Did your head just explode from seeing the title of this post?
Yep, I did it. I went three months without social media and I want to tell you why I did it and how it changed my life!
Why Quit Social Media
This was not something I did willy-nilly. This was a decision I agonized over.
So I have pretty bad anxiety. Specifically, I struggle with social anxiety. I fight with this on a daily basis and it makes friendships difficult to attain and keep.
Even though my anxiety makes it difficult to interact with people from a place of authenticity (insert link), I found I could use social media to interact with others with minimal stress. Or at least I thought I could.
The hard truth is that friendships made or maintained over the internet aren’t real relationships. The truth was that people would like my pictures and my status updates, but didn’t engage with me through them. Even worse, those I knew outside of social media would only make pleasantries with me in public.
Then there are those people. You know them, the ones who attack you for not liking enough of their posts. It’s insane!
Beyond the simple relationship aspects of social media, there are the ads and the political statements and just general bullshit you’re not looking to see.
In the end, I just found social media was creating more anxiety for me.
Am I liking enough of their posts?
If I like this, who is going to see that? Will they be offended?
Why do I keep receiving advertisements about this political figure?
Why is the news not reporting on these horrible events?
Jeez, I just wasted how much time on facebook/instagram?
Eventually it just became oppressive noise that I thought I needed to be a part of to have a life. To be normal.
Normal is often a trigger word for me in the sense that when I think it I realize I am doing something wrong. When I realized that social media had become a form of slavery to normality, I decided enough was enough. So I left and I didn’t tell anyone.
At first, quitting social media cold turkey was difficult. I was like a drug addict. Every quiet moment I found my hands twitching to open apps on my phone.
Had anyone noticed?
Were people going to be mad I was no longer liking and sharing their posts?
How was I going to see photos from my family?
It took two weeks before I quit waking up and instantly reaching for social media. When the urges stopped, I felt freer than I had in months. I could breathe. I wasn’t spending every spare minute obsessing over people and shallow relationships. I was actually living life!
At that point I got rid of the apps from my phone and I deleted my instagram account. I kept my facebook account because I knew at some point it would be useful to have access to the photos my family posts, but I refused to go on it.
I had one family member reach out to me because I was no longer liking her posts, but otherwise no one contacted me. No one. Anyone who wanted to get ahold of me sent me a text or called or emailed. I realized pretty quickly who wanted a real relationship with me and who didn’t.
Beyond The Social
One of the big reasons I used facebook and instagram was for witchy interaction. I followed boards that kept me up to date on the phase of the moon, the astrology of the day, the high holidays and even fun DIY projects for the season. Unfortunately for some reason these things I wanted to see were being overrun by advertisements and politics.
I was concerned when I left that I would find my spiritual practices would be stunted, but they’ve only grown more powerful!
Because I no longer rely on others to update me on the changing seasons and cycles, I do it myself. I now invest real time into keeping up with the pagan wheel of the year, the Sabbats, Esbats, astrology and seasonal projects. This means I am now investing my time in my spiritual practice rather than in social media.
I am also successfully avoiding the news and politics throughout my day. The only time I find out about it is when I actually pull up the news once a day. This simple change has immensely improved my mood and outlook on the world, and is the number one reason I think changing your relationship with social media is necessary.
What about now?
These days my anxiety has greatly improved. I go on facebook once a week to check my messages, but I don’t scroll through the feed. After the three months, I went through my facebook account and deleted all the people that don’t interact with me and pretty much all the excessive information that was on my account. Now I primarily use it to share pictures with loved ones and to keep in contact with certain individuals.
I rebooted instagram. I started fresh and have made a point of following only that which inspires. I go through it about two times a day and it always serves to remind me of my goals in life and what is most important.
These days I trust myself to stay on top of my spiritual practices and I even find my new routine with reading the news is somewhat motivating. I now see the news as something that is ever changing and I hope to start using it as a tool for daily magick (more on that later).
I no longer fill every quiet moment with the noise of social media and instead invest my time in what matters. I needed to quit social media to find a balance with it, but you may not. Either way I hope this inspires you to find a balance that opens you up to a stronger magickal practice and balanced life!