Why I Quit Social Media at 16 Years Old.

Ian
4 min readJul 22, 2023
A person grabbing their phone after waking up.

Introduction

During my teenage years, I read a lot of books, searching for answers to life’s mysteries, including the meaning of life. Over time, many people have pondered this timeless question, each offering their own insights. I always heard the same simple yet profound answer: “To enjoy all the beautiful things life has to offer.”

Life’s beauty lies in various aspects of life. For me, it is the people who surround us. Their words, stories, life experiences, and the obstacles they have overcome. Countless untold stories hidden behind doors sealed with unanswered questions. I truly believe that every person has an interesting and valuable story to tell the world.

I love talking about people’s stories and experiences. Real-life conversations are vital to me. Even though I may not always enjoy small talk, it’s a chance to connect with others, learn about them, and pave the way for more meaningful discussions.

Deleting Social Media

Social media lacks the depth of meaningful conversations, personal stories, and genuine interactions. As you scroll through short-form media, time slips away, and you end up remembering very little of what you saw. The cycle of constant content consumption starts as soon as you wake up and grab your phone.

I remember the day I woke up and realized I was stuck in that cycle. From the moment I opened my eyes, my phone became a constant companion throughout my day. I checked it while eating breakfast, held it in my hand at school, used it during breaks, relied on it on my way back home, and even until I fell asleep at night.

I chose to delete all social media apps and focus on the real world. Soon, I noticed how much social media had affected my life. After a few weeks of adjustment, something amazing occurred; I started appreciating the world’s details and found joy in simple things. Removing my ‘habit-glasses’ allowed me to discover fascinating experiences happening around me every day, which I hadn’t paid attention to before.

In this process, I also faced some challenges.

  • My attention span noticeably decreased, making it harder to concentrate on reading or completing tasks.
  • I felt more anxious and insecure during face-to-face interactions, without the shield that the internet offered me.
  • At the beginning, FOMO (fear