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Okay, I guess the time has finally come. I am hitting the button and deleting the social media that I had. After years of thinking about this step. The only thing I have left now is Whatsapp and Pinterest. Weird. Questions spinning in my head.
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“Am I still a part of this society then?”
“Will I lose contact with ‘friends’?”
“Will I still know what’s in?”
“What are my friends doing? How do I contact them now?
Hm. It’s a strange feeling like something has been taken away from me. Like I’m a ghost now – invisible – in a world that spends more time than ever before on social media.
At the same time, it also feels like a fresh start, which I definitely need after the end of a long-term relationship. I think I’ll try a week, for now, to see how I feel.
The one week has turned into two. Then it became a month, then 2. Now it’s been 6 months. Every time I thought I could reinstall Instagram and Facebook, I thought “Nah, a little bit longer” at the same time.
What led me to this step was a presentation, which I had to deliver for my psychology master’s. It was about the opportunities and risks that computer-mediated communication brings us.
Of course, there were some good things to report, but if you’ve watched Netflix documentaries like “The Social Dilemma” you can’t really dismiss the risks.
Also, the German neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and author Manfred Spitzer has published truely eye-opening presentations and books on this phenomenon.
Today I share with you the benefits I have experienced during the 6 months since deleting social media.
Perhaps if you are also considering deleting or taking a break from social media, it will help you make a decision.
The problem with social media
I apologize in advance for the rant. But I think some things really need to be said, especially since there are so many individuals who don’t benefit from social media.
There are now many representative studies that refer to depression and even more severe mental health conditions (that I purposely won’t name in order to not trigger anyone) that should awaken us to reflect on our activities on the net.
I don’t think social media is bad per se. There is definitely good content to be seen from great, inspiring people. I definitely got a lot of good ideas or motivations from social media too!
In general, though, I see it going in a bad direction for our society as a whole. Away from the original plan to connect people, it’s become something where everyone basically doesn’t live for themselves anymore, but for the opinion of others.
“This picture needs to be filtered before I upload it.”
“Hopefully I’ll get a lot of likes.”
“When I’m on vacation in Bali, I’ll make stories every minute – people need to see how cool my vacation is.”
“Let’s go there, it’s the perfect place for Instagram pictures.”
“Sh*t, this picture got fewer likes than expected, that’s embarrassing.”
“Oh man, I want to have a great body like them – why am I so fat?”
“Maybe I should have my b*obs done, then I’ll get more Likes.“
“I’ll just buy followers and Likes, I want to finally be popular.”
“Maybe he/she has already seen my story, I’ll check right away.” Or “I’m uploading a story just so he/she sees it.”
Do you ever have these thoughts? Have you ever heard your friends say something like this? Most likely yes.
We also tend to use social media for self-confirmation. We seem to need the affirmation of others in order to feel good about ourselves.
This is also one of the many reasons why social media is so addictive.
6 benefits of deleting social media
Firstly, I want to note that many benefits reinforce each other. For example, improved sleep leads to a better, more vital, energetic mindset, which is why you also are more productive.
Additionally, you are more productive because you don’t spend any more time on social media. Therefore you automatically also have more time to actively invest in friendships or more time to take care of your spiritual “hygiene”, which makes you feel more in touch with your inner voice.
Deleting social media is a marvelous journey that can affect life in multiple ways.
I am more connected to my spirituality than ever before
From the external world to the internal world.
Instead of living for others, I now live more for myself. Instead of thinking about how I might appear to others or what they might think of me, I now have more energy to deal with my higher self and soul purpose.
How am I actually doing? Am I connected to my higher self? Am I truly happy? What does my soul want from this lifetime? Am I living in alignment with universal energy?
I believe many individuals have lost touch with their inner spirit because they no longer pay attention to their own body, their own soul.
The question is: can one become truly happy like that?
