Is it possible to live happily without social media? I will say YES!. Before social media, people lived happily and some still do today. It’s not going to be easy, however. You’re going to have to be determined and feel confident for not being able to see what other individuals are up to.
Have you ever wondered why most people use social media, or at least assume they need it? It’s because we’re looking for validation. We want to feel wanted and accepted at all times; no one wants to feel like they don’t belong. It’s because we are humans!
Try to spend more time on tasks you have always wanted to learn. Just read books, talk with people, genuinely get to know them, focus on your job and even fly if you can. Instead of sharing photos on social media, write in a journal about your experiences. Know that to be contented, you don’t need social media, all you need is the ability to be.
I always tried to limit my time on Facebook, but in the early days, I couldn’t. It felt so great to just swipe through the feeds to see what others do with their lives, those aliens’ lame birthday wishes, those meaningless updates of candy crush/criminal case and all that crap for that matter. Now, coming to the period when my girlfriend broke up with me, I should really do that. It’s almost more than a year now since I signed off Facebook. Initially, as others have described, it was difficult, but eventually, it became fully natural. Also, I was a student back then, so I had plenty of time to waste. Now, after a year, life has changed completely and I’m still very pleased with the transition.
Life Without Social Networking
My Facebook and Snapchat account has been permanently removed for almost 9 months and my Instagram account for almost 2 months! Why am I doing this? How could I, then?
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I am a medical student and it takes a lot of commitment, discipline and emphasis to be one! And nothing but the reverse has been done by social media. For too long, I scrolled down the Facebook pages, forgetting about homework, worried about how many likes I got and I wanted to post anything every day; a selfie, a video prank on my friends, jokes … something that could get my followers to think about me in a certain way!! But this was my number one explanation.
The second reason was that bookworms, particularly my three best friends, have always surrounded me. I’ve been listening to them tell each other about that amazing book they’ve been reading, or how they can’t go to sleep until they’re finished reading that book. Frankly, I was jealous. I began to wonder a little bit, what’s the problem with me? How on earth do I not do what other humans would clearly do?
But I also asked myself, how can they sit down somewhere and start reading a book without getting bored? So I bought a few books and tried to read them, but I get a break when I read the first page, or barely two. I’m spending the break on social media!
One day, I was scrolling down a Facebook page again and found a piece of information about how social media can lift your mood by giving you dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone from the reward system for those who don’t know and is secreted when you complete a mission, so it rewards you with good feelings.
So, social networking raises your dopamine levels a little bit while you’re talking with others, 200 people like your picture, your crush likes your Facebook picture … and the list goes on! The downside is that you get dopamine when you are basically doing nothing!! That means that social media will make you lazy!
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I then decided to delete my accounts on social media. And I’ve been reading lots of books ever since then, and now I’m doing pretty well in school and I feel much better for investing my time wisely.
My Life After Quitting Social Media
I’ve been off all the social networks for a year now and it’s pretty much like all the other 21 years I’ve been living for so long. The only thing that has improved nowadays is that I have less crap to contend with.
Social media is a place where every person selects his/her best moments and shares them online so that others can see, admire, or feel jealous of their peers. And seeing such posts would always make you think about these things: Am I really enjoying my life? How does someone have a life so awesome? Am I ever going to be as happy as them? He/she looks amazing. Why don’t I look so good? And all the other such absurdities. Now, I don’t see my friend’s best moments after deleting all my social media profiles and can be very relaxed and content with my own existence.
Few may argue that social media helps them remain linked with their old friends or relatives that are far off. And I agree with this. But I prefer calling my friends and talking to them overwriting or liking/commenting on their posts. It even helped me a lot to speak with more people.
Don’t think about being invited to things and events. If people really care about your presence at a party or event, they’re sure to find a way to reach out to you to make sure you get the invite.
It relies on personal preferences as well. I have no problem with not getting a social media life, though few may find it hard and start feeling insecure and missing the online presence of their friends. But believe me, you will accomplish more in life and understand yourself better when you learn to live without social media.
