Originally published on Medium, 17 November 2017.
I deleted all my social media accounts, and I think you should, too. Allow me to explain why.
Social media, for me, was one of the biggest sources of anxiety and depression in my life. Even though I kept a close circle, and only followed friends and people I knew well, it still seemed like I was missing out on something. I hated having to use social media to keep up with someone's life. In fact, why did I even feel the need to keep up with someone else's life? I had my own life to live.
I would waste hours on social media, scrolling through the endless feeds of pictures and thoughts and: "Look at me, look at how successful I am."
One day, I realized something. I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of things I would post on social media. Typically, they were my best moments. Moment's I was proud of and wanted to share. I didn't want to share the time when I got too drunk at the hotel bar, forgot the layout of my room, and walked full-speed into the wall after entering my room.
This led me to believe that most people, not all, but the majority of social media users filter and choose how they want the outside world to see them. This lead me to think they weren't human anymore.
Social media is stealing our humanity. How can anyone be so perfect all the time? Where are the mistakes, the bad times, the darkness?
In the case of Facebook, I even tried a hack to hide the News Feed, so I could still access other features of Facebook like the chat, events, and groups.
This worked for a few weeks, until I jumped into the privacy rabbit hole - my, oh my, what a deep rabbit hole that is.
It was that moment, that instance, when I decided I was going to minimize the amount of data companies would be able to sell of mine.
I didn't announce the fact I was leaving social media. I didn't give people alternate ways to contact me. In fact, anyone who should need to reach me, should already have my phone number.
I just deleted it all. I downloaded all my data, and once that data was safely stored in my possession, I hit the delete button.
I already feel better.
"Social Media" image from Unsplash.