Almost everyone uses social media now. Small businesses and even the non-tech-savvy older generation have joined the popular sites. So in the present day, is it weird to have no social media presence?
I remember the earliest days of social media. There was a site called Friendster that I signed up for. And then there was MySpace, the first big one. It spread quickly among young people and became incredibly popular. It even lets you choose who your top friends were, sparking plenty of drama among friend groups.
Then came the first real giant, Facebook. It started with a whimper. When I tried to sign up, I wasn’t in college so I couldn’t even make an account. So I forgot about it for a while. Then I started hearing people talk about Facebook more and more. When I took a look again, it no longer required you to be in college to join, so I did.
It started innocently enough. It was a way to talk with friends and it had some newer features that MySpace didn’t have. Over the years it grew to insane heights. Now, nearly everyone is on the site. It became so much more than a way for friends to connect online.
There were now pages and groups. Business pages were more common. Groups for every interest under the sun were popping up too. Then there was a marketplace where people could buy and sell their goods. Facebook even introduced a dating section to their site. It was becoming a site that handled nearly everything.
And the competitors were gaining steam too. Instagram was getting big. Snapchat was growing too with a unique approach to social interaction with time-limited content. Meanwhile, Twitter kept doing its thing and staying relevant. There were others I’m sure I’m forgetting but what started so simply, in the beginning, has become pervasive in the lives of nearly everyone.
Since almost everyone, including the young and old, businesses, even animals has a social media presence now, is it weird to have no social media? Yes, it is a little bit weird mostly because it is uncommon, but that doesn’t mean it is bad if you choose not to participate.
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Is it better to not have social media?
If you can limit your time and be selective of what you do on social media, it is fine to keep. Most people though have become addicted to social media and spend hours every day consuming content, commenting, and even arguing with people on the site. If this is you, then it is probably better if you quit social media altogether (or take steps to drastically reduce your social media usage).
The truth is that there are some benefits to having a social media profile but using it like that vast majority of people do is not ideal. I’ll cover some of the biggest pros and cons of using social media a bit later in the article but for now know that if you aren’t careful with how you use it, the cons far outweigh the pros.
The different versions of social media have been cleverly designed to keep their users coming back. This is required for their success so I can’t blame them. They want to make money and they need people to come back frequently to keep the cash rolling in.
The software has been shaped to lure users back frequently by giving little dopamine hits to the users. They check their page several times a day to see if they have new likes, comments, or followers because it feels good to have your posts and pictures acknowledged. It’s nice to see comments on your content, even if it is something you didn’t create, only something you shared. And you’ve seen how much attention women get from posting selfies. They are conditioned to thrive on the attention and likes they get because it makes them feel attractive.
How is life without social media?
Life without using a social network isn’t that different once you adjust. I am not 100% off of social media but now I use it for very specific purposes. I used to post stuff on Facebook and Instagram daily, just like most others do. I fell victim to the emotional boost I felt when people liked and interacted with a social media post. I knew it was a waste of time and the addiction to those little dopamine hits was real.
I decided to stop posting. I rarely ever post now. Maybe once every few months I will post something. And because of this, I look at my accounts far less frequently than I used to. Since I haven’t posted anything, I can’t get any likes and comments which makes me less tempted to spend time on those sites.
So why don’t I just delete my accounts? I am in a lot of groups for various interests and businesses that I am involved in. A lot of online business training courses are now on Facebook or they have a private group you can join to talk with other people who are in the course. These groups have valuable information and skilled people so I don’t want to lose that.
I also have some Facebook pages for my various projects. Facebook pages and groups are a good way to share information with your audience in a space they are already visiting every day. And I have a Facebook ads account so I can run ads when it makes sense for one of my projects.
Besides that, I do follow some accounts on Instagram for other interests such as jiu-jitsu. I get to see some short instructional clips about the sport which is fun for me.
So I do check in on Facebook and Instagram for these reasons but besides that, I do not engage with what most people use social media for. I don’t like and comment on posts by friends and family. I avoid political talk because the comments are always a cesspool and bring out the worst in a person.
I have almost all of my friends and family unfollowed so I rarely see any posts by them. My account is more about social isolation, which is exactly how I like it.
