A life without social media wasn’t a new concept to me, as I have taken anywhere from a few weeks to 3 years off from different platforms over the years. But this time, I QUIT and will not be active / engage on any social media platform for the next calendar year.
I’ve never liked being called a quitter, but the reality is, I’ve quit multiple things in my life, over the years. I now know why that is, but until this lightbulb moment of mine, I was living in a fog; A life inside of social media chaos, actually.
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Before We Jump Into It: What Do I Consider To Be Social Media?
I feel like everyones version and definition of social media could be unique to them, especially if they use social for marketing their business vs personal use.
For me personally, I do not consider Pinterest to be a true social media platform, even though they have made the transition to creator-specific-content tools (Idea Pins, Pinterest TV).
I use Pinterest very casually, for SEO marketing only and won’t really be utilizing Idea Pins and such until I’m able to hire a Pinterest Specialist that will focus on these marketing tasks for me (manifesting this to be completed by the end of 2024).
YouTube is interesting to me. I think having a niche topic channel that is honest, genuine and thoughtful is WONDERFUL. I’ve been a creator on YouTube here and there over the years and truly enjoyed it. If I get back on the platform, it will have a couple of strategic public videos to market my content, but will for the most part remain private and a part of my patreon creator’s page.
As I get older, I find that I prefer a more intimate, private community vs a larger, public one. Hence, why I jumped into being a quiet content creator / blogger.
Girl Planted is ON YouTube, as I’ve used it as a video archive for my recipe posts in the past. So you may find those if you did a google search.
So to be fair, I do recognize the power of social media for creators and business owners. I also see the positive benefits of marketing my business with both Pinterest and YouTube with a strategy behind it in the future.
With Social Media platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Discord, Instagram, YouTube Shorts, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and whatever else I may be missing, it really comes down to one feeling; I genuinely have no interest in being on ANY platform for business or for personal this next calendar year.
8 PROS Of being on social media
- Is it nice to have all types of information at our fingertips…quite literally? Well, ya! I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Keeping up with current news and happenings is easier on social.
- I think it’s wonderful to be able to message friends from the past, connect with new people and stay in touch a little easier with family – especially the ones that live far away.
- So many incredible income opportunities can happen from being active on social media, intentionally. This is something I’m grateful to have had happen to me in the early days of Instagram.
- As an established creator, I love the opportunity to reach a far wider audience with just a click of a button. Sharing your content online can lead to BIG things. Like this single, 5-figure brand collaboration did for me.
- You can more easily learn about other cultures, lifestyles, beliefs and other incredible things that you may not get to learn about in-person, for whatever reason.
For instance, I LOVE learning how other cultures celebrate special events that are meaningful to them.
- Social media can be one really cool community fair event, so to speak. It’s easy to find similar interest groups for online and in-person get togethers and chats.
- Social media is a great way for artists to share creative works, their unique voices and self-expression. It’s probably my favorite thing about the OG IG.
- Finally, I feel like social media has given us all easier-access to deeper conversations that we may not be able to have in person. When all parties are respectful and kind, no matter their stance, those conversations can be incredibly powerful and life-changing.
8 CONS of being on social media
- First and foremost for me is the comparison game. Even if you DO NOT INTEND to compare yourself to another, it’s so easy to fall into that trap.
Because people tend to share only the good parts of their life and/or style their life for monetary gain, we can simply start to feel not good enough.
- Let’s talk about rabbit-holes, shall we? Have you ever been sent a TikTok link and then found yourself losing an hour of time, just like that? Social media can be a major time-suck and distraction because it’s set up for us to mindlessly scroll for hours.
- Speaking of lost hours, the time we spend on our devices, scrolling social media means we are not DOING something, anything, else. Social prevents us from more meaningful activities and in-person connections.
- Because we are constantly seeing how other people live, spend their time and seemingly have perfect lives, this could lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness and depression.
- Para-social relationships are TOXIC. Now more than ever, we are seeing popular creators being stalked by one-sided relationships. The fan or follower knows everything about their favorite social media influencer, but the influencer doesn’t know that person exists. Social media can be and is an incredibly dangerous place.
- I’m lucky to know life before and after the internet and social media. Because of the easy-access to others, social media is often used for cyberbullying or other forms of harassment. Sadly, this is becoming a “normal” side-effect of being online, no matter who you are and if you’re a public figure or not.
- Social media thrives on people being fake and inauthentic. I find it incredibly difficult to find online creators who are actually genuine. And I’ve worked with HUNDREDS of creators and brands over the years.
- Hustle culture. Because social media is a BUSY, quick-paced place to be, anyone who is online trying to earn a living for themselves or their family can often feel like they aren’t doing enough, posting enough, making enough.
It’s all about views, comments, likes and engagement stats. This can quickly lead to all kinds of mental health hardships like anxiety, depression and the like.