8 Solid Tips On How To Live Without Social Media
You don’t need social media to live a life of fulfilment. Dedicating less time to social media can help you regain time that you didn’t know you had — time that you can spend on things that really matter. Here are ways you can enjoy life without social media:
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- Just Quit: Just make up your mind and deactivate all your social media accounts. This is the first step you must take. You can find it easier to avoid using social media if you disable or get rid of your accounts. Many social networking platforms allow you to deactivate your account instead of removing it entirely in case you want to come back. Delete social media applications from your smartphone or tablet. Any time you go through your phone and see the Facebook app, there’s a chance of temptation. Deleting these applications makes it easier to stay away from social media and concentrate on what matters most to you.
- Get Their Contact Info: Studies show that while social media keeps us linked to others online, it reduces the quality of our off-line relationships. You can improve these relationships by collecting phone numbers and addresses from people you care about. Write this information in an address book or a personal organizer and keep it handy. It’s a good idea to ask them how they want to be contacted. Some people may be more open to talking on the phone than others. People who are less likely to speak on the phone or make arrangements in person may tend to communicate by email.
- Find New Hobby: In addition to being very good at something, devoting your time to a new hobby will help you fill the empty time that you once filled with social media. Having a hobby will also improve your imagination and keep your brain sharp. If you have trouble coming up with a new hobby, take a look at any of these ideas; comics illustration, film-making, jewellery-making, making your own clothes, macramé, decoupage, interior design, makeup, analog synthesizers, choir, making guitar pedals, becoming a DJ, lyric poetry, amateur journalism, short stories, personal memoirs, martial arts, swimming, dancing, aerial yoga, raising money for a good cause, helping a non-native speaker learn your language, training pets, sharing meals with people experiencing poverty.
- Be Updated: Since most people get their news on social media, you may be shocked to discover that there are other ways to remain linked to current events. Most places still print newspapers, most of which can also be viewed on the internet. Radio news, podcasts and television news networks may also expose you to a broader range of knowledge than that offered by your social networks.
- Do Things With Other People: Having meaningful experiences and relationships with friends can help you remain safe and happy. When you have enjoyable social activities on the horizon, you’re going to feel less alone. Find out which bands or artists are visiting your area, and then prepare to see the event with your friends. Look for good cafes or restaurants in your area and ask a friend to meet you for a meal. Plan your camping trip with a group of people. Try to choose where the Internet is inaccessible! Sign up for an activity that allows you and a friend to do something on a daily basis. For example, weekly yoga lessons, volunteer opportunities, or group writing. Start a project with a group of people, such as a band, sports team, or foreign language study group.
- Live A Busy Life: If you ever check social media when you’re bored, you’re going to have to fill your time with stuff that keeps your mind occupied. You’re going to clean, read, research, catch up on homework, or go out. Not only can you keep on top of items like coursework or washing, but your social media temptations may also be minimized.
- Join Similar Interest Groups: You can use a platform like Meetup.com to make new friends who like to hang out in person. You can find a group that shares a certain culture (e.g. heritage, profession, orientation) or mutual interest (e.g. oil painting, beat-making, women’s basketball, etc) and forget about social media.
- Ask For Support: If you’re unable to stay away from social media, reach out to your friends and family. Let them know that you want to stop using social media and ask them to help you fill up your time. Internet addiction can interfere with life to the point of being a severe addiction. If you feel shame and have trouble getting rid of social media, there are non-judgmental therapists and support groups that will help you conquer your addiction.
How Is Life Without Social Media?
Now how is life without social media? Much like others said:
- I spend a lot less time standing in front of the screen. The only time I want, like right now, is for work and the occasional google search.
- Currently, with people who are friends or relatives, I have to make some small efforts. We actually catch up when we catch up: I haven’t seen their latest social media posts and they can’t see anything either, so we’re actually spending hours talking happily about our latest stuff. And man, that’s so much better than it used to be for me.
- In fact, I’ve had some issues with friends because I didn’t attend enough to their invitations, so I had to make additional attempts to be there more. I’m always invited to more social things than I want to attend. But now, there are fewer invitations and I have more time for myself. They don’t feel offended anymore cos I’m not on social media. If the invitation is crucial, they call me on phone.
