access this data, and use it to display personalized ads for you!
The more time you spend on social media, the more time you are going to be exposed to ads. This means that you will feel the pressure to buy things you think you want. Before long, you will find yourself impulse buying whatever is shown to you. This can be troublesome and lead to some unhealthy financial habits that you will want to avoid if you are looking to save money and live a financially free lifestyle.
#12. The motives of social media influencers are questionable
People with lots of followers are influential and have a lot of power. They have a platform through which they can convince people of ideas and inspire action. In some cases this can be a good thing.
However, influencers with a lot of followers make money by promoting products. They are compensated by a business to do this. As such, this type of sponsored content that you take in from a social media influencer can be thought of as a commercial of sorts.
So, spending lots of time on social media means that you are spending lots of time being exposed to ads, whether you realize it or not. Some ads are very obviously ads that are trying to sell you a product. However, others may take the form of a subtle promotion from a popular influencer.
Now, there are usually disclaimers on content to indicate that it includes a paid promotion. However, the very idea of advertisements sneaking into the content we take in just doesn’t feel good if you think about it.
#13. The lack of privacy
A social media hiatus will help you regain a sense of privacy. If you are active on social media, the odds are you are used to sharing the details of your life with your friends and followers. While this helps make connections with your followers, it can make you feel as though you have no boundaries that define private time to yourself. After a while, it is easy to burn out. Setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship – and that includes relationships with your social media friends and followers.
Taking a social media hiatus will allow you spend some quality time with yourself to do whatever it is you are used to doing! Consider using this time to establish and practice a good self-care routine that can be used to recharge your batteries!
#14. Social media encourages superficial relationships
In the beginning, social media was thought to be a way of increasing our social reach. After all, it makes it easier to maintain friendships at great distances in a casual way that we haven’t seen before.
However, many of the features of social media have made it a lot harder to maintain deep and authentic friendships. For example, instead of calling a friend to congratulate them on their promotion or an engagement, why not just ‘like’ their post? Who has time for phone calls anyways?
The purpose of social media may have been to become more socially connected in an increasingly digital world. However, in some cases, we are now normalizing casual ‘likes’ and missing out on deep meaningful interactions with people we care about.
#15. You will sleep better
A common way of tricking the brain into falling asleep is by scrolling through social media feeds. While it may make you feel like your eyes are getting tired, research shows that cutting down on screen time before bed will actually help you enjoy a better night’s sleep!
#16. Changes to your attention span
Constant exposure to flashy and engaging things makes the brain want more of them. Your highlight reel is only going to show you stuff that catches your attention – that is just the nature of social media. YouTube thumbnails are literally designed to ‘win your click’!
Social media has made it hard for us to just sit in quiet contemplation and connect with ourselves. When you finally get a quiet moment to yourself, are you looking inwards to connect with yourself? Or are you quick to grab your phone and connect with everyone else?
#17. Social media is addicting
Being addicted to something means you run the risk of being tempted to compromise your values. For example, people who are addicted to social media would rather stare at their devices than spend quality time with family.
Rather than falling into the social media trap, find ways to get hooked on working toward making your dreams come true. Find and lose yourself in your life passion instead of your screen!
#18. Taking a break will remind you of the value of real relationships
If you decide to take a social media hiatus, you may notice yourself feeling as though you are less connected to others. Use this as motivation to reach out to a real friend that you could reconnect with. Doing this will remind you of the value of deep and meaningful friendships.
#19. How does social media affect social skills?
While it may not be possible to generalize here, you can’t argue with the value of a solid face-to-face conversation. Being able to think, speak, and articulate your thoughts without a device in your hand is an important life skill!
#20. A social media hiatus will help you reconnect with yourself
The last reason on this list of 20 reasons to quit social media is about reconnecting with yourself. Social media allows you to create and share a different, more exciting version of yourself. It is easy to prop up your best photo and all of your accomplishments and share them with your followers.
However, people rarely want to show their flaws and areas for growth on social media. Because of this, the person we portray ourselves as is not always who we truly and authentically are on the inside.
Going on a social media hiatus will help you reconnect with yourself as you truly are, without all the noise. Find ways to make your soul happy during this time. Look for ways to be happy within yourself that don’t rely on the social media machine.
What Reasons Do You Have?
For some, social media provides a way of remaining socially connected to others. Others fall into patterns of bad habits that negatively affect their wellbeing. Ultimately, you will need to think about where you fall and take ownership over your social media use.
If someone has told you that you use social media too often, or if you feel that you use it too often, it may be time to consider a social media hiatus. If any of the 20 reasons to quit social media spoke to you particularly strongly, keep them in mind next time you open an app. See if it changes the way you use social media!
As a short term fix, consider attempting a simple 30 day social media detox:
- Pick a social media app and stay off of it for your 30 day social media detox
- Commit to leaving your devices in a room that isn’t used throughout the day
- When you leave the house, enable airplane mode on your phone so that you aren’t tempted to use social media
You may find yourself feeling liberated knowing that you don’t have to worry about checking your phone. Or, you may find yourself struggling to stick to it. Set a value driven goal and work toward achieving it.
The goal is to use these 20 reasons to quit social media to create healthy habits in your life that you can maintain for lasting change.
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who you think would benefit from a social media hiatus, this post could be what they need to understand how taking a break might help!