We’ve all been there. You finally decide you want to delete social media but something is holding you back. Today, I’m going to cover the most common excuses that people use to prevent them from severing their ties to social media.
- Learn why I finally gave up social media. Click here.
- Ready to quit social media now? Read my guide on how to quit social media the right way, here.
Let’s dive right in.
Excuse # 1 – FOMO
No one wants to miss out on juicy gossip or exotic adventures and many people I talk to use this as their number one reason they could never give up social media.
“I can’t possibly miss out on seeing Johnny’s wedding photos!”
“What if Julie forgets to invite me to her baby shower?”
“What if Jessica’s (the girl I knew for one year back in preschool), boyfriend’s cousin’s daughter’s dog won a cute puppy contest? I can’t miss that!!!”
First of all, if you and Johnny are such great friends you were probably at his wedding and he will make sure you get copies of the photos. Julie is going to track you down until you accept her baby shower invite and she’ll probably insist you help pick out color swaths and choose shower games. As for Jessica, well maybe it’s time to let that one go.
The people in your life that are important, and I mean REALLY important, will track you down, share those photos, keep the invites coming and make the effort to stay in touch. Likewise, you will make the effort to stay connected to these important people.
For everyone else that isn’t quite as important, be honest with yourself. Do you want that invite? How many times have you been invited to something only to decline (or ignore)? Or maybe you did accept and it turned to regret? Would you have been happier staying home? If that sounds like you, you may be looking for an ego boost, seeking external validation, or perhaps you are in denial about JOMO (Joy of missing out). My guess is you didn’t want to hang out with those people in the first place or spend time watching that 4-hour flute rendition of Jingle Bells with your second cousin Eddie.
When you or anyone else wants to make something happen, they will find a way and you certainly don’t need social media to organize it.
Excuse # 2 – I won’t be able to participate in group chats anymore.
Group chats are the worst!
- You get massive amounts of notifications and have to play catch up for an hour trying to read all the memes and witty banter to know what’s going on.
- You feel pressured to say the next amazing thing and get discouraged when no one loves your response.
- You feel pressured to join in whatever activity the group has decided to do that night.
- You have to deal with the one creepy person in the chat that no one wants to hang out with and everyone is afraid to kick out of the chat because they could be a serial killer. Note, this is when the side group chats start to form, growing like a bacteria.
- You feel like an outsider when you’re reading the messages and have nothing to add.
- You accidentally send an embarrassing picture to the group chat instead of your BFF.
- You spend all your time trying to respond to the messages that are popping up.
- You worry about leaving the group chat and pissing off all your friends.
- You realize the group chat is shrinking and find out later there’s a new group you haven’t been invited to join.
Group chats are the best!
I get it. Group chats can be fun and they aren’t always crazy and stressful.
1. They can be a great way to stay incognito when someone is organizing an outing and you’d rather not go. Someone else in the group chat will go! (See Excuse # 1, maybe these aren’t people you truly care about or want to hang out with).
2. It’s easy to organize outings in group chats.
- Me: Hey everyone, let’s go get ice cream this week!
- Sally: Yay! I’m available on Mondays & Wednesdays.
- Susie: Oh, I’m only available on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Shannon: I’m in! I can do the first Friday of the month or Sundays before noon!
- Shelby: Do they have any gluten-free, dairy-free, calorie-free flavors?
- Me: FML.
3. You’re not sure how to handle a situation and ask the group chat for help. This is the perfect way to solve any issue.
- Me: Hey everyone! I’m trying to figure out where our destination wedding should be. Do you think Maui or Jamaica would be better?
- Sally: Maui!
- Susie: I’ve been to Maui several times. Everyone goes to Maui, so Jamaica is my vote.
- Shannon: Why would you want to go to either? Paris is the place to be.
- Shelby: I’m not getting on an airplane to go to your wedding. Let’s have it at my parent’s mansion in town and FYI no meat, no alcohol, and no dancing is allowed. Kisses!!
- Me: FML.
Hmmm. Well, I guess if you think the group chat is that important…maybe you shouldn’t give up social media.
Excuse # 3 – I don’t have contact info for any of my friends.
Other than the obvious solution to this problem of asking your friend’s for contact info there is another reason you should have your friends contact info. Exhibit # 1, Myspace. Exhibit # 2 Friendster. If you didn’t keep up-to-date contact info after either one of those social platforms lost their appeal then you probably aren’t friends with that person anymore.
New fads come and go. Make sure you always have a way to reach the people you care about and it doesn’t need to be social media.
Excuse # 4 – My mom won’t be able to see pictures of my cute dog anymore.
Instead of posting pictures of your cute dog on Facebook, I bet your Mom would appreciate it more if you took that cute little dog of yours to visit her. Think of all the time you suddenly would free up when you don’t have to spend hours snapping photos of little Fido running around and “ruining” photo after photo to get the perfect shot.
