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I am so proud to say that I am not attached to social media anymore. There was that one time where I was on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat 24/7 and spent my entire day scrolling through feed and eventually let unrealistic social standards ruin my day or feel horrible about myself. But now I have built myself to not care about those which is such a big change and made a huge difference in my life... so keep on reading if you are looking to go down this path, want to see how I did it, why I did it, and how you can do it too!
1. How It All Started
The main reason I started social media was to promote my blog. I was once a full-time blogger and when you have some influence online, having a social media is a must! This includes Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, but Instagram was where I was the most active. I felt this platform was where everyone these days go to, or like a portfolio where you can explain, "hey this is my instagram, this is me" as if the feed you created represents you.
2. Life of a Blogger
Being an influencer, blogger or content creator is a lot of work. From the point of readers or audience, they think all we do is go to free events, get free things and have fun all day - which is true but not entirely. Behind the closed doors, which many people don't see, we are constantly working and putting in hours, and keep learning how to get better at this game... especially when these days anyone can be an influencer, blogger, content creator or whichever you want to call it. You need to be a self-starter, you have to have motivation, consistency and dedication. Like all jobs, it has its good days and bad days, so it's not all sunshine and rainbows.
3. So What's The Problem?
The problem is, your mental health. Let's take an example... you receive these pr boxes for free or go to events for free, but the businesses expect something back from you - whether it's instagram story, instagram post, facebook post or a blog post etc. Not only that, you also have to constantly chase what's new, what's on the trend... at first it's fun but it also gets really tiring. Then, you spend your days on social media and all of a sudden, you find yourself checking notifications all day long, even if you don't want to. The attention that people give you really sucks you in, and it's really hard to get out of it. It's like a trap... and you start to care about how many likes and comments you are getting, and then compare yourself to other fellow bloggers and think you are just not enough. These things eventually pile up and hurt your mental health little by little to the point where you just get so exhausted and depressed.
4. Promise To Myself
To not get trapped in the negative cycle, I realized being a social media influencer is not for me. I moved on and found another job which I am in love with. I am a travel counselor now and I sell dream vacations to clients everyday! When I first started blogging, I launched my website because I want to share all the experiences I've had and great tips with you, so you can make the most when you are visiting somewhere. But as time went by, it all changed and it's honestly so frustrating when you have to compete with influencers who try to cheat the system and write inauthetic reviews or share places on their social media that isn't even good, but just for exposure, money and followers. So I decided hey, you have a blog, let's just stick with the content where only you can share, and let's just stop with the social media.
5. The Experiment
To be realistic, I erased all my social media apps from my phone. This all started on November 6th, 2019. (I rarely go on social media on my Mac). This includes Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat. I also stopped posting because I knew I needed this break. The first day, I definitely was tempted to re-download Instagram and I did check several times what's going on on Instagram on my Mac; but I knew if I go lenient on myself, this would not work. So with a few hiccups, the week went by and you guys, I couldn't believe myself how much time I had in my hands. Like the first few days, I felt like something was empty. But eventually I used those "empty" times to do something productive, instead of staring at the small rectangular iPhone screen, meaninglessly scrolling through the feed, feeling like why is my life not as entertaining as others.
6. What's Next?
Well, I kinda had to stop on November 14th, 2019 and only re-downloaded Instagram and Facebook on my phone, due to the previous partnerships I had. It wouldn't be fair to them if I just not do the things I promised to do. But after those, I tried to reject many of the offers I got, to see how far I can take myself on this experiment of no social media and eventually take myself out from this massive trap. I erased Instagram and Facebook again on November 22nd, 2019. From then until 24th of December, I was able to do my social media detox without any problems. You guys, I call this a success! But that's not the end. Because today is Jan 19th of 2020 and I am still going strong.
7. Lessons Learned
Absorbing information, news and updates are fun and you get to learn, but scrolling through social media? is not the best idea. You can always get what's new on apple news or google news. That's what I have been doing, reading ad-free content directly on the news websites because once I go on social media, I spend way too many hours which is concerning. Instagram, 3-5 hours/day, Snapchat and Facebook, 1-2 hours/ day, Pinterest and Twitter, 30 mins/day. You could be spending more or less than me, but the bottom line is, once you stop using social media, you just realize how much time you have been losing by sucked in unrealistic society and it's just really sad. Imagine that was your last hour on earth, and instead of spending time with your family or something important, you ended up spending worrying about how many likes you will be getting on a post... we don't want that. Oh, by the way, without all these social media apps, your phone battery lasts longer!
8. You Are Still You
Not all of us, but some of us, including me, probably thought that having some influence online and receiving free gifts and things would, make ourselves more important and gain popularity seems like we are better than others or whatever... but actually we are still us, nothing have changed, and no one really cares. All the likes, comments and followers you get is awesome, but ask yourself deep down, do you really want to have all that followers in real life or want them to constantly look into your life? For me, I would not want that. Imagine those followers are surrounding your home or you everyday in real life... I mean that just sounds absolutely exhausting to me. Also we need to know that followers, likes or comment counts do not define who we are or how good we are. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you will get out of the social media trap.
9. The "Reality" Offline
Remember, not the entire 8 billion people in the world use social media. It may seem like everyone around you is active on social media, but you are seeing only the piece of the world. To be brutally honest, no one would care or miss you if you stopped posting or be active on social media. Everyone just goes on with their lives and only would check in if you post something that interests them. Even some influencers could say, less competition, and prefer that you are gone.
Let's take a look at this article, "why I deleted all of my social media and 60000 followers". In this article, Nick Fancher says, "The main reason I had selected Jay to interview for my podcast is that he maintains a posture that stands in opposition to current society. Though Jay is a photographer (and designer and director, etc, etc), he has no website, his Instagram posts are vague and infrequent, and yet his business is thriving. He creates campaigns for a number of luxury brands (Land Rover, Hermès, Bottega Veneta), and yet he rarely posts about it and almost no one knows who he is."
Another example is that, there are so many successful rich business moguls without a social media presence. You don't have to be a social media influencer nor this is an easy job. I don't know about you, but I can't believe it took me at least 3 years to realize that this is not for me. For some reason in my eyes, being a social media influencer looked so cool and like a dream job.
Lastly, I think it really helped me when I started to realize none of my family nor my closest friends go crazy over social media. You already know the real friends would support you no matter what. They don't care about how many followers you have...
10. Life Without Social Media
Yes, withdrawal symptoms are real. But I got over it because I was so firm on making this happen and you certainly can do it too, if you start shifting your focus to something other than thinking how others will look at you. Breaking up with social media helped me love myself even more and I even changed my morning and late night routine. My iPhone used to be my best friend and I felt anxious without it but now after two months, I don't feel that way AT ALL. I can go hours without it and I sometimes enjoy the distraction-free hours. I try to read more books before going to sleep, get productive, workout during the day, meal prep, eat healthy, and I started writing journals every day, which by the way, helped me SO much. I will go in-depth in another post regarding my new lifestyle.
11. Is Social Media Bad?
I don't think it's bad, and I am not trying to persuade or force anyone that you should just erase your app. But I do know that without social media, I became more happy with my life. I used to be 'that girl' who would take photos as soon as I walk in, tag the business accounts on my story, take photos when the food comes out and just be paranoid to upload everything on Instagram and other social media channels... but guess what? I barely do those anymore. Instead I try to enjoy the time, enjoy the actual meal, and enjoy the company. Like why was this so hard? I don't know... I was addicted to social media. But I am glad I can share my story with you and I go perfectly fine days without any social feed content.
12. It's Not Worth It!
I want to conclude my post with this last paragraph saying, it's so not worth it to obsess how others would think about you or you trying so hard to fit into the unrealistic social standards. Everyone is different and we are all unique in our own ways. Let's say, two influencers are friends with same follower count. The business decides to collaborate with one and not the another. You don't have to feel like you are useless or you are not good enough. Your content just didn't really meet the business' guidelines but you still have great potential. You have to think it that way, that it's not your fault, but it was, that, you weren't what the business was looking for. Plus, you don't need society's approval on anything. You don't need someone to judge you and tell you, "hey, you got 100 likes on this photo, you are less worthier than this girl who got 200 likes on her photo" - like seriously? NO! But it's really important that YOU actually believe in yourself and you take this to your heart. Because if not, you won't be able to do this. It all goes back to your mindset and self-discipline.
I hope you can use this article as your short guidebook. Our lives maybe different but I know you clicked on this article because you are addicted to social media and you rather not. If quitting social media have ever crossed your mind, this will help. We can all agree on social media is draining, so imagine being active on social media is your job... even worse. Nowadays, I feel peaceful and free. I thought I would be the last person on this earth (ok that's too dramatic) to quit social media...in ever
Hey there! I'm Claire. Clairebear Blogs is an outlet for people like you who enjoys traveling beautiful destinations, capturing moments and appreciates positive lifestyle.
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