I deactivated my social media accounts in February 2020, a month before coronavirus was too real—before the worldwide lockdown happened. The only reason I wanted to live a life without social media was that I just moved to a new job—coming from the media to a relatively more peaceful and appreciative company.
I wanted a fresh start, to enjoy the solitude of not having to work on weekends, or checking social media and Google analytics even at midnight.
I loved how I didn’t have to have a Facebook account because I wasn’t managing any pages anymore and that my new bosses professionally message me during work hours via email or Slack—how it’s supposed to be.
Living a life without social media was a lifestyle change that I’ve been dying to take for ages. I was aware of how social media has worsened my anxieties ever since we started living with it.
True, I was also in the peak years of my career as a digital expert, but it was just too much. February 3rd—I remember that clearly. I quit cold turkey.
And then the pandemic happened.
It was a challenge, but a challenge that was easily answered with yes or no. Should I continue life without social media during this pandemic? It was a hard yes.
Living a Life Without Social Media
The first few days were amazing. I felt light, never worrying about piled-up to-do checklists. I was happy with my new job so I never felt the urge to go back to my old days. It really felt like a clean slate.
I’d write or read a book instead of scrolling through my feed during my free time. I could actually enjoy my time whenever I hang out with my friends. I haven’t taken any selfies in months and all I have are stolen photos from my friends.
I’ve lived almost two years—and counting—without Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’m not going to lie, Instagram was a little harder to let go of since I still had that feeling of wanting to upload stories just because.
I only ever use YouTube for Taylor Swift videos. To be fair, I still had my Pinterest, which is technically not a social media, but there are a lot of TikTok and Instagram uploads so I’m still updated (sometimes).
LinkedIn was tricky. It’s technically a networking site but there are also “social media influencers” there now. I kept it because that’s where I occasionally check for career opportunities.
It’s actually funny how some of my older friends and colleagues found me there asking about how I’ve been.
I’m in my mid-20s, so everyone I know is either still using multiple dating apps, or getting married and having babies. And then there’s me.
I wanted to focus on myself, not check up on everyone’s new house or car, and feel bad about my life. Think of it like when you’re in grade school and you’re taking the exams. When you see everyone else submitting their papers one by one, you start to panic. You tend to rush things.
There is no simple explanation to it, but as absurd as it sounds, it might be ignorance is bliss.
Like hell, I want to take my sweet time figuring out myself and what I want out of life. Domesticated as it may sound, I want to write grocery shopping lists and cook pancakes on a Sunday.
These past few months, I’ve just been making art. Honestly. Well, aside from my day job. I have more time to write and paint, learn to cook, upgrade my bedroom decor, and spend more time with the people I love.
Even had the chance to declutter and re-learn how to stay organized.
I’ve also been compiling a book of poetry that I will (hopefully) submit by the end of this year.
Of course, there are downsides. I guess life without social media also pushes you onto another side of digital.
I got hooked on online shopping so bad, even had a phase where a parcel arrives every day. It’s satisfying to open packages as if I’m opening gifts, even though I already know what’s inside of them.
I also had multiple home-based jobs to pass time and earn a little extra.
Apart from the diversion, I literally don’t know anything about the people I (used to) know. I don’t know how many of them got promoted or got married. Plus the fact that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, so I don’t know if anyone died (hopefully none).
I also don’t mind not being on-trend, but some people might. Whenever I meet with my friends, they’d have a new slang that I’d absolutely have no clue and they’d explain it to me like I’m a 3-year-old expanding her vocabulary.
Lastly, you might feel left behind when you meet with your friends because they literally talk all the time. Unless you’re like me who has more guy friends than girls—then you won’t have any problems.
(They’re most likely not talking to each other too.)
Ultimately, living a life without social media is still the life I want to continue on. It’s not that I refuse to carry on with the digital changes, the modernization we’re going through.
It’s that I choose to live a more sentimental life—where I could catch up with my friends about everything when we meet because we haven’t been talking in a while. I love the time that I have now to focus and express myself through art, and just write everything in a journal notebook.
Social media takes so much of our time. It’s always good to take a step back and reflect on life, to enjoy a quiet time even if that means having a social media detox for a day or a week, or even a year.