If Social Media Makes You Feel Bad, Quit Using It

Just admit it, you’ve thought about it before. Social media is great and all. But you and I both know that it also sucks.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

  • It’s late at night, you’re in bed, you dread waking up early tomorrow because you have to go to work, so you grab your smartphone, you open up Instagram (or whatever app you’re addicted to).
  • And you start browsing, you go from one picture to the next, you watch some videos, you start feeling bad about your life, because all the other people have fun, and you have to go to work in the morning.

Alright, we’re at a very bad place right now in that scenario. Because now the existentialism creeps in slowly. And finally, you think:

“My life is shitty compared to these other people. They look amazing, have money, travel the world, and they are important too. Who am I? I’m nothing. What have I done? Nothing! FML.”

And what do you do besides feeling like shit? Nothing. You just go on with your life and repeat that whole process the next day. And some days you counter the posts from other people by ‘crafting’ your own cool posts.

Just admit it, this whole thing is not cool. Of course, I’m exaggerating, and social media is not the source of all our problems. Don’t expect to that your life will be awesome when you get rid of social media. I don’t believe in fairy tales.

But you get my point. Social media has a negative impact on many of us. Some people love it. If that’s you, there’s no need to read this article. But if you ever thought about quitting social media, keep reading.

Actually, just stop reading, and go on and delete the apps that make you unhappy.

Just follow the example of Louis C.K. When asked about why he quit Twitter in an interview, he said:

“It didn’t make me feel good. It made me feel bad instead. So I stopped doing it.”

That makes it very simple. If something makes you feel bad, stop using it.

It’s the opposite of the scientific approach to quitting social media that Cal Newport took. He makes some good points about why social media is bad for you.

But to me, that’s way too rational. And we’re not rational beings. We’re emotional. That’s why I like the approach of Louis C.K.

Here’s why I got rid of my social media.

I only used it for self-promotion. And I don’t like that. I don’t think that’s fair to people who follow you. So I got rid of my Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. I only have Twitter and LinkedIn (for now). But if I don’t use them, I’ll get rid of them too.

This article is not about convincing you to do the same. Or about getting rid of all your social media profiles. All I’m saying is this: If you ever thought about quitting social media, just do it already.

You’re limiting yourself by not pulling the trigger. Now, you might say: “It’s just social media. Who cares?”

But you’re not getting off that easily. If you want to live a happy and stress-free life, you have to be decisive. When things linger in your head, it’s all dead weight. And you don’t want that.

What’s it going to be? Do you use social media or not? Does it make you happy? Does it improve your life or business?

I know what you’re thinking. “What if I ever need it?”

You don’t need anything for business or your career.

People who have stakes in social media will never tell you to stop using it. Why? Because their career depends on it.

But what did you think people did before social media? It’s all a matter of perspective. Many successful entrepreneurs I know have never used social media.

Is that why they’re doing well? There’s no way to tell. One thing is sure: You can do well in life with and without social media.

It’s up to you to decide. And it comes down to self-awareness. It’s also about simplifying life. Because it’s already complicated enough. Get rid of shit that doesn’t contribute anything to your life.

So what’s your perspective? Have you ever thought about quitting social media? Why did you never pull the trigger? Let me know in the comments.

22 comments

  1. I have thought about it…daily in fact. But just as much as it affects me negatively it also makes me smile, sometimes restores my faith in humanity or gives me that bit of inspiration or motivation for the day. That’s why I’m torn I guess.

    1. It affects you negatively, so get rid of it. You WILL see or experience things that makes you smile, gives inspiration or motivation, or restores your faith in humanity in other ways and in every amount you need and wish for, trust me.

  2. I have quit Facebook. I did it back in the beginning of January and I do not miss it. I have a Twitter account but never ever use it along with Snapchat as well. Instagram I do have but honestly forget about it most of the time. Linkedin I do use for work but very rarely. Facebook was what I was on most of the time and I am so not missing it at all. Probably a very truly wise decision to give it up.

  3. I recently deactivated my FB saying I was giving it up for Lent even though I’ve never participated in Lent before and had to actually google it to learn more about it. I used Lent because no one would ask why. The truth is I don’t share the same opinion as most of the people who were my FB friends and I spent too much time hiding posts and following people. I realize now why a lot of these people (former classmates) and I never hung out together. I felt awkward around them growing up and it was probably because we had nothing in common then either. So at 53 I’m planning and waiting on my youngest of three children to go off to college next year so that I can start my new chapter.

  4. People are either too young to know anything different, or have short memories. Twenty years ago – virtually nothing in historical time-frames – there was no Facebook and no Twitter and people weren’t stuck to their phones all the time. No, life and society don’t and shouldn’t move backwards, but we had seven or eight thousand years of civilization without “social media”, and people still got news to each other, talked to each other, and actually had “real” friends and “really” liked things – and our lives did not collapse, and we had rather more idea of courteous types of personal interaction! It’s all still a big fat fashionable fad, and just needs time to be put into perspective – so that just as people can have and use cars without living in them or having to drive every single day, they can learn to use or ignore or be liberated from social media at different times in the day and the week. It’s not blood or money or oxygen, it just ain’t that important.

  5. Может быть это плохо, но я не использую социальные сети. Я просматриваю их только по необходимости. Может быть я прав? Во всем с вами согласен, отмываться от дерьма тяжело, но жизнь полна дерьма. Цель – вырваться из дерьма.
    Maybe it’s bad, but I do not use social networks. I look at them only when necessary. Maybe I’m wrong? In all I agree with you, to wash off shit is hard, but life is full of shit. The goal – to escape from shit.