Deleting social media really helped in my spiritual awakening journey. I feel more connected to the universe, my higher self, inner peace, than ever before.
Read my blog post about the 15 signs of spiritual awakening
Less stress, less pressure
It’s relieving to know that you don’t have to post regularly to entertain your followers or show that you’re still alive.
I no longer have to share every event or coffee with the world, but can simply enjoy the moment for myself and with my company.
I no longer have to meet a certain beauty standard or follow current picture trends and I also don’t feel the pressure anymore to always “be enough”, to always “be trendy”.
My self-confidence has increased
Yes, I know. I could simply unfollow accounts that I know are not good for my own self-worth and self-confidence.
I have done that. And still, there were always pictures that influenced me subconsciously, even if my consciousness knows that what I’m seeing is probably filtered and faked.
And I say this as someone who has received many compliments about my appearance from all kinds of people throughout my life. And when I’ve told people that I still have self-doubts sometimes, they’ve laughed. Not out of malice, but because it’s absurd.
The point is, we’re all beautiful. I could find something “beautiful” in every single person in this world. And our “flaws” make us even more beautiful.
For example, my best friend has a bumpy nose, but it suits her so well and underlines her crazy character. I just love her face the exact way it is.
But when we see “ideals” every day, most of which are completely retouched or have already undergone many cosmetic surgeries, our image of beauty changes over time.
It is interesting to see how the perception of one’s own body and face changes for the better after a longer period of time without social media and without comparing oneself to others.
It becomes more real – natural beauty can be appreciated more. And even on days when I look “ugly,” I feel pretty. I have accepted myself, with all the beautiful and not so beautiful sides.
Bye, bye anxiety: my mental health has greatly improved
Before deleting social media, I often had anxiety attacks – especially during times when I was so busy working or studying that I didn’t take enough time to connect with my spirituality.
Together with the daily exhaustion and the overstimulation through social media, my nerves were constantly strained. Bad news, other people trolling or bullying each other, all that hate – it all falls away to a large extent.
Because my mind is significantly calmer and has to process less input, I also sleep much better than before. I fall asleep faster and wake up less during the night.
At least in theory: 3 days after deleting social media, I became a cat mother of 2 very lively cats, who really enjoy waking me up at night to get petted or to have a cat party.
i am Way more productive
Do you know this feeling? You are staring at your phone and keep scrolling and scrolling? You keep reading, you keep clicking, even though you wanted to start reading for your exams or go to sleep half an hour ago?
It’s like you want to absorb more and more and more information. Your brain keeps screaming: give me mooore infos!
Instead of endlessly scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, reading through bios, reflecting on nonsense things that some random person just posted, I now have more time to do things that really help me get ahead.
I have started doing a manifestation challenge after a long time (a blog post is following) and working on my vibes every single day, meanwhile, I am also FINALLY meditating daily again and have rediscovered my love for yoga, which I now always do on the days I don’t go to the gym.
My friendships got even better
In a world where we have thousands of friends online, we often lose touch with those few real friends we actually need in our lives. I got the feeling that looking at each other’s stories, maybe reacting to them, is considered enough interaction.
When this convenient solution is gone, you really have to take the time to respond to people, communicate with them, keep up with them and ask questions.
This way you will also find out who is a real friend and who makes the “effort” to interact with you. These friendships will only get deeper.
Final Thoughts on Deleting Social Media
Deleting my social media was a plan that I thought about for a very long time, and I kept shying away from doing it. In the meantime, 6 months have passed and I have not regretted it. It gave me time to disconnect from the world and connect with myself instead.
Surprisingly, a few days ago I got a job offer to design a social media app that is “psychology friendly” and less addictive. I think people are slowly waking up and starting to reflect more on what is good for them.
Maybe soon or even someday I will have social media again, but right now I am still too busy with the journey to my own self.
Do you plan on deleting your social media? Or have you already done it? What are your thoughts and experiences with it? Feel free to leave me a comment!