- Since I have lots of free time, I spend my time doing things like playing music, reading a lot more, regularly going to the gym, going for walks, etc. Before, I’m the one who enjoys my food or my space at the gathering, 98% of the time, while people are transfixed on their phones, snapping endless pictures or chatting with people who are not even there.
- I pay more attention to people like my family and friends who matter because 80% of my network will not be able to reach me immediately at all times. Just my family and closest friends, no one else, has this right.
- I don’t waste time worrying about why people have a cooler life than I do: I spend time living my own cool life and loving it. I no longer think about comparing and competing online. I’m at the heart of my own life, not people I’ve met remotely from three jobs before. I’m not hung up on metrics and likes and views.
- Since I have more time available than a social media obsessed person, I decided to use it to change my career direction and train as a doctor. Most of this precious leftover time is needed to plan for it.
Now, I love life a hell of a lot more than I used to. I realize just how dangerous and detrimental social media are to some of us. When I have the occasional look at some platform through other friends surfing notifications constantly, it all looks eerily fake and manufactured to me. Often I’m very confused by what people even share with them right now. I’m left wondering how much fake affection and validation a fragile ego wants to feed on. I’ve managed to be living without social media, and I’m proud to have done it!
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Social Media
It is clear that more and more people are going to grasp its advantages as social media grows. For the world, it has brought a lot of benefits. Every nation uses the power of social media to enhance life and use it for people’s opinion, from industrialized nations to underdeveloped countries.
However, on the other hand, it has also had a negative effect on the world. Much like everything that can be used for both good and evil, the negative and constructive forms for people have also been created by social media. It’s all about the use of the influence of social media and having stuff done positively. For its benefit, it is in the user’s hands to use. But it may also have detrimental effects on consumers, willingly or unwillingly. Now, I will answer both the benefits and drawbacks of social media for the world.
Advantages Of Social Media
- Connectivity: Connectivity is the first and principal benefit of social media. People can communicate with anybody from anywhere. Regardless of faith and place. The beauty of social media is that, to learn and express your views, you can communicate with everyone.
- Information and Updates: The biggest benefit of social media is that you update yourself with the current developments across the globe. These days, most of the time, broadcast and print media are skewed and do not relay the real message. You can get the truth and real knowledge with the aid of social media by doing some analysis.
- Education: For students and teachers, social media has a lot of advantages. Via social media, it is very easy to learn from people who are experts and professionals. You can follow someone to learn from him or her and develop your understanding of any area. You can educate yourself, regardless of your location and school history, without paying for it.
- Awareness: Social media also raises awareness about the way people work and innovate. It is social media that has helped people discover new and creative things that can change their personal lives. Each person in society can benefit from social media and its awareness factor, from farmers to teachers, students to lawyers.
- Promotion: You should market your business to the largest audience, whether you have an offline company or online. The entire universe is open to you, and it will inspire you. This makes the companies profitable and less costly, since advertisement and promotion are the majority of the expenditures made over a company. This can be minimized by constant and frequent social media engagement to communicate with the right audience.
- Help: In order to get assistance and giddiness, you should share your concerns with the world. You will get it from the community you are associated with, whether it’s supporting in terms of money or in terms of advice.
- Noble Cause: For noble causes, social media can also be used. Promoting an NGO, social welfare programs and contributions to the poor, for example. People use social media to donate to poor individuals, and it can be an easy way to support those individuals.
- Improves Business Reputation: It can also boost company revenue and credibility, just as it can destroy any business reputation. Positive remarks about a business and sharing them will help them with sales and goodwill. Since people are free on social media to share whatever they want, when good words are exchanged, it can have a positive effect.
- Helps in Building Communities: Since there are distinct sects and values in our world. Social networking helps create and engage in the culture of one’s own faith and believes that it can be explored and learned. Similarly, individuals from various cultures will interact to discuss and exchange similar things. For instance, game lovers can join communities related to games, car lovers can join car-related communities, and so on.