  6. I I have quit Facebook, so now only have Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and use all three on a more professional basis, but have a few friends on there. I only use them moderately, but often edit who I am following; if they clutter my feed with BS on more than one occasion – BOOM you’re outta here! This cleansing process keeps the quality good for my interests.

    I don’t miss Facebook at all, mainly because I don’t care which pub you’ve just checked in to, plus I have a cat, a baby and make my own meals everyday, so don’t need to see yours.

    One tip I found useful – if you are considering quitting FB for example, delete the app and use the mobile website instead. The experience isn’t as good and you have to keep logging in! When I did this, it started to question how motivated I was to read crap. I weaned myself off instead of going cold turkey.

    Good luck guys!

  7. I have never been on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat ever and people tell me how disconnected I am but I love my life and really don’t feel drawn to any of it. I also routinely shut my phone off and take a walk or sit quietly and look out the window at nature

  8. I recently deactivated my Facebook account. I wasted too many hours mindlessly scrolling. I love my life. I travel, work hard, have a loving husband and a garden. My pets are my children. I have a step daughter who I adore. We have started a side business (our passion) crafting and making handmade leather items. I was finding myself defending my beliefs and being in petty battles with people. Complete waste of my time. I kept IG I love seeing my friends and families lives from all over the country and enjoy watching their travels. It does not make me envious. I find it inspiring. I do not miss Facebook one bit at this point. I found now my girlfriends started texting and calling more telling me how much they miss my posts. Funny.

  9. Social media doesn’t make me feel miserable. In fact, I just remove the things that don’t make me happy, and I follow three things: absurdly funny (to clear the mind), typography related (because it’s what I do) and positive groups and people, mostly about minimalism, living simple, and the like. So even though I do procrastinate and waste time with social media, I don’t think it is a bad thing; as it is making me happy, inspiring me, and driving me to be a better person. I do want to start exercising, and when I do that, I don’t have time for social media—which I like—but it’s hard for me to exercise because of a problem in my feet that hurts when I run…
    Anyway, I’m still figuring out things, but in reality, of the social media I use, it’s only making me happier 🙂

  10. I agree w/you 100%! I grew up in the 90’s. I was in high school when dial up AOL began and it was too expensive at the time for my mother to get, so I went to the library once a week to use it. It was exciting b/c it was new to me, but not something I couldn’t live without! We had hobbies back then, not sitting on the internet all day! My first cell phone was a huge Nokia. lol I don’t really use apps on my phone now b/c all I really know is how to text! In my early 20’s, it was MySpace and the flip phones to text. I feel so bad for this generation b/c they don’t know how to value their youth. They just sit on the damn computer and/or are glued to the cell phones. What memories can you establish from that? A computer is awesome and useful, but not something to live your life through.

  11. I know this will sound like an excuse but I am a blogger so it’s hard to quit social media when you’re using it for promotion. It’s funny though because I am currently on social media detox because the thing that has been helping me promote my blog is the same thing that’s killing my creative process. One week into it and I already feel some of the weight off my shoulder. I realized social media has deeply affected me more than it should and it feels like a relief to not be weighed down by it.

  12. I notice when I am most depressed, that I’ve been spending too much time on Facebook. So I really cut it back to once or twice a week to catch up with a regional group, and everything has been much better.

  13. I deleted all social media apps on my phone so that I can be present when I’m out, but I use them on my tablet when I’m at home. I still have them on my tablet because I get most of my news (of events, releases etc) on Instagram, and I also use it to share my thoughts and create avenue for meaningful exchange with my (18-21 yo) peers because the easiest way to reach them is via social media.

  14. Like many other things I don’t believe in black and white. It’s all grey shades. I have customized my Facebook profile to see only things that make me happy and removed the negative and bad things.

  15. Yeah I thought about it mainly because it distracts me from study but I can’t say it makes me feel bad, on the contrary.
    Facebook is the one I use the most and if I have friends whose posts I don’t like or make me feel bad/nervous, I unfollow them.
    Same thing with pages I don’t like and the result is a home with a lot of interesting, inspiring and funny things.
    I used to argue on Facebook because I’m better in expressing my thoughts in written form and I thought it was my occasion to finally be able to express my self but social media are not made for productive discussions, everyone are so mean in what they write and they are there attacking each other and they don’t read, they just attack so I decided to quit arguing on Facebook. Sometime I’m strongly tempted to comment, sometimes I do comment but I regret that the minute later and so I’m trying to avoid it completely.
    I don’t mind seeing others doing well in their lifes, what I hate about social media is that they give voice to people spreading hate so I try to avoid these people on the net.

  16. Being from Generation Z, I am heavy user of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn. However, when I have exams / am swamped I am easily able to not use them even if it meanss staying away for 2-3 or 5 days at a stretch..On other occasions as and when i have leisure time I use it

  17. Darius, what about the need of using the social media accounts for work purposes? I presume you need to be present on the different platforms to promote your articles and courses. If you close the accounts, how do you do that?

  18. Every time when I open my FB account, I am surrounded by other people’s seemingly perfect lives. When I see people with their happy families there — our only child passed away a few years ago — it simply breaks my heart. And towards the end of last year I decided I don’t have to do it to myself any more. I didn’t close my account yet, but I consider to do so, and these days I only go for a quick check on my account once a week. I know of people who got fired because of inappropriate remarks on social media. It’s a personal decision, but I don’t need other people’s ticks next to my name to live a meaningful life.

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