Why I Deleted My Social Media Accounts
And I'm not the only one.
Is that an ironic title for this article?
Well, I guess by "social media," I meant those sites that are more along the lines of Facebook and Instagram. And just to give myself some credibility, I would like to point out that I have been off said sites for 2+ years, I'm not just doing one of those 3-month trial runs that seem to be all the craze.
I originally deleted my Instagram account about 3 years ago. I sort of did it in a spur-of-the-moment fashion as I noticed myself getting really jealous over what friends of mine had posted. Most of the time I was jealous that the people I followed were doing fun things, going to cool places, hanging out with people that I wished I could be hanging out with, and so on. I even noticed myself getting jealous of the clothes people had on, how great their bodies looked in those bikini pictures, or the insanely sweet gift their beau got them. Why doesn't my beau buy me gifts like that?
What was even more frustrating was the fact that I downloaded the Instagram app in the first place because I thought it would be a great way to keep in touch with friends when I made the move from the PNW to the MW. However, it became quite apparent that my friends weren't posting these pictures to say, "Hey Langley, I miss you! Here's what's going on in my life!" Rather these pictures were issued to a whole different audience, as if trying to present some image of themselves that didn't represent the person I knew at all. Urg!
So, in a moment of bitterness, I deleted that app off my phone. I didn't even bother to delete my account. In fact, if you wanted to creep me, I'm sure it's still out there somewhere! The Facebook deletion was a little more thought through, though.
Those same things I noticed that my friends were doing on Instagram, I caught myself red-handed doing on Facebook. I think my low point was when I posted a flexing pic...Nope, not kidding. At the time, I would have definitely said that was a joke, but who am I kidding, I wanted to look good for all the people who saw that picture of me and my tiny biceps!
If you're reading this and thinking, "Sheesh, this girl is pathetic. Who cares what people think about what I post on Facebook?" Then let me ask you this question:
Have you ever felt that little bit of embarrassment when you see that no one has 'Liked' the last thing you posted?
Or, better yet, have you ever felt a sense of pride when you see that 200+ people have 'Liked' your new profile picture?
Ahhhh, so you DO care! Don't feel ashamed, because we're human, and I can practically guarantee that every single Facebook user out there has experienced those same feelings. Now maybe some of you are totally okay with those feelings, but that wasn't my experience. The Bible tells us that we will have the desire to glorify ourselves, but that we are called to glorify God only. I think social media sites have made this extremely hard. I'm not saying that sites like Facebook can't be used for good, and I have seen them used for good in many ways. But, in my humble opinion, the bad outweighs the good.
If you pair the terms "social media" and "jealous" together on any search engine, there are hundreds of articles on how frequent social media use leads to feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. I'm sure based on personal experience you can agree that this is true.
How about the frequency that social media is activated from cell phones, computers, tablets, etc.? My hubs is still on Facebook and it's so habitual for him to scroll through his news feed practically every time he unlocks his iPhone. I find myself often asking, "What are you doing?" when I see him mindlessly swiping through the pictures and updates his friends are posting (still don't know if I agree that 'friends' is the right term here). To which he replies, "Nothing."
And it's true.
He's doing nothing worth while. It's just something people do now, though; scroll through and see what people are up to when we feel bored. And by bored, I mean have about 10 seconds of free time, because that's all to much to bear.
I read of a study in which conversations were observed between two people at a time, one group having the privilege of using their cell phones as they please, the other group asked to keep their cell phones put away. The researchers found that people who had conversations in which one of the conversational partners had their cell phones out rated their conversations as less satisfying and of less quality than those who didn't use their cell phones at all. When we utilize social networking sites on our phones, it takes away from our time with people who are really around us.
I'm not saying that everyone has to be like me and get rid of their social media for good, but make sure you are evaluating it and weighing the costs versus benefits. If you feel lousy about yourself every time you scroll through Instagram, perhaps it's not worth the plus of getting to keep in touch with that friend of a friend of a friend who you'll probably never see again anyways. Or maybe just deleting the apps off of your phone and saving that for when you're on your computer away from others could help. Or maybe you're thinking you want to get rid of it all, and in that case, I have included a link to an awesome site that will give you step-by-step help on how to completely get rid of Facebook.
Thanks for reading, y'all. I hope you've found this helpful!