Digital Detox and Quitting Social Media

WONDER AND THINK

arrowtemplate 2The questions I want to pose for you to think about today are: “Why is getting off of social media such a big deal?” and “Why does it seem even crazier than never being connected in the first place?”

The reason I’m asking these questions is that a lot of people have contacted me concerned over not seeing me pop up on various social media sites when they searched for me. Numerous people thought something bad happened to me, like I was a target for mean comments and bullying.

Is it really so hard to believe I deleted social media (and not all social media might I add) just to disconnect?


Here’s how it started:

About a few weeks ago, while I was bored and neglecting my obligations, I came across this article written about Kristen Stewart’s lack of social media use. And as the whole world knows about my affinity for all things K-Stew, I thought I’d chat about the article and how her statement impacted me.

Basically, it made a ton of sense and woke me up with one of those, “WTF am I doing with my life?” moments. Or, you could call it, “Oh, crap? There’s a world like an actual world that I read about and scan pictures of like right outside my window? And there’s a freaking world out there that I can actually be part of if I just get off my bum and disconnect from social media? That’s freaking insane–completely mental. I want in.”

giphy Kstew

Here’s what she had to say about it:

I’ve never fed into it. I’ve never had a public Twitter, I’ve never had a public Facebook or things where people go on and look at your every move, like Instagram and stuff like that, because it’s just so empty and distracting.

I don’t understand how so many people don’t view it as what it is, which is nothing at all. It’s just nothing, all of it — it doesn’t exist. And so yeah, it’s weird — but it makes sense.”

A.k.a Crazy talk that woke me up, made me act crazy and rash, and

DELETE.

Social. Media.

Now, that might come as a surprise to you if you read reality’s cover article that came out on New Year’s Day, because then you will have seen that I ragged on resolutions, and made a “real” resolution of improving my instagram aesthetic to gain more followers.

About a day after I submitted that contribution to my editor (a few days before the Ball dropped), I deleted Instagram.

And Snapchat, and Twitter, and Pinterest.

Lets not forget about Tumblr. Dropbox. Flickr. Myspace. Imgur. Skype. Oovoo. Netflix. Hulu.

Then I cleared off my RSS feed, deleted anything irrelevant on my YouTube and Google+ accounts, deactivated Facebook before being guilted into keeping it…

So, I reactivated it, narrowed my Friend list on Facebook down to 81 chums from around 300. Unliked everything that I have ever “liked” on Facebook since I got it in 7th grade. Left dozens of groups. Upped the security to private. Logged out. And have hardly used it since.

Then, I tried to delete a Vine account I created a few years ago, but I can’t login, so whatever. I guess it’s there to stay for now.

I didn’t just stop at deleting social media. I figured since I was at it, an entire digital clean-out was in order.

Next up was unsubscribing from all emails, and deleting any unused email accounts, 80% of my phone contacts, over 2,500 photos from my phone, 2.5 years of phone messages, all those voicemails I’ve blatantly ignored.

On my computer, I did the same: I cleared off 50 gigs, deleted anything on the cloud, deleted documents, photos, videos, iTunes, and old music I never ever listen to (aka, Taylor Swift, I’m looking at you).

Then I emptied the trash and didn’t look back. And damn, it felt good.


Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I’m Ron Swanson trying to get off the grid (sorta).

Or, maybe you think I’m on something and want to be like the trees!

~Fast forward to 5:44~

But no, it’s not either of those. I just want to get stuff done and increase my productivity, as well as not being fearful of what comes up when I google myself.

Have you ever googled yourself?

It’s not pleasant even if the results are far from incriminating (think: photos from middle school, stupid stuff that people tagged you in, and anything cringe-worthy, embarrassing moments that you don’t want a future employer, professor, boyfriend, stalker to see, ever).

To put it simply, it’s unnerving. I mean, it’s been almost three weeks since I made it my mission to clear google, and I’m still editorializing what comes up. If it’s not in my control, I don’t want it on the web. However, this concept is a real pain in the patookus to implement. Thanks a lot v-tidy, YouTubeConverter, twit pic…

I’m still on social media, pals.

So, to further back up my case on me not going off the grid and becoming a hermit, I kept a few social media sites I have use for including: GoodReads, LinkedIn, YouTube, and WordPress (obviously). All of these can be accessed through my blog. (See how nice and streamlined this is, as opposed to having 5+ unrelated accounts? Talk about upkeep!)

Oh, and I have Facebook. However, let me make this clear on Friend Requests: I will not accept your friend request if you’re not extremely relevant to my life (family, family friend, bestie), but that’s not to say I’m not approachable.

To be honest, if you saw me in public, I would give you my number (if you’re not a total stranger that is) to actually, physically talk like human beings so I can get to know you better. Just be warned, I’m not big on texting. It could take 3+ days for me to respond.

You see, I want actual friends, not metaphorical friends whose random clutter shows up on my timeline for me to scroll past. Ya get?

In conclusion…

Cutting back on social media has been fantastic. I don’t think I have to go far in depth over this. So I’ll keep it simple with this: I only have to charge my iPhone 5 once every 3 days. Think about that 😉

kstew2

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