Life is better without a social media platform feeding me garbage and nonsense. Once you eliminate most of that by cutting out all of the time-sink content and toxic arguments, my very unsocial social media is much more palatable and useful.
Is it possible to be successful in life without social media?
You can be successful in life with social media but you might be making it more difficult. People have been successful before the first social media site even existed so we know it is possible. But using it wisely now will increase your reach and give you an easier way to reach your audience.
This is like asking if you can be successful without email. Sure you can but why would you? It makes things easier and faster for you and is a great tool.
Building an online presence with a social platform is a solid way to keep your audience’s attention. You know that they are spending time on these sites every day so why not take advantage of this and build a presence where they are already looking?
Pros and cons of deleting social media
Pros of deleting your social media
Regain your time
There are ways you can check how much time you spend on your various social media accounts. I didn’t even want to check this because I knew it would make me sick. Cutting out the social aspect of these social media apps has saved me so many hours of life that were being wasted.
Think about how often you are working on something and then your phone buzzes and dings because of a notification on a social media account. Can you resist checking until you finish your task? Most people can’t so they check their notification which stops their workflow and wastes time. When they get back on the task they have to concentrate all over. The time wasted isn’t just a few seconds to check the notification. It is also the time to get back in the state of mind you were in before stopping your work.
Less comparing your life to others
One of the big problems with social media use is the toxicity of comparing other people’s lives to your own. You see them in their best light, their best selfies. These are the highlights they curate to show themselves in the best way possible. You are not seeing what their lives really are. But you instinctively compare the entirety of your life to these tiny snippets they show about themselves. It isn’t reality and it will make you jealous that your life isn’t as good as their highlight reel.
You also see how “perfect” everyone else’s relationships are. You see the pictures of them being happy and oh so perfect. But this again is not the whole truth.
Look at the comments on any political or controversial post. Within a few comments, you will have people arguing and insulting each other. Why would you want to waste even a second being a part of this?
You have nothing to gain from even reading these discussions. They spark anger and will drag you down into useless commenting if you aren’t careful. Avoid these posts, pages, and groups at all costs. The people are toxic and they can affect you and your happiness if you take part in their discussions.
Anyone can post (almost) anything they want on social media. They can claim that apple cider vinegar will rebalance your third eye and decalcify your kneecaps. And people do post this stuff. And it gets shared… sometimes virally.
Most people don’t fact-check. They mindlessly believe the most nonsensical things imaginable. And they share it too which causes it to spread.
I skip this altogether by not even seeing these posts. Since I have almost everyone unfollowed, I avoid almost all of this misinformation by not even seeing it at all.
Cons of deleting your social media
Losing access to useful groups and contacts
Like I mentioned before, this is the main reason I keep my account open. The business groups and people in those groups are very useful for me to keep around.
The private Facebook groups for courses are the norm now and likely this won’t change in the near future.
Staying in contact with friends and family
This is a grey area. You could simply get the phone numbers for any close friend or family member that you want to stay in touch with but social media has become the new norm for this. Even the older generations are more reliant on Facebook messenger for staying in touch with family.
To be fair, it is easier to share family photos on Facebook than it is to do over text with the whole family. So this is a sensible reason to keep the account open.
That’s about all I can of for the cons of closing your social media accounts. You can use them for these limited uses and not feel bad about it.
What if social media didn’t exist?
If all the social media accounts closed down today, it would shake up the world quite a bit but everyone would adjust quickly. I would like to see how the sudden social media detox would affect people. I don’t think it would be pretty but it would be for the best.
Of course, if social media disappeared it wouldn’t be long before something similar (or maybe vastly different) popped up to fill the void. Technology is developed so quickly now that it wouldn’t be more than a year or two before a new giant filled the gap that social media left behind.
Is social media worth it?
Yes but only if you use it wisely. If you can cut out all of the distractions and negativity then social media can be a great tool. You can keep your helpful groups and contacts. You can even keep a Linkedin account which is barely even considered a social media platform compared to all the other apps.
Use these tools to better yourself or your businesses and they are worth it. Just avoid the long list of negatives with these accounts and you will live a better and happier life.