Getting rid of social media

by Jolyn Low

In the year 2013 (I think), I deleted Twitter.

Fast forward two years: I have recently deleted my instagram account and I’ve probably never felt better.

In a recent interview, I was questioned about my views on social media. In my reply, I told the interviewers that I did indeed have social media accounts. However, those accounts have been sitting there for months, even years, without any sharing on my part. This was because I felt that I had nothing meaningful to share. One of the panel was shocked at this, exclaiming “why? I have children, and they use it.” I had no answer other than the fact that I had nothing to share. Hence, I shrugged. That interview went horribly to say the least.

Social media was once something that I was extremely into. I remember the good old days of Facebook, where drama got kicked up for stupid reasons, and friends were made for no reason other than knowing each other’s existence. However, once I got to the age of 15, I lost interest in it, and moved on to the next thing – Twitter.

This went on in a cycle. From Facebook, to Twitter, and then to Instagram. At times, I remember wracking my brains thinking of something to put up because I felt pressurised to share my life. I wanted to “fit in” and to keep up with what was happening around me. Ultimately, as the years went by this desire to share dwindled as caution arose. More often than not, what happened in my head was not suitable for sharing. Also, I hated the indirect messages laced in some of the sharing. It started feeling stifling and counter productive to relationships in real life.

Instagram, I feel, was particularly more harmful in a sense that it is a platform where people literally only show their best sides. I’ve spent hours browsing random feeds because of how beautiful a complete stranger’s life seems to be. It doesn’t help that there are about a billion attractive people out there and I do enjoy appreciating such physical beauty. How dare I be so shallow…what blasphemy. It felt like a fake reality, a display of only the good and not the bad. At times, it created crazy ideas about what living should be like, and what beauty is.

Having gotten rid of social media except for Facebook, I feel so much better now. This feels like one less burden to carry, and it feels liberating because I’m no longer spending time on an app that never really benefited me anyway. Social suicide or not, I frankly can’t give two shits about it anymore. Moving on, I’m going to be clearing up my Facebook page. Maybe I’ll even create a new one.

This is just my take on social media and the lack of need for it in my life. Take note that this reticence and estrangement is probably considered as abnormal, and may largely stem from social anxiety. But hey, life’s too short to be wasted on such matters anyway. And if I wanted to know what was going on in someone’s life, I’d really rather ask them outright. I might go back one day. But for now, this feels great.

How has social media changed your life? Do you think that you can live without it?