Hey there, I’m Grayson! Among the various things I’m known for, one aspect that stands out is that I’ve never had a social media account. That’s right, no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or even Snapchat.
Interestingly, as a writer who delves into technology and its cultural impact, this unique position has proven to be quite an asset. It allows me to maintain a certain distance from the culture I’m exploring, enabling me to observe the influence of these platforms on our lives without getting utterly consumed by them myself.
Over time, I’ve become increasingly convinced that there are benefits to steering clear of social media that apply to everyone – not just tech-savvy writers like myself. So, that’s the focus of today’s discussion: the top four benefits of staying off social media. Let’s dive in!
1 – The Boredom Dilemma
Hold up, this may catch you off guard, but bear with me for a bit.
One peculiar outcome of having those oh-so-addictive social media apps on your phone is that it morphs into your go-to boredom buster. Feeling even a tad bit bored? Boom! Out comes the phone, and you’re swiping away on social media. I totally get why you do it.
These apps are the brainchildren of some of the sharpest minds on the planet, designed to keep you hooked. So, why twiddle your thumbs in a queue when you’ve got a gazillion-dollar attention-grabbing powerhouse ready to serve you the ultimate distraction fix? But wait, there’s a catch. This ever-present, pocket-sized escape from monotony comes with a price – boredom is banished from your life.
At the faintest whiff of boredom, you’re all over that phone. That, my friend, can be a pickle. Picture this: you’re not into social media, and there’s nothing on your phone that really tickles your fancy – a scenario I encounter pretty often.
Now, you’re left to ponder the world around you and the thoughts swirling in your head. Sure, it might seem daunting at first, but it’s vital for your personal growth. It’s during this “me-time,” also known as solitude, that you can truly process your life experiences and fit them into your unique perspective on life.
This is your chance to reflect on your triumphs and tribulations, the things that resonate with you, and the concerns that keep you up at night. It’s a crucial step in shaping your identity and understanding yourself. These quiet moments of introspection help us evolve as individuals. But if you’re constantly lured by that shiny, irresistibly distracting temptation in your pocket – those apps on your phone – you’ll miss out on the beauty of solitude.
2 – Elevated Leisure Pursuits
One of the hidden boons of experiencing boredom without those apps on your phone is that it nudges you towards engaging in more fulfilling leisure activities. Picture yourself on a lazy afternoon, with nothing to glance at or watch. This sense of ennui might just motivate you to dive into a book, break a sweat, embrace a new hobby, embark on a leisurely stroll, or even become a part of a club or organization.
Boredom is a surprisingly valuable instinct. Human nature often associates strong or unpleasant feelings with actions that are crucial to our well-being, like hunger, which feels awful because it’s vital for us to eat. So, what is boredom trying to tell us when it feels terrible? It’s encouraging us to indulge in productive activities. Yet, our phones have a way of interrupting this natural call to productivity.
They short-circuit our instincts, captivating us with their hypnotic glow and luring us to stare at that shimmering screen. However, without the phone as a distraction, you can truly embrace the boredom, allowing it to guide you towards meaningful activities that are beneficial for you, your soul, your loved ones, and your community. Your leisure time will become more enriching when you can no longer rely on the instant gratification of social media.
So, remember that more productive boredom is just one of the many perks of steering clear of social media.
3 – Ease Your Anxiety
The world you perceive is dictated by what you focus on.
Information overload is a genuine issue, with more data out there than anyone could ever possibly absorb. So, your brain sifts through the content you’ve consumed to make sense of your surroundings, not just physically or visually, but also emotionally.
If you find yourself immersed in the social media sphere, particularly on contentious platforms like Twitter, the reality your mind constructs can be quite distressing. Picture a wild west scene, with virtual villains wreaking havoc while townsfolk valiantly try to fend them off. It’s a frightening place.
This world is disconcerting and filled with indignation. People are quickly condemned, and the hunt for criminals is relentless. It’s far from a joyful place. Have you ever met an avid Twitter user who’s truly content? Probably not, because the world they’re exposed to is anything but pleasant.
So, if you’re spending significant time on social media, you’re constructing an environment that’s not conducive to thriving. You might think, “Why not just avoid Twitter and stick to Instagram, where the content is less political and combative?”
On Instagram, though, you’ll find carefully crafted snapshots of people’s lives. Everyone appears happy, fit, and more interesting than you. This world makes you feel inferior. Submerging yourself in these social media realms creates unhealthy realities. As a result, you’ll likely experience more anxiety and unhappiness.
Life improves when you distance yourself from social media, whether it’s deleting apps from your phone or avoiding them on your computer. You’ll gain a more authentic perspective of the world, one that’s based on your friends, your community, your reading material, the radio, and the sights on your daily walks. It’s a reality that’s better suited for the human psyche.
This world is calmer, less anxiety-inducing, and slower-paced. Overall, it’s a more sustainable way to live. As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy greater privacy. Consistently posting content on social media platforms can unintentionally reveal more about yourself than you’d prefer. It’s unsettling to know that an anonymous crowd of people, most of whom you’ve never met, know intimate details about your life. As a tech enthusiast, if I were on social media constantly tweeting, sharing on Instagram, and engaging daily, I’d end up disclosing more about myself than I’d like.
So, focus on creating a world that’s more in tune with your well-being and less anxiety-provoking.
I must admit, I’m quite a private individual.
Sure, you might’ve spotted me on TV, or heard me as a guest on podcasts or radio shows, but those moments are carefully orchestrated. Picture me crafting that one perfect video for you to watch, pouring my energy into it for an entire day. It’s a far cry from constantly pondering, “What’s my take on this or that?” while engaging in endless back-and-forths that could divulge too much.
I’m more than glad to join a radio broadcast, pen an article, or even meticulously plan and record a video. However, if I’m expected to chime in on every little thing all day long, I might unintentionally reveal too much.
Truth is, I don’t want to expose that much of myself—and neither should you. It’s simply not in our nature as humans.
We’re designed to thrive in tight-knit communities, bound by family ties or other connections. Trust flows freely, and everyone has each other’s back. They witness our highs and lows, our finest and weakest moments, and yet the loyalty remains. Everyone is willing to make sacrifices for one another in these intimate groups.
This is the kind of socialization we’re built for, not having 10,000 faceless individuals scrutinizing our every word on Twitter, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. There’s no need for us to be so vulnerable to such a vast audience.
Our wiring simply doesn’t mesh with this level of exposure, and it can leave us feeling quite uneasy. Luckily, if you avoid social media, that’s one less thing to fret about.
4 – Eroding Your Authentic Sense of Self-Worth
The fourth downside of steering clear of social media is its impact on your self-worth. One of the sneakiest consequences of being on these platforms is the way they inflate your ego. It’s easy to get caught up in the illusion that there’s a huge audience constantly hanging on your every word.
You’re hooked by the little indicators of approval – the thumbs up, the hearts, and the ever-increasing numbers beside them. Retweets likes, and shares become an integral part of your online existence. Some platforms, like TikTok, can even manipulate your content’s reach, giving you a sudden adrenaline rush when your video is seen by a larger-than-normal crowd. This tactic keeps you coming back for more, like a gambler at a slot machine.
Before you know it, you’re more likely to cling to bizarre ideas or indulge in conspiracy theories. You might find yourself at odds with those who disagree or see them as adversaries in an apocalyptic, life-and-death struggle. The truth is, it’s all just a manipulation of the human psyche, and it’s not doing us any favors.
Taking a 30-day break from social media can be eye-opening. Try it without telling anyone and see if you’ve missed it. Many people have discovered, to their dismay, that they’re not as indispensable as they thought. All those likes, retweets, and comments create a false sense of influence and relevance.
Instead, let your self-worth be shaped by tangible experiences in the real world, with real people. Earn the respect of others through consistent, meaningful actions – being there for someone in need, producing quality work, or supporting your family. Your sense of importance should be grounded in reality and derived from genuine interactions with others.
Don’t let the deceptive metrics of social media apps define your worth or influence. Strive for an authentic sense of importance, built on real accomplishments and meaningful connections with others. In doing so, you’ll lead a more fulfilling and sustainable life.
Alrighty then, here’s the wrap-up of my musings on the four boons I firmly believe most folks would reap if they ditched social media or, at the very least, significantly trimmed their digital footprints. So, let’s recap the goodies in store for you, shall we?
First off, prepare to embrace boredom, but fret not – this seemingly dull state of actually paving the way for creativity and ingenuity. Next, expect a drop in anxiety levels, ’cause the world you conjure up in your noggin is built on what you focus on. If social media is your go-to, you’ll likely end up with a worldview that’s pretty bleak and unnerving.
Moving on, you’ll score some much-needed privacy. Let’s face it, we humans just aren’t programmed to have faceless, massive mobs of peeps watching our every move and reacting to our thoughts while we duke it out with other impassioned strangers.
And last but not least, bask in a humbler sense of self-importance. This shift nudges you to seek validation in authentic, concrete ways, which, in the long run, is a win-win for you, your fam, and your community. So, if you’re among the many who aren’t thrilled with the social media scene or the impact it has on your life, and you’re toying with the idea of stepping back, trust me, as a seasoned escapee, it’s so worth it. If the online world’s got you down, just bounce. You might be pleasantly surprised by the magnitude of the perks that await you once you take the plunge.
Written by Johnathan Abram