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Disconnected, and It Feels So Good!

I hope you read that title as I intended it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but my head is full of movie quotes and song lyrics, and they tend to bubble to the top anymore.

Anyway, my goal was to post at least monthly this year, and, well, I already failed.

How in the world is it March already?!

Regardless, I know I’m about to sound like an old fart, but I think I’m finally “old farty” enough to be ok with that.

I have deactivated my Facebook account, and I’m cutting way back on Instagram. I’m also considering deactivating it, but there are a few technical reasons I’m holding back.

It honestly feels like I ripped a band-aid off. I am finally ready to tag out of social media and pull the plug.

I’m sure this is a “who cares” or “what’s the big deal?” announcement for some.

For others, it probably seems pretty friggin’ drastic.

For me, it feels right!

I have toyed with the idea of doing this a few times, but much like quitting smoking, it took a few practice tries. Aaaand just like quitting smoking, for those that have done it, you know that feeling when you are like… “this is it. This is really it. I’m done!

Well, that’s how I feel right now. There’s no doubt I was addicted because the cravings are still there, but they are manageable, and my desire to be free of the social media habit is as strong as it’s ever been.

Why?

Well, my ‘whys’ are two-fold.

1. Content Ownership

I’m not going to lie. I LOVE sharing shit on social media. I don’t know why. I’ve always been a chatty over-sharer. I love connecting. I generally talk too much. I like making people laugh. I especially enjoy sharing knowledge, and inspiring people has always inspired me.

That’s why I blogged for years, and I loved every minute of it.

For fuck’s sake, I quit my job to blog full-time, and I made a good living with sponsors, ads, and the conference.

Social media was a huge part of my success too. I had a fairly strong following on my Facebook page and IG accounts. I had YouTube subscribers. I even published multiple podcasts.

At first, social media was a way to increase traffic, find new readers, and promote my blog, which was a source of income.

Over the years, however, a shift happened. Blogging started to die (for many reasons I’d rather not dive into), and the big social media players did everything in their power to keep people on their platforms. You could no longer promote your website the way you once did. It got harder and harder to get people to visit the blog.

At first, I didn’t mind so much. I shut the blogs down and continued maintaining the relationships I made by posting to social media.

Then it hit me—why am I generating content to make Facebook money? Why should IG get ad income from my photographs? When I started, I controlled my content, what was advertised, and how I made money. Now, the social media giants make the money, and I’m tired of working for free for them. I’m tired of being the “product.”

Does that make sense?

2. Shallow Relationships

The second reason is a bit more personal.

I’ve come to realize, in my old age, that people won’t make an effort to be in your life if you make it easy for them to keep tabs on you.

I’m not sure that came out right, but hear me out.

I am a really open and sharing person. On social media, I would post updates about myself and my family. I realized that no one ever needed to make an effort to stay in my life because I made it really easy for them to know what was going on with me.

They didn’t need to text or call to check-in. They didn’t need to ask about the kids or The Husband.

They just needed to check my Facebook page.

Now, I made a lot of “friends” on social media. People I never met in person but consider real, actual friends! And I will miss them, but I’m tired of most of my relationships feeling shallow and one-sided.

Social media doesn’t need to be my only connection to the people I care about.

What’s Next?

I don’t know! I do know it’s been nearly two weeks since I deactivated Facebook, and I miss it less and less every day.

My IG is still there, and maybe I’ll post one day again, but it won’t be a daily habit any longer. I haven’t even looked at it since the deactivation.

I did download all my data, and I’m exploring some ways of integrating the content here on the blog. It’s a fun little side project and a technical challenge for me.

Will I blog more? Maybe! I like sharing and getting thoughts out of my head, so maybe my journaling will pick up again. I don’t know, and I’m not pressuring myself or making any commitments. I have a lot of fun things going on in my life, and I love that I have this corner of cyberspace to myself to share whatever I want.

Regardless, I won’t be promoting my posts on any social channels, so there won’t be many people that see them, and that’s ok.

In a way, I feel like a small “mom & pop shop” on Main St. that got bypassed by a highway and a Walmart. I may be old and outdated, but my doors are still open to those that understand and want to visit my quirky little boutique.

Image Credit

Disconnected family” by khalid Albaih is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

P.S.

After I wrote and published this, I realized my blog is still connected to my Twitter account! I uninstalled Twitter from my phone months ago and totally forgot about it, but I guess I should include that in this social media post. My account still exists there, but I don’t actively use it and haven’t for some time now.

22 replies on “Disconnected, and It Feels So Good!”

Hi Roni! Nice to “hear” for you & thanks for the update. All I gotta say is you do you and I always enjoy reading whatever you post.

I love everything about this!!! I have read your blog and followed your adventures since your oldest son was born! That’s a long time. Thanks for writing. I always enjoy it. And I too am looking to disconnect. Social media is soooo different then when it started. And not for the better!

Roni I have been here since the WW days and I have loved all your posts.. even won a cookbook 😉… watched and loved the evolution into strength over “skinny” and admired your courage to change careers and your zest for creative cooking! I’ll be here… you do what feels right. XO

I love this post and your blog. I have been reading you for a long time (on and off as you post). I support your decision. Love the reasons and agree with them. It important for me to also reflect on my social media use. Please keep blogging. You have a community in all of us.

I did a Facebook Free February myself. It’s March 2 and I still don’t feel the need to pop back on. It’s freeing and I feel like I have time back that used be be drained by socials. Will I get back on? I’m sure. But I’m in no hurry.

I do feel like social media is to mental health like what cigarettes are to physical health. You look back on them decades after they were invented and are like, why did anybody ever think that was a good idea? I’m off of Twitter and occasionally post to Facebook when I have a stray thought. I check Instagram mostly for photos of dogs and cats. And I do read Tumblr for memes, but that’s about it these days and I feel much healthier mentally for it!

I totally agree and right now I’m curing myself of the addiction. I may reactivate it one day just so I can access some groups and business pages, but for now I needed to cold-turkey quit.

I’m also a long time reader, and I’m subscribed to your blog through Feedly. 😊

Awesome! I was curious what people were using to manage feeds these days. I’ve heard of feedly but haven’t explored it
I’ll check it out it! Thanks!

I’ve also been a reader since your WW days! I have respected how transparent you have always been! Please keep writing, you have a way with words as if your writing to friends! We appreciate you! Suzan

Oh I’m sad to see you go! I’ve loved following you since the days of WW recipes tummy tuck (which was so helpful to me) running (also was inspiring to me and got me running too) bathing suits and then lifting!

That’s so awesome! I’m not really “going” anywhere. I just won’t be diving into the endless void of FB. I’m still here. 🙂

I gave up Facebook many years ago, because I hated every single aspect of it. Never deleted or deactivated my account, but simply stopped logging in one day. I still log in from time to time but it’s always for a very specific task or goal. It’s in and out. However, I then let myself get sucked into the Twitter vortex. Finally did the same thing there. Just one day said, “Nope! We’re done,” and deleted the app from my phone. The account is still active and — like Facebook — I’ll pop in via a web browser at need.

Life’s too short to drink from the Eternal Firehose of Content, even more so when the vast majority of The Content is: “you’re dumb. no, YOU’RE dumb. No, YOU’RE DUMB.” I look at the list of productive things I’d like to do in my life and think, “Doomscrolling? THIS is the reason you can’t play the piano anymore? W.i.t.a.f is wrong with you!?”

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