Why I Decided to Delete My Personal Social Media For Good

There is a French proverb that says: “Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés”, which would translate as follows: “To live happily, live discreetly”. I think it’s fair to say social media does the exact opposite of that.

Earlier this year, I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts. The only reason I didn’t delete my Instagram was to keep the history of all the amazing pictures & stories I shared while I was travelling, but I’m not posting anything on it anymore. Some things happened in my private life that made me realise I don’t need social media. I did what everyone should do when something is becoming toxic to them: I detached myself from it. Below are 3 good reasons why I think everyone should be careful with social media:

You can easily inspire jealousy

Sharing happy moments publicly is not always a good idea, especially if it’s something not everyone can do/have and therefore would envy. They can always pretend and like your posts but the truth is they don’t really want to know. It’s hard to distinguish who really has your best interest at heart and sometimes you can find out in a pretty harsh way with social media. Some people would secretly celebrate your failures, more than they would publicly celebrate your successes. Keep that in mind.

You don’t need “social validation”

You don’t need anyone to validate your opinions, your decisions, or anything that is supposed to be completely down to you (and you only). There is a balance between what you should keep private and what you can share online, and it’s important to get this balance right. I also realised that people tend to “like” the person behind the post rather than the post itself. If you want people to judge the quality of your content rather than your own popularity, then you’re much better off with an audience full of complete strangers.

You don’t need social media to stay in touch with real friends

If you feel like you would lose contact with some friends by staying away from social media, then maybe you were never really friends in the first place. Maybe it will actually make you want to talk to them directly via other communication channels and you’ll quickly find out if you could be bothered to stay in touch or not. Same applies to them. Ask yourself who you really want to share your life events with!

On the flip side, I think social media is very useful for businesses (especially for a marketer like me) and it wouldn’t be wise to avoid it or underestimate its power. I feel happier without it in my personal life. As a piece of advice to anyone who’s willing to hear it, keep your private life private and your cards close to your chest. You’ll live more happily (at least that’s what the French say). How do you use social media yourself?

Big Girl x

Film Review: The Social Dilemma

The social dilemma

Last Saturday was World Mental Health Day, I couldn’t think of a better time to watch the documentary The Social Dilemma. Social media has started to show a negative impact on people at many levels way before the pandemic started. This is a very interesting film to watch as it gathers several former employees from big companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. They are very worried about future generations and this is why.

The former employees showcased in this documentary are all pretty young… That’s because social media haven’t existed for too long yet! Sometimes we tend to forget there used to be a time when we didn’t have social media. I was already 22 years old when I discovered Facebook (back in 2007), so at least I went through the difficult teenage years in high school without it. But some youngsters have grown up with it and don’t know any different than online connections being their primary connections. What impact did it have on them? Well, according to this documentary, the suicide rate among girls aged 15-19 has increased by 77% compared to last decade and by 151% among girls aged 10-14 in the United States. These girls are the first generation using social media since middle school. It’s not a coincidence.

Of course young girls are not the only ones impacted, everyone is. At the end of the day, all social media are competing for your attention with the ultimate goal of making as much money as possible. They collect as much data as they can to hack people’s psychology and build models to predict their actions. The level of information available is unprecedented, everything is monitored. Have you ever noticed you and your friends were not targeted by the same ads? And how the ads you see vary based on what you’ve just typed or even said?

“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”

Any addiction is dangerous and they make sure you’re addicted to your screen so they can keep making profit. Nowadays, most people waste a lot of time on social media when they’re bored. It’s an easy way to kill time. What worries me the most is the way it changes our values to a point we don’t know who we are anymore. We are in constant search for social approval and would do anything to fit in. When I realised that, I decided to delete my personal Facebook account 2 months ago…

I haven’t missed it since. I realised I needed to share my thoughts more than I needed to share a stupid chain I didn’t even relate to. What I needed was to write for an audience of people I didn’t know in real life. That’s why I started this blog 2 weeks ago, it is not shared with anyone in my network. It’s just you – complete online stranger – and me. That way, I don’t censor myself. I’m not looking for social approval from my friends, I’m just looking for genuine followers who want to talk about the same things.

My conclusion? Ok to social media but only if its use is restricted. In my opinion, all kids and teenagers should grow up without it but it’s impossible to control. At least make sure you set time for yourself without any distraction, ban your phone when you eat and when you’re spending time with someone in real life for example (even if it happens less often nowadays). It’s time to change the conversation.

Big Girl x