“You don’t realize something is negatively effecting you until you don’t cut it out of your life.”
There are billions of people on different social media platforms. Some of the popular ones are Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, and WhatsApp. Those are some of the popular ones, but there are many more out there.
No one ever asks the question: “Are these social media applications effecting me in a bad way?” Just like a smoker doesn’t think that smoking cigarettes are bad or an alcoholic doesn’t think that drinking is bad but doesn’t quit because they have become addicted. These types of people are the ones that stay stuck in their addiction that are always telling themselves: “I can quit any time I want, just not today.”
“You are addicted and you don’t even realize it.”
The truth of the matter is you can’t quit because you are addicted to it. If you disagree, then try to quit social media for a couple days. You will realize that you are actually addicted to social media and that it in some cases has been ruling your life.
The realization hit me when I erased all my social media apps and I would still have the urge to look at my phone and have the urge to check social media. Just like that song Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar. But instead of drink, he says check. “Stand up, check. Sit down, check. Stand up check. Sit down, check.” We are checking social media all day long without even knowing it because it has become such addiction.
Social media was something I’ve used to fill the boredom. Besides for the brand Wolf Wisdom Empire and uploading content, I had no real reason to use social media besides for numbing my brain and filling the boredom.
The 7 Things I Noticed From Quitting Social Media.
1.I Was Addicted To It.
Piggybacking off of the last paragraph, I realized I was addicted to social media. I wasn’t addicted to my phone but only to Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Besides for using my phone for music, answering calls and texting people back, and paying bills, I had no reason for my phone. So my screen time went from 4 hours a day down to 1 hour and 30 minutes a day. Half of that screen time was from listening to music.
What was upsetting to me was I always preached to my family and friends about the negative effects of social media, and the phone but I was living a life of hypocrisy. I was giving people advice for how to live but I wasn’t taking my own.
2. You Feel More Confident In All Aspects Of My Life.
Constantly, we are comparing and judging people on our social media. Everyone is only posting their accomplishments on social media. You will see no one’s failures because we are only trying to show ourselves in the best light possible.
Someone starts a business or gets a degree, you immediately feel like you need to start a business or get a degree. Someone gets married or has a baby, you immediately have to do both of those things. Someone buys a house or a car, you immediately want to do those things. Someone drops 40 pounds or puts on 40 pounds of muscle and you immediately want to drop 40 pounds. The list it endless for this comparison. This makes you feel inadequate because you aren’t doing or have these things yourself.
“We Feel Joy From Having Things That Other People Don’t Have. It Makes Us Feel Special.”
When I quit social media for over a month, I had no one to compare myself to but the person I was yesterday and the people around me. This made me feel more confident in all avenues of my life because it was only me against me, not me against the people on social media. No one can one up me because it was just me I had to compare to.
3. You Start To Appreciate Life More.
The reason I started to appreciate life more was because I stopped seeking people’s approval by posting things on social media. If they didn’t like the post or comment on it then I felt disappointed because I wasn’t getting approval. Most of us including myself were only posting things online for the approval of others whether we want to admit it or not. Because if you weren’t then your photos would just happily stay in your photo album on your phone. The only reason it leaves your photo album is because you want approval.
So for anything I did, I simply enjoyed it because I didn’t need/have anyone to cosign my happiness and validate me.
I also felt happier because I wasn’t constantly getting hits of dopamine(feel good chemical) all day long. It forced me to get dopamine was a natural source like going for a walk, talking to people in person, and reading. When you are constantly getting hits of dopamine at your finger tips, the little things in life like eating a meal with your family, watching a sunset feels miserable and not enjoyable because you drain yourself of dopamine from the constant artificial hits.
4. You Become More Productive.
The reason I was more productive was because whenever I had free time, I would use that time to scroll on social media. But when I stopped using social media, I had to fill that time with something. So it would force me to read more, listen to more podcasts, and get the thing done that I had planned to get done instead of pushing it off until tomorrow or next week.
5. I Would Sleep Better.
The reason I would sleep better was because at night when I’m laying in bed, I had no choice but to go to sleep because I couldn’t scroll social media in my bed. I would read and then go to bed within 30 minutes. Instead of scrolling for hours until I felt drained and bored that I had no other choice but to go to sleep. My scrolling would sometimes go on until midnight. Now I fall asleep at 9:30pm every night.
6. You Become More In Tune With Your Emotions.
The biggest thing why most people have low emotional intelligence and lack the understanding of their emotions is because they are always distracted. Whenever you feel an emotion, if that’s negative or positive you immediately distracted yourself, either to multiply your positive emotion or to hide your negative emotion, so you don’t have to face it.
When you don’t have the option to distract yourself with social media, you force yourself to sit with that emotion and self reflect on it and try to understand your emotion.
7. You Feel Less Socially Anxious.
The reason you feel less socially anxious is because by design we are social beings. We are designed to be constantly socializing with others in person, not artificially over the internet. But today you are socializing over social media rather than face to face. The reason for this is because you get a higher release of dopamine from socializing over the internet than you do from real social interactions.
Your brain naturally will choose the path of least resistance. A path that avoids pain and gives you pleasure. Face to face interactions could end up leading to pain. Reason being is because you don’t have the luxury of time to decide what you are going to say to someone in front of you. Everything is happening in real time, so you can’t perfect what you are going to say. So the chances of you slipping up or saying something weird is more common in person than over the internet.
Your face to face social skills will improve the more you practice and train this muscle.
The most important thing I learned from quitting social media for a over a month is it is that social media is not reality. Social media is an artificial reality, you can be anyone you want. You can change your name and create a whole new persona. But that’s not you in real life.
After realizing it is not reality, it made me seek real relationships with the people I meet in person. Before quitting, I wouldn’t care much about my relationship with the people around me because I felt the relationships I had on social media were better but in reality they were just fake.
Social media is not all bad, it allows you to stay informed, helps you learn new things, and connect with your childhood friends who moved far away from you. When it becomes an issue is when you are using it in a compulsive manner, where you don’t even know you are scrolling. Although I’m not going to erase social media altogether, but I will be using it more consciously.
Thanks for reading:)
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