- Helps Govt and Agencies Fight Crime: It is also one of the social media benefits of allowing governments and security forces to spy on and apprehend suspects in the war against crime.
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Disadvantages Of Social Media
- Addiction: The addictive component of social media is really bad and can also disrupt private lives. Teenagers are the ones most affected by social media addiction. They get really deeply involved and are inevitably cut off from society. It may also waste personal resources that could have been used for efficient assignments and operations.
- Hacking: On the Internet, personal data and privacy can easily be hacked and shared. Which can lead to financial losses and personal losses. Similarly, identity fraud is another problem that can provide anyone with financial losses by breaching their personal accounts. In the past, many private Twitter and Facebook accounts have been compromised and the hacker has uploaded materials that have affected the personal lives of individuals. This is one of the harmful social media drawbacks, and each user is recommended to keep their personal data and accounts secure in order to prevent such accidents.
- Cyberbullying: The majority of children have been victims of cyberbullying in the past, according to a report published by PewCenter.org. Since anyone can create a fake account and do anything without being traced, bullying on the Internet has become quite easy for everyone. To generate discomfort and uncertainty in society, attacks, messages of intimidation and rumours can be sent to the masses. Check out the six stories of cyberbullying that have turned into real-life suicide stories.
- Cheating and Relationship Issues: Many individuals have used social media to propose and marry each other. However, they turn out to be incorrect in their choices and part ways after some time. Similarly, by revealing false feelings and inaccurate results, couples have fooled each other.
- Fraud and Scams: There are many examples of individuals scamming and committing fraud via social media. For example, the 5 social media scams that were carried out of all time are included in this list.
- Glamourizes Drugs and Alcohol: One of the drawbacks of social media is that people start to follow and post their thoughts and videos on the web with those who are rich or drug addicts. That ultimately motivates others to pursue the same and become drug and alcohol addicts.
- Reputation: Only by making a fake story and spreading it through social media can social media easily destroy someone’s credibility. Similarly, companies may also incur losses due to the poor credibility of social media transmission.
- Health Issues: Excess social media use may also have a negative health effect. As exercise is the secret to weight loss, due to the heavy use of social networking sites, most people get lazy. Which brings disorder into everyday life as a result. This study by discovery will shock you by illustrating how bad the use of social media will impact your wellbeing.
- Security Issues: Intelligence services now have access to people’s personal accounts for one day. Which makes confidentiality almost compromised. You never know when you are visited by some investigating officer for any topic that you have mistakenly or unknowingly addressed over the internet.
- Social Media causes death: Not only by using it but by watching the stunts posted on the internet and other insane things. Bikers, for instance, perform unnecessary tricks, people leap over the trains and other life-threatening things. For example, a 14-year-old from Mumbai was doing stunts on a running train that caused his death in this video. Because of the popular stunts made and posted on social media, these types of stunts are done by adolescents.
My Advice On Whether To Leave Social Media
Social networking is so addictive that often I open a tab when I go through my browser and start typing “facebook.com” without even thinking about it and spend a long time there and I usually ask myself after logging out, what the hell I’m doing there, and think about it for 5 minutes and just leave it there and next time I get the same stuff.
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In reality, social media destroys our social life, it just binds our lives into these constraints and we are so addicted that we have to do it. If you want to, you can quit social media, but the problem is that you’ll feel lonely then because you can’t find a person sitting next to you without their smartphone and talking to you for a long time. We are all in love with the virtual world, and we care more about the fake world than we care about reality.
You have to find an alternate route if you really want to end it. Often I feel bored without it when I exit social media, and sometimes I feel an external force to use it. So I find an alternate way, I start reading books, whatever I get to read, and you know I feel very energetic. Sometimes, when all my friends are stuck on social media and I sit there without my mobile, it feels terrible, but then I think it’s okay to be different.
So, leaving social media, you’re going to find a new life you’ve been avoiding for so long.
If you have any suggestions or ideas or experience to share with us, please use the comment box below. And do not forget to share!