Social Media Burnout + Hustle Culture
I don’t think it’s mentally healthy to be on social media and constantly battle all the feelings that may come rushing into your life as a direct result of being active on it daily. But that’s just my personal opinion based on my own experiences (good and bad) over the years.
I’ve been hearing the phrase hustle culture for a few years now and basically it’s referring to the amount of content that’s being published every SECOND of the day.
Content creators are everywhere now and the advice that’s most usually offered up is to “create TONS of content!” And “create, create, create! Then repeat. Post this many times on this platform and do the same for the other 10”.
I don’t know about you, but I found that being on social media as a content creator to be absolutely exhausting. I didn’t enjoy it and it honestly made me feel like I wasn’t good enough in SO many ways.
After attempting to be on social media several times and even experimenting for a few months before I decided to take on this challenge, the choice to quit social media for one year was something I looked forward to doing.
A Life Without Social Media Challenge
I challenge myself to ONE full calendar year without being active on social media, personally or professionally.
I declared my business goals for Girl Planted just before the end of the 2022 calendar year. In that revised business and content plan, I also decided that I’d utilize Pinterest for pinning blog articles ONLY.
96% of my website traffic comes from organic search inquiries (SEO) which is so awesome! A teeny tiny percentage of traffic comes from Pinterest. It just makes sense to me to stay off everything else and keep pinning articles to have an active visual search engine too.
Everything else needs to go. Period. I can do this!
A Personal, Intentional Challenge Of Signing Off Social Media, Accepted
I am super excited to kick off my “Challenge Yourself” series with a beast of a feat…quitting ALL social media.
I still HAVE all the social platforms because a lot of incredible memories and milestones and achievements happened ON and BECAUSE of social media.
I am however, signed out of ALL platforms and I have ALL the icons OFF my cell phone main screens. Out of sight out of mind.
I went back and forth about quitting social media for quite awhile, but my previous random-length stints without different platforms truly helped me actively participate in not logging into these sites any longer.
It did take a couple weeks to stop checking my notifications completely and to hide all the icons (and the temptation to check them for messages). But then, I set myself up for success with those intentional acts of logging out and hiding everything.
If I live a life without social media, will people remember me?
I asked myself this question a lot; too many times to count if I’m really honest. I think this ultimately goes back to that feeling of being relevant and needing to be a part of the “hustle culture” that IS social media. I felt this both personally and professionally.
I feel incredibly fortunate to know what life was like BEFORE the internet came along and before the ability to receive immediate satisfaction that the internet and social platforms provides to us. I value the individuals closest to me that I love giving my time to and they reciprocate, fully. Our relationships are a two-way street so to speak. We don’t NEED social media to stay in touch.
I am also fortunate to have experienced social media at the very beginning (I was SUPER successful on Instagram, which led to a 5-Figure Brand Collaboration). I know first hand the benefits of being on social media. But when it comes down to it, unless authentic relationships are made and both parties want to actively stay in touch, being offline means people may very well forget about me. And I am one hundred percent okay with that.
I’m also grateful to be present right now, when we are starting to see the lasting damage and trauma that is being created because of social media. If I can escape that and other toxicities, I’m okay with not staying in touch with aquaintences and other online-only connections.
Bottom line? I want OUT. I deserve better. Will people remember me? My final answer to this question is, I really don’t give a f*ck! The most important people in my life will always be there for me and me for them, without social media.
I’ve also started an intentional email newsletter for Girl Planted Readers who would like to hear from me every 10 days or so.
I am quite excited to connect more intimately with my readers by visiting their email inbox and sharing chats like these and other fun stuff. The GIF at the end always cracks me up.
I also love that my GP email bestie can reply back to these emails if they ever want to. These are the kind of relationships I look forward to building intentionally, off social media.
My Ultimate Reason WHY I'm participating in a life without social media challenge
I want my life back.
I want to connect more intimately with the small circle of friends and family who also want to connect with me.
I want to connect with mother nature and get my hands dirty, literally, by starting a garden. I’ll also be using power tools to turn my current investment house into a warm and cozy cottage.
I want to read more books.
My four kids are growing up SO fast; too fast. Every single moment with them is THE most important part of this lifestyle change and challenge for me.
I want to have more hours in my day for intentional living and intentional joy. I miss real, authentic JOY that I feel social media toxicity has kept me from over the years.
I just want my life back. It’s a simple as that.
Thank you for reading this post! I hope that it inspired you to participate in a no social media challenge, if even for a week.
Speaking of time, one calendar year isn’t an insane amount of time for me personally. I honestly think it’s the perfect amount of time for this challenge in particular. Could you take a year off social?
I am excited to see how I feel after my year is through, see if I was able to pull it off and if anything changed during the course of the calendar year. See you in march 2024 for an update!