I decided to disconnect from social media and here’s what happened.
A few years ago I was feeling incredibly anxious and just so overwhelmed. At the time we were smack dab inside a pandemic that nobody had any rules for.
Remember it? People were posting all kinds of things. Attempts to help, encourage and most upsetting, CONVINCE other people to do what they thought was the “right thing”. Whatever side you stood on it was stressing and it FELT like everyone was fighting.
At that time I also took it upon myself to watch a documentary on Social Media. The doc was on Netflix called “The Social Dilemma”.
That’s when I realized that on social media sites WE are the product. The sites get us on there and grab our attention in whatever ways they can. Then they get advertisers to buy that attention in the form of ads that show up on our feeds.
I had enough! I have fed up!
So I decided to disconnect from social media.
Disconnecting from Social Media – The Steps
I would not say I did this perfectly by ANY means. Please take my “steps to disconnecting from social media” with a grain of salt, or many heapings!
Step One to Disconnect from Social Media – Save Your Content:
One of the most important things to me about disconnecting from social media was to get my images.
There were photos of my son from when he was very young and my daughter. I had photos of friends and family and vacations and I didn’t want to lose those! They were the only record I had in some cases. I hadn’t saved/backed up my photos in other ways properly.
So I set to downloading all my images from Facebook and Instagram. I googled how to do this and I recommend you do the same. Get those images onto a safe place before you ever consider deleting any social media accounts.
Step Two to Disconnect – Tell Your Friends
I did a piss poor job of this, honestly.
I think I may have alienated some people who thought I just disappeared. When I returned some really good friends didn’t seem to be bothered to connect with me again.
So my suggestion is to not do what I did!
If I could do it again I’d make a big list of all my important friends and connections. I’d connect with each one personally before leaving.
I guess you might have to do this gradually or else risk getting into Facebook jail?
What I’d do is make a template message and send it to everyone. A quick blurb about why I’m leaving and then alternative contact info. I know Facebook doesn’t like it when you mass send the same message so maybe space that out.
Step Three to Disconnect – Pull The Plug
After getting all your content and telling the important people, the next step to close your accounts (or deactivate them if you prefer that).
Because I’m in business I also DID share with my business community. Mainly being my email list. I posted some blogs on it (like this one). 🙂
I DID eventually get BACK on social media. Some of the programs I joined had Facebook groups I wanted to be in so I made a new account. If you do think you’ll need your account for that then it’s best to deactivate rather than disconnect.
I’m happy to have deactivated mine. I’m not connected to many on there now and I’m good with that.
I don’t regret closing my accounts. I’ve shared the update on that in THIS POST > Life Without Social Media.
Disconnecting from Social Media – The Mental Strength in the Decision
It took a lot of wherewithal to decide to leave social media.
There is this phenomenon where we, as humans, want to be doing what “the crowd” is doing. And the crowd is certainly doing social media!
So the big question is how to disconnect from social media gracefully. How do you disconnect without feeling like you are missing out on life with the rest of the human race?!
For me it was because I knew social was doing more damage than good at that point in time.
I needed the break. I needed to disconnect the bond I had with it…
- The constant scrolling.
- The comparison.
- The concern over who saw my posts and who might judge me.
What is it like AFTER Disconnecting?
Well you certainly claim more hours in your day by getting off social media!
I have always been a big promoter of doing activities with my kids. I did have ever more time to do that! Great how time frees up when I wasn’t checking out what EVERYONE ELSE was doing with their life!
My favorite place is the beach and my daughter enjoys the park. So we like to go to the park by the beach:
As I mentioned I AM back on social media, meaning for me Facebook and Instagram.
I don’t have Tik Tok, didn’t sign up for the new Threads and I do have accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter (or X or whatever) but I never use them or even log in.
My Facebook is purely for groups and I’m actually thinking about leaving all those and just never logging on. I almost never post on there.
I am connected on Instagram
My Instagram, on the other hand, I do use for some social aspects, for building relationships with my potential customers and for fun!
I have an Instagram account for Living Lifestyle Freedom, one for my crochet hobby and one for being vegan. These are business accounts, all three, as I have undeveloped blogs for the crochet hobby and the vegan topic.
My preference now is to be MOSTLY disconnected from social media but still have the accounts. And when I say mostly disconnected I’m still on Instagram every day… but because I want to and it’s fun for me.
If there’s ever a point where I feel it’s bad for my mental health I wouldn’t hesitate to, again, pull the plug on the whole darn thing!
I would love to hear from YOU. If you’ve been working on disconnecting from social media, got unhooked completely or are trying to figure it out I’d love to hear how it’s going! Feel free to use the message box at the bottom of the site to connect with me!