Cartoon illustration of the author enjoying a healthy lifestyle without Social Media, by Joana Miranda

Life After Social Media

(Spoiler Alert: There IS life after Social Media!)

Cartoon illustration of the author enjoying a healthy lifestyle without Social Media, by Joana Miranda

About two weeks ago I gave up completely on Social Media. Really gave up – as in, deleted my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Although I didn’t want to think I had a Social Media addiction, I came to realize that I actually did.

How I knew…

Tell tale signs were that I was not only checking Instagram multiple times per day, but I felt increasingly pressured to come up with something “fabulous” to post on my account each day. Even worse than not having time to write thoughtful posts here or to create new work for my Etsy shop was the nagging feeling that LIFE was getting in the way of the Instagram posts I felt I needed to be writing.

So I went Cold Turkey

Not because I’m so virtuous, but because after trying not to look at Instagram for one day (I found that challenge actually enjoyable), I was back at my Instagram posts with a vengeance…to make up for the frustration and irritation of having lost subscribers in my one-day absence!

What happened next…

I’ll admit that it did feel a bit sad to delete all of the illustrations and little videos I had put up on Instagram and Facebook. Until I realized that:

  1. They’re not gone and I can post them here
  2. I will always have the urge to create regardless of whether or not I’m sharing on Instagram and Facebook.

The time freed up from mindless scrolling meant that I finally had time to return to my original passion – creating art and sharing my creative process on this blog.

Even better…

I realized that not knowing some of the things posted on Social Media is quite nice (i.e. you can’t obsess about the invitation you didn’t get if you don’t know about it). Not to mention that it’s less stressful to ask a friend about their life’s goings-on because you genuinely don’t know…than to deal with the guilt that they’ll suspect that you haven’t been paying close attention to their Facebook feed.

Finally…

Photo Vista Alegre espresso cup along with biography of Roosevelt, taken by Joana Miranda

Though it took two weeks, I started to realize that I really missed reading.

ACTUAL BOOKS. (BIG LONG BOOKS!)

And so I’ve resumed reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s No Ordinary Time – a book about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt which I’m embarrassed to admit I started back in my pre-Social Media days.

(I’ve also started reading a news article aloud in my native Portuguese every day and my Domestic Goddess cooking sprees show no signs of abating.)

And now…

Date night with my husband!

2 Comments

  1. Helen Reich

    Well. I’m happy to say that I am not addicted to social media (except for my Twitter feed, where I obsess about politics), but nonetheless, I miss your posts on the Face Books and the Instagrams. I can ignore the latter two pretty well, but I jones for the Twitter machine (where I produce very little content) when I don’t have time for it. I decided to not worry at all about the IG followers I’m losing, mainly because I get more Etsy engagement from Pinterest, and at least some pinners will be looking to buy and not make the stuff themselves!

    1. Joana

      Hi Helen,

      I’m glad you still find Pinterest useful. I like it, too, (guilt-free window shopping from time to time), so that is one Social Media outlet that I guess I’ve kept. I never “got” Twitter actually so it wasn’t hard to say goodbye to it. And I seem to be immune – for better or worse – to the pull of politics. I went a week without reading my NY Times briefing and then only started back up since I didn’t want to be a total ignoramus. 😉 Hope you have a great week, my dear!
      xox – Joana

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