When the Coronavirus Pandemic started in 2020, everyone was forced to stay in. Tiktok became the app everyone flocked to distract them from life. Users showcased dance routines, fitness tips, music, lifestyle vlogs, cooking videos, and videos showcasing their business. Everything that you could think of was on this app.
I’ve learned, laughed, and cringed A LOT in the past two years. But, despite all of that, I found myself comparing myself to other people’s life. It was a breath of fresh air when I saw other ‘hot mess’ moms that didn’t have a perfect life. I’m well aware that a lot happens behind the scenes of the perfect Instagram picture. I was overall aware that even in my best moments, my life didn’t live up to social media perfection. It finally broke me after years of this, and I had to find a way out.
The final straw for me was the trend that became popular at the end of 2021. In this trend, people showed snapshots of exciting experiences over the year. I was reminded that I didn’t have the time or money to travel. I didn’t have friends to laugh with. My kids weren’t models for a random Etsy shop or many sports. While I’m proud of what people accomplished and experienced, I had a serious case of FOMO (feeling of missing out).
What Was My Life Like While Using Social Media?
I was obsessed with watching what other people were doing. Was my post about “this thing” cool enough for other people to think, “wow, she has her shit together.”
Truthfully, I was addicted to social media. I would wake up late in the day because I’d spend hours at night scrolling. Then, when I did wake up, I’d spend two hours in bed scrolling. I’d scroll while I cooked, sat on the toilet when I should have been working, while bathing my kids, and scroll instead of cleaning. I’d scroll for 10 to 15 minutes before driving away whenever I got into my car.
It became increasingly apparent that I felt like I HAD to be online towards the end of the year. “Oh! I need to ask this group for advice on (insert various topic).” Or, just the overall truth to this meme:
Additionally, the attention that I gave my kids and other responsibilities were severely slacking. When my kids wanted attention, I’d say, “Yeah, in a minute.” But in truth, it was more like 30 minutes or another hour. I missed many silly things they said because my nose was stuck in my phone. I constantly complained about how little time I had to take care of my responsibilities. But as I said, it was because a good SIX HOURS of my day were wasted on social media.
The Pros and Cons of Quitting Social Media
When I told my Psychiatrist that I was quitting social media, his instant response was, “oh, because you know about the link between social media and depression?” Uhm sure. My main goal at the time was to get away from the massive “time-suck” that social media was. But after three months of very minimal social media, I have noticed a significant improvement in my mood and productivity.
More Pros of Quitting Social Media
Spend time with Family. Like really spend time with my kids and live in the moment. I no longer feel like I have to document and share every moment.
Being more aware of Politics. I actually follow the news and my opinions aren’t based on other people’s opinions or weird (rarely true) random facts.
Making my own decisions. The decisions I make aren’t based on what I think other people would approve of or how everyone else says I should approach the situation.
Being overwhelmed by all the negativity in the world. I’m aware of all the danger in life like sex trafficking, bullying, suicide, etc. But, seeing all day on my phone made me give up on even trying to enjoy my life.
Finding myself and learning who I am. I let social media and trends tell me how to live or what to like. For example, what music to listen to, what to wear, who to date, what shows and movies are good. It shaped a lot of my personality but I’m learning about who am more everyday
I’m not lonely anymore. Okay, that’s a lie, but its a different kind of lonely.
Cons of Quitting Social Media
FOMO but specifically with music. I found a lot of good F#%$ music through Tiktok and instagram.
Learning. Okay, rule NUMERO UNO, don’t believe everything on the internet. BUT, Tiktok and Instagram had a lot of good videos for painting, dancing, running a business, and mental illness. Be sure to check references and sources on anything you learn on the internet.
Loneliness. I didn’t have people from highschool telling me how good of a mom I appeared to be. And I didn’t get my 10 Max likes on my selfie that I posted on Instagram to my 50 followers.
Memory Keeping. I absolutely refuse to officially delete any of my social media accounts because of all the memories they hold. And, I do miss being able to post photos online in one place. For now, I’ll just use my phone and hope it doesn’t break.
How To Quit Using Social Media
It wasn’t easy quitting social media, but it had to be done. Here are some tricks I used to minimize or completely quit using social media daily.
- Delete the apps. Typically, a notification of comments, likes, and new posts would suck me right back into scrolling mindlessly. So, deleting the app itself helped me avoid grabbing my phone after every chime, and it was harder to get into my account.
- Log out. It is another way to minimize notifications and make it slightly harder to jump back on.
- Blocking social media web pages. I’m really stubborn (typical Taurus, y’know?), so the tips above only slowed me down but blocking the site on the browser really helped. I couldn’t even get on Facebook if I wanted to. Check out the Blocksite app, available on tablets and desktops.
- Deactivate your account. Deleting my account isn’t really an option because I’ve had it for over 10 years. I refuse to erase a decade of memories. But, deactivating also makes it harder for me to get notifications or emails about what’s happening.
Currently, my account is active, but I’ve reinstalled my site blocker. Honestly, I got sucked right back in this past week, but I gotta stay focused.
What I’m Focusing On…
With the extra 6 hours a day, I have now without the distraction, there are parts of my life I’m planning on repairing and habits I’ll be adding.
- NO DATING. I need to learn not to put my self-worth in other people, so dating is off the table for the next year, minimum. Check out the book Welcome Home by Najwa Zebian if you’re looking to learn how to love yourself again.
- My children. So far, my kids and I have been playing A LOT of Uno and Go Fish! We’re on a healthier and more consistent routine, so that is what I hope to continue to do and grow with them.
- Walking 10K Steps. I hate CARDIO! And I do like lifting weights, but I hate feeling like I have to set aside time for something – I’m just not that disciplined yet. So instead, I do mini walks while I watch youtube or Netflix.
- This Blog. I haven’t been focusing on this blog because I “didn’t have time,” but now that I do, I’ll be trying to push content out by the week.
- Liz R Online Freelance Business. In addition to Each Passing Day, I’ll also be building a freelance business, getting clients, and possibly building a team to help push out more content.
So What Now?
I can’t completely quit social media while running a blog, so I’ll schedule my post ahead of time through a scheduling app. The overall goal for this is to regain focus and compare my life and success to others.
The content here will be for your support and bettering ourselves together.