Social media pages have reached a record high. After all, you know what they say: if you don’t have a social media account, you don’t exist. But your existence should not be evaluated based on the number of photos on Instagram, likes on Facebook and reposts on Twitter. It should consist of real experiences, real friends and connections not things that make you anxious and unnecessarily consume your life.
If this is not enough to make you want to delete your social media account, maybe these 5 reasons will open your eyes and help you make the best decision.
It makes time pass surprisingly quickly
When you are a social media addict, time really flies, and not in the most efficient way, unfortunately. It’s easy to get carried away and go from one profile to the next and end up gathering completely unnecessary information about a person you’ve never met in your life. The more you verify your own profile, the more you’ll get sucked in by the virtual world.
“Jane had a protein-based breakfast!” or “Brenda’s cat is playing with a stuffed animal, should I post my dog playing with his favorite toy too?” are the type of things that keep you trapped in a never-ending cycle of posts, comments and likes. To make matters worse, you can’t just post the first picture you take, right? It’s not social media worthy! This leads to several other shots and photo edits that make you spend even more time on your phone!
You don’t experience real life
Sure, sunsets are amazing, weddings are really touching and Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte is extremely instagrammable. But none of them are the same when seen through the lenses of your phone camera. You might as well watch a Netflix documentary about someone else’s life events and emotional moments.
It’s not always about taking the perfect picture or getting the most likes on Facebook. If you don’t experience all these things for real, how can you add them to your files with favorite memories? Not to mention you’re spending time with your social media friends and posting things for them instead of enjoying the company of the person next to you. “Social media can be a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, but excessively using social media—at the expense of in-person interactions with friends or family—can negatively impact relationships and well-being,” Jacquelin Nesi, a clinical psychology Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina.
You don’t want to be that person, do you?
You don’t have any privacy
It’s true. Everyone knows where you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing. Think of social media as an Ouija board, but instead of allowing one tiny spirit into your home, you’re opening an invisible door to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of viewers.
More than that, you’re not only allowing them into your life, but you also have to keep them entertained and up to date with your every move. This means more posts, more photos, more check-ins! You’re not supposed to mess with ouija boards, but is social media any better?
You’re constantly seeking other people’s approval
It’s like you’re in high school all over again. You have to know the latest filters, get the most hearts and likes, and sit at the cool table. The more likes and followers (or friends, depending on what social media platform you’re active on), the more chances you have of fitting in with the popular crowd.
“Seeing others’ curated, polished images of only happy moments or attractive photos can set up an unrealistic expectation of ourselves and the destructive experience of constantly comparing oneself with others,” says Christine Moutier, M.D., practicing psychiatrist and chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The desire to be popular makes you constantly seek approval and validation from people you consider cool, even if you don’t know them in person. But just because someone you think highly of, based on their Instagram profile, reposted your photo, doesn’t mean you are real-life BFFs. Stop trying to be liked and appreciated by people you don’t know and focus on your relationships with the ones who truly matter. The real people at your table!
You’re simply wasting data
It’s no secret that Wi-Fi means money. Simple and innocent activities such as uploading your photos on Instagram or Facebook, or even editing them, require a lot of data. By the end of the month, sometimes sooner, you end up being charged with an extra $10 per GB (!) depending on your service provider.
In all seriousness, people take more than 70 percent of their photos in areas with no Wi-Fi and edit them until they create the perfect Insta-worthy photo. This means a considerable amount of data goes down the drain, but not before taking a chunk out of your hard-earned money, especially if you exceed your data limit. Is it really worth your money?
Social media shutdown
When all is said and done, just think about one thing: is social media really adding value to your life? If you’re ok with spending a little extra money, find comfort in receiving likes and hearts and miss out on important moments in your life, then, by all means, keep your social media account. But don’t forget that the world is your oyster! There’s so much more beyond Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can always press the delete button when you realize it’s time to live your life for real.