Dear Social Media, I Quit…

Three reasons behind my decision to quit social media temporarily

Gayathri
New Writers Welcome
5 min readNov 7, 2022

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I am a freelance writer and am seriously considering quitting social media to improve my writing career. I have done this digital detox in the past and want to do it again.

Now, you might think that I have probably gone nuts. To succeed as a writer, I need to have established credible social media accounts in today’s world.

On these lines, I have heard most of my writer friends say,

‘Gayathri, why don’t you build a following on social media?’

‘Build your Instagram account. Everyone is on Instagram today. Slowly build your Instagram profile and see the magic.’

‘Don’t you know how to build your Facebook page? You need to have more platforms. Take some courses and start building your client base. Otherwise, how do you think you can sustain?’

….. and so on.

I agree with what my friends say. In today’s digital world, being on social media is akin to staying relevant. If your Instagram account has a sizeable number of followers, you’re more like a mini-celebrity. You are a great content creator if your videos do well. If your Facebook page has a good fan following, you are also a celebrity in your own right.

However, let me tell you the reasons behind my wanting to take a break from social media

1. My mental health went for a toss

Now, you may think, this is something that can be taken care of. I have heard many people say,

‘Just rationalize your time, and everything will turn out right.’

But that wasn’t the case with me. When I tried limiting my time, something would often tempt me to check what was happening. Social media became a regular part of my life and ate up my time longer than I could have imagined. I would often go through the status updates of my friends, comparing them with me, and more often than not, I would convince myself that I was a loser.

Eventually, their achievements became a parameter for me. Whenever I did something, I invariably compared my successes with the successes of my friends and relatives, which deteriorated my mental health and peace.

That was when I decided to quit. The decision to leave social media gave me tremendous relief, which is why I insist you take a mini break.

2. I want to get more writing done

If you are a writer, you will agree with what I am going to say.

Content is KING.

As a writer, I have heard this phrase countless times. But, lately, a debate has emerged in my mind about whether the content is king or marketing that content is king.

You might probably say that content is king and marketing the content is an art. I agree.

But, as a writer, I constantly feel that more than the quality, the hashtags that I use determine the reach of my writing.

My writing strategy nowadays is comprised of

· Choosing relevant hashtags

· Doing SEO and keyword research

· Learning more about the content marketing strategies

· Sharing my pieces on social media

· Checking the comments and diligently replying to them

· Making more engagements

Uff… I am tired. I am neither socially nor technologically savvy. So, these strategies take a massive toll on me, making me wonder whether I am doing these things correctly or missing something else.

The quality of my content has become proportional to the number of comments I receive and how much I engage with the audience. Gone were those days when producing high-standard content was the norm for a writer.

Last time, when I quit social media, I noticed that my writing got dramatically improved. I tracked the number of words I wrote every day. Nevertheless, I had my share of difficulties. But I didn’t care.

I felt relieved.

3. I want to live in the real world

Yes, this is something I want to say, not as a writer but as an individual. In the virtual world, though our minds can be opened to different avenues, we cannot dwell upon them since they are unreal. We are simply living in a fantasy world of our own. It is more like a conjured-up dreamland where nothing can go wrong.

Often, I see my friends and other people posing for selfies and photos, as they have no care in the world. But the reality seems to be otherwise. A few days back, one of my friends spoke to me about her problems at length. But her Instagram profile appears to churn out a different story. After hearing her story, I realized one thing. Be it Instagram or Facebook, or any other social media, we humans only want other people to see our cheerful faces. It is like a constant façade for ourselves, behind which we bury our sorrows and problems.

Suddenly, I felt tired of virtually pulling up a cheerful face and coping with my real-world problems.

For a while, I told myself that maybe it was just me who thought that way. But recently, I came across an article on Vogue wherein acclaimed novelist Leila Slimani also feels the same way about social media.

Sadly, both reality and social media are opposites of each other. Social media tampers with the way our thoughts are perceived.

So, if you feel that you’re missing out on things by quitting social media, I would say to think again. You will realize you can do well without social media.

Conclusion

I am just trying to say one thing with this article: quit using social media for at least a brief period. Go cold turkey. I did, and I’m going to do it again.

You’ll realize that you have become a far more prolific, productive, and interesting writer than you were before. I assure. You will lose nothing.

You may feel that what I suggest is a lot to ask, but take a blind leap of faith and do it. You will indeed feel the difference!

References

Randone, A. (2020, November 07). “I became a free woman”: Leïla Slimani on leaving Social Media. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/leila-slimani-on-leaving-social-media

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Gayathri
New Writers Welcome

Freelance writer. Solopreneur. A flawed individual who tries to be the best version of herself. Pragmatic. Bibliophile. A proud Indian.