Quitting social media in the age of TikTok, faux culture and unsolicited opinions. Your Instagram posts are worthless, go read a book instead.
The epiphany came as most revelations come to night owls like me, so late that it’s already tomorrow but you have failed to notice. I was scrolling mindlessly through TikTok like it’s been the norm on anxiety struck weekday nights when the realization came to me that it simply wasn’t worth it to lose sleep over a habit that has brought me nothing but this weird pressure to put a certain version of myself out there for the world to see, leaving the shell of my true self desperate for something real and craving good old-fashioned achievements.
Why quitting social media?
The link between social media and suicide is not the main topic of this post, but I was somewhat stunned by the fact that this connection is so well established that it has its own Wikipedia page.
Without doing the math, it was painfully evident that I was spending too much time on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter (not Facebook, I left that a long time ago), and it wasn’t active creative time. It was mainly passive, looking at other people’s content time. People that do not deserve my attention or yours, people that want to become “TikTok” famous or “go viral”.
When I started to think about the motivations someone could have to want to become “famous” in this context, I was saddened by the fact that some people just want the fame for the sake of it and not due to achieving anything notable or remarkable, not even interesting. Then I turned that analysis back to myself “why am I here?” – I asked moi. Did I want to become social media famous? Did I want thousands of followers? NOO! I do not want those things. If I were even remotely interested in that, it would be linked to a true achievement: excelling at my craft, producing something compelling, developing a point of view so articulate and perfect about a topic I care about that is worth spreading, having a “thing”. I realized that I’ve been so busy worrying about appearances that I have lost track of my “thing”. I don’t even know what my thing is anymore.
I want to have a thing.
Instagram is cancer
Instagram, in particular, made me feel inadequate, fat and like I NEEDED that new thing. In the virtual world of fashion, this should not be surprising. Having worked for years to have good self-esteem and constantly thinking about minimalism, wellness and health are simply not a good match with a platform that was built to make you buy stuff.
I have many interests and talents, but they all feel superficial and not fully developed. I have a lot of potential and I wanted to kick myself knowing that I have been wasting valuable time in empty topics, faux culture and simply settling for less than I know I can do.
Your opinion doesn’t matter
To pour gas on the fire, the recent manifestations of social discontent with the status quo and civic “engagement” have filled the Internet with more uninformed, unrequested, undistilled thoughts than I can handle. You do not need to have an opinion on everything, especially if you do not do the work to learn enough about it for your opinion to be worth more than an empty pack of Doritos. Social change is painful and requires a collective change of perspective, but social media gives people an avenue to express themselves that they do not deserve.
The wokeness, the SJW-isms, the inspirational posts calling for awareness towards [insert social issue of your choice]… I don’t need any of that in my life. What could be more productive? Reading about history, politics and looking for parallels between the past and the social context we are living in. That is how you gain knowledge and able to form an opinion that actually matters.
Leaving social media
And just like that, on June 26th, 2020, I deleted all my social media apps and left. Without a warning or “last update” because it’s not even worth the time it would take to do that.
I didn’t delete the accounts because social media is part of my job and they do have some value. When I am ready, I will treat social media as work and not entertainment.
I can’t wait to see what I can do with all this extra time. So far, the sense of liberation has been refreshing and I wish I had done this earlier. I am posting this on day 7 of my no social media journey and I will post updates on my world domination endeavors.