Don’t have time to visit and still want to share your photos (maybe with others besides just Mom?) Try one of these options:
- Google photos
- Apple iCloud
- Amazon photos
Excuse # 5 – I have to use social media for work.
This is always a tough one. If you work for an employer that requires you to use social media there’s no way around this unless you want to find a new job. However, your employer is not requiring you to be online 24/7 responding to random posts and putting up new content. And if they are? Then perhaps it is time to find a new job.
What about self-employed folks that rely on social media for a living?
There are a few ways to minimize the time you’re spending on your small business or blog when it comes to social media:
- Determine if you’re getting income from the platforms you’re using. If you’re spending 10 hours a week posting on Instagram and making $20, it’s probably not time well spent. Consider limiting your time on certain platforms or ceasing to maintain them.
- Hire a social media coordinator to handle the work for you.
- Change your mindset regarding how you use social media. Do you feel like you need to respond to every comment or post every day? It turns out that may not be true. There are many successful businesses out there that post infrequently and when they do it resonates with their fan base. Quality over quantity can boost sales.
Even if you can’t avoid it entirely, you can employ certain tactics to lessen your exposure to the platforms.
Excuse # 6 – Everyone has it and my friends will hate me or forget about me.
Not everyone uses social media. Studies have shown that only around 45% of the world population goes online. Sure, that number is higher in the US and in your social circle it might be 100%. Do you expect your best friend to cease all contact with you because you refuse to share memes and tag them in some cute puppy post? Doubtful. And the people that “forget” about you? Well, I’m not sure those are the type of “friends” you want.
Giving up social media will also allow you more time to truly interact with the people you care about.
More time to visit. More time to email. More time to call. More time to go on that hike you’ve been meaning to do. More time to have meaningful discussions.
Excuse # 7 – I won’t be able to use Facebook Marketplace.
Maybe you’re using social media to declutter and get rid of things you no longer need. I applaud you for downsizing your stuff!!
One great thing about Facebook is the ability to deactivate the app whenever you want. So if you need to sell a widget, you can pop in, reactivate your account, sell that widget, and then turn it back off.
There’s no excuse to reactivate your account and then spend the next 6 hours “catching up” on all the memes and food pictures you missed while you were gone. If this is a challenge, donate or try one of these other options for selling stuff:
Excuse # 8 – All my photos are on social media and I don’t have copies of them anywhere.
If you don’t know where all of your photos are right now and they’re not backed up in at least one place (preferably 3), then you do not care about your photos. Harsh, right? I recommend you stop immediately, go hunt down all your photos, get them in one place and then back them up.
CDs / DVDs will eventually erode. Cloud services go out of business or change how much you can store. Photos taken directly through social media apps aren’t stored anywhere else. Does anyone else have old photos on MySpace that are now gone forever?
The average person has photos scattered across multiple different places:
- In print form
- On social media ie: Facebook, Instagram
- Photo file sharing spots ie: Flickr, Google Photos
- On their phone ie: iPhone/iCloud, Android
- In their friend’s possession
- On a CD / hardrive or thumb drive
- A junk drawer, a storage unit, in albums, or at your parent’s house.
Do you know where your photos are?
Excuse # 9 – I won’t be able to get instant news stories on Twitter anymore!
Breaking news stories rarely have all the information and details you would want. Information changes quickly as rumor turns into fact. Do you want to be the one running around telling all your coworkers and friends about the latest breaking news only to find out the story was completely wrong?
Is having all the notifications and blaring “look at me” alerts on your phone worth the distractions and loss of productivity it causes? How does knowing there was a robbery on the other side of town help you?
Instead of getting alerts pushed to you on your phone, choose a couple of news sites that you can’t live without and have them pushed to you in one daily email that you can read when you have no distractions.
Try out these time-saving apps to get your news instead:
Excuse # 10 – I won’t be able to stalk my friends / acquaintances / exes or coworkers anymore.
No, you won’t and you’ll be better off. There’s no upside to knowing what’s going on with people in your life that you don’t care about (or they don’t care about you).
- You feel annoyed when you see something you don’t like. Your coworker just got a raise and you didn’t. Your ex BFF is posting smiling photos hanging out with the ex group of friends you used to hang out with.
- You accidentally “like” a photo from over a year ago on someone’s profile that you’d rather not know you were stalking.
- You end up going down a rabbit hole of perusing other people’s profiles. Can you believe who the best friend of the person you hated from high school is dating?
- Let’s face it… it’s creepy. You wouldn’t show up outside their house watching who is coming over for a party. Why are you doing it from your computer?
- Do you want to see your ex dating a much hotter / younger / wealthier version of you?
- Do you want to know about your co-worker’s crazy weird habits and hobbies? After all, you still have to work with these people on Monday. And Tuesday. And……
- There’s a reason the people you are stalking are no longer in your life. Keep the past in the past.
Still think you can’t give it up?