Today I quit social media. Ok, that’s not completely true. If you’re reading this before 5:00pm PST, then today will be the day I quit social media. If it’s after 5 o’clock, the app has been deleted from my phone. Probably not for good, but definitely for now. And man, it feels so good.
The decision to quit social media–and by social media, I really mean Instagram–was not one I made lightly because it cost more than simply deleting the app. As a content marketer, I manage social media accounts for two clients. So to truly be able to quit, delete the app, and not look back (for the time being), I had to effectively end those business relationships. That meant taking a hit financially to no longer be on Instagram. Nevertheless, with the support and encouragement of my sweetie and a lot of prayers, I decided it was the right decision.
Here’s Why I Quit Social Media
I do not think social media is all bad. I see and believe in the good it can do. There are people on there who are sharing the Truth, helping others, raising money, making money, and enjoying it along the way. But that was not my experience and never has been.
Social Media Doesn’t Work for Me
Social media has never really worked for me. No matter how hard I try, no matter how much time, energy, or effort I put into following all the “rules,” it just doesn’t work. I tried making my feed look aesthetically pleasing. I tried boosting engagement by posting consistently, showing up on Stories, and even doing some Instagram reels there at the end. But no matter what I did, it just didn’t work. And while I was able to effectively manage other’s social media business pages, I have never been passionate about it.
I Don’t Enjoy Social Media
Sure, scrolling through memes or watching reels can be fun, but I never enjoyed the chase of learning social media. It seems like every other day there is something new with Instagram. The algorithm changed. There is a new feature that you need to use if you want to boost engagement. You need to look or sound a certain way to attract your target audience.
Some people who really like Instagram and are super into social media probably find it fun that there is always something new going on. I find it annoying and exhausting. But if you want to grow your reach and engagement, you have to spend time on the app, time learning about the app, time researching how to perform better on the app, and I no longer want to spend my time doing any of that. So, then I had to ask myself: if you aren’t going to do what it takes to do it well, why do it at all?
Instagram Makes Me Feel Bad
Not all the time. But scrolling Instagram can really do a number on your self-worth, self-esteem, happiness, satisfaction, etc. When I was trying to build up my Instagram page for relationshipswell, I would see all of these other Christian pages doing so much better than me and wonder what I was doing wrong. Then, when I started my content marketing business, I decided to try to build a following for synergycontentmarketing. And everywhere I looked I saw my competition. I saw people trying so hard. And I was trying so hard too. I made reels. I created a freebie (that got zero traction, by the way). I put my face all over my Stories. I did it all, even though I don’t enjoy it and it never works for me. I tried so hard as everyone does until one day I decided I was really done trying.
So, Did I Quit Social Media or Just Give Up?
Writing out these thoughts now, I realize it sounds a lot like I gave up on social media. And you know what? So what if I did? I am fully confident that what God has next for my life doesn’t involve Instagram at the moment. I quit social media to get social, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
The Year of Community
I mentioned three of the main reasons I quit social media, but there are plenty more. From the addictive properties of Instagram to the false sense of community, I just didn’t want to do it anymore. And, this being the first day the app will be off my phone, I’m sure there will be times I miss it. I’m sure my muscle memory will go to click the app before realizing it’s no longer on my homescreen. But I’m hoping, over time, my days will become filled with intentionality and real relationships. And that’s my goal for this new journey and season of my life. Right now I’m calling it The Year of Community (we’ll see if it sticks).
Making friends after college has been a capital B-word. And the increasing feelings of loneliness I’ve felt as of late are an indication that something is missing from my life… something I was created to experience: community and meaningful friendships. Because the truth is, God created us for community, and I haven’t had any in a really long time. Yes, I have my wonderful sweetheart, his amazing mom, and my awesome sister, but that’s really it. And now that I own my own business and work from home, I don’t even have the social interactions of co-workers, so it’s been quite a lonely time. I want that to change, and this is the start of it.
The Friendship Challenge
Over the next who-knows-how-long, I will focus on how to make friends and establish real, meaningful friendships with people in person. And I am going to document my journey on this blog. I want to keep myself accountable to being intentional with my time away from the gram. And if I can help or encourage someone else along the way, I am all for that.
I could go on and on about the things I’ve been feeling in my heart lately, the reasons making friends has been so hard for me, and what I hope to get out of this journey, but I’m going to stop for now. Now, it’s time to send that text, make that plan with a friend (and actually follow through with it), or whatever it is I will do this weekend to actively participate in The Year of Community.
I cannot wait to see what God does through this time. I cannot wait to look back a year (or sooner) from now and see all the good that has come from this decision. I cannot wait for the friendships I will create and nurture. I cannot wait to hear from those of you who also gain something positive from me sharing about it on here. It’s going to be good. I’m hopeful. And for the days I’m not, I will lean on those I do have around me for support. Friendship… here I come.