Ditching social media in 2021

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Am I consuming social media or is it consuming me slowly? This fuzzy line has gained increased attention due to recent documentaries like The social dilemma, which popularized deeply troubling questions about the impact of social media on our mental health, our politics and even our free will.

Still, many of us have our reasons for staying in the game. I’m sure there are some prolific entrepreneurs and writers who have no problem managing their use of social media, but that’s not my thing. experience. I find these platforms constantly distracting from my most important work. It is a huge cost that I can no longer ignore.

I have tried several times to overcome addiction, by imposing heavy restrictions on my daily use. Good intentions have only gotten me this far. Somehow, I’ve always been brought back into the seriousness of social media, using it however they ask (i.e. obsessively).

In other words, until a few weeks ago. I finally decided that social media was stealing too much of my time and attention to warrant continued investment. For 2021, I have chosen a clearer approach to social media management: network cut.

The opportunity cost of social media

On a sunny day in the late 2000s, Mom took my picture and uploaded it to her computer. There I was, a freshman, smiling and backlit in front of his blinds. Neither candid nor elegant – just a grainy placeholder photo to help complete my Myspace profile. Months later, I adopted Facebook as well, and a few years later had signed up to Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Unlike most of the hobbies and habits I picked up in high school, this one stuck. The longer I have been on social media, the more I invest each week on each platform. I’ve recorded photos of backpacking trips, learned about important causes, shared my own articles and news, and networked tens of thousands of dollars for my writing business – all thanks to social media.

But the benefits did not come without their costs.

The most obvious cost was my time. According to Statista, the average daily social media usage was 144 minutes in 2019. Assuming I’m average enough – a safe guess – that means I spent almost 900 hours browsing social media websites in a year civil. Since high school, it’s been several month of my life accumulating scrolling, liking, posting, asking friends and sharing memes.

Credit: Statesman