Social Media is a very dark place lit up with the odd funny meme that reassures you that ‘it’s not that bad’. It sounds like an abusive relationship, and in all honesty, that's not far off the truth.
I. Am. Free. Those are the three words that came to mind the day I hit the delete button on my social media accounts. Imagine for a moment the most beautiful, serene place you have ever seen - a place you never want to leave. That is the feeling I felt when I hit delete. It was like the whole world went quiet, a veil had been lifted and a strange, yet familiar space now existed. This space was familiar to me, as I used to fill it with real life, real people and real conversations but somewhere along the line this beautiful part of me was taken over and unknowingly controlled and polluted.
I sat with the decision to quit social media for many months. When I was ready though, it reeled me back in with the echos of self-doubt:
"How are you going to grow your blog and profile without social media"
"Everyone is on social media, how will anyone know you exist"
"How will your family overseas see what you are doing"
"All those photos and memories - you will lose them all"
"You are a self-obsessed thrift shopper and you are going to give up Facebook Marketplace?!"
"Everyone will just forget about you - you need to stay relevant"
"You want to be a performer? You won't get far without building up that following on Instagram!"
"How will you know what everyone else is doing!"
So I stayed, even though I knew in the deepest part of my core that it was not for me. 4 months into the Covid-19 Pandemic, the darkness that is Social Media was growing thick. The Empath within me was absorbing the worlds anxiety and fear like an emotional sponge. I watched how quickly businesses put together campaigns to target the worlds current 'pain points' and extort them, and I watched the masses turn their fear into a witch hunt. Hate speech, bullying and media with a hidden agenda took over. Having a different opinion or view that was against what mainstream media was reporting saw me attacked and abused even by little old women. The keyboard warriors were out in full force and it was a war I did not want to fight.
I became very self-aware and I listened to my soul. Was this really how I wanted to feel and spend minutes and hours in my day? My precious life? Are any of those echos of doubt I hear even worth all this? Even on a good social media day, I realised there was still millisecond moments where I would see something or someone that lowered my vibration. These small moments you can deal with and perhaps brush off, but compiled over time they amount to much more.
I realised how much of my time social media demanded should I want to build my brand and business through it. I did not want to live with my phone in my hand capturing 'stuff'. I see people do this all the time even when in the company of others and I find it insanely rude.
I knew I wanted to be creative like I used to be before social media but felt so stuck conforming to 'All the Things' that the actual creativity never saw the light of day. I was ultimately working for a platform I didn't own and to gain followers, and whilst doing so was met head-on by the 'Covid Keyboard Warriors' on the daily.
I came to the conclusion that for many these platforms are an addiction and a way to market and brainwash the masses. From a business and brand building point of view, it was keeping me stuck with its echoes of doubt and 'staying' like an abused spouse. From a social point of view, it was like being thrown into the 'School for Bullies'. Socially you cannot win. You cannot have an opposing opinion and if you try and post up anything positive at this point you almost feel guilty for enjoying life.
The day I hit delete, I sat with my empty space in the silence and smiled. The land of social media is now only a distant memory, placed in the same bin as mainstream media, radio, trashy magazines and newspapers. This newfound freedom and happiness have been met with more time and a higher vibration for love, kindness and life. I can hear my voice and thoughts once again. I feel more confident, creative and excited about life. I control how I feel, what I read and what I watch. I am finally 100% focused on what I love and what brings me joy.
There is so much more to life, and life can be so much more.
My calendar that once sat empty on the wall for aesthetic purposes, is now full of real-life catch-ups with real people with who I can have diplomatic conversations with even if our views are not the same. My friends and I talk on the phone and best of all, I spend more time reading, being present with my family and nature, controlling what I share and what I am exposed to and nurturing my creative inner child. Most importantly I have created my own platform and you have found me!
I hope my story has inspired you. If you are contemplating leaving social media I hope that it has given you confidence in the fact that you can and will thrive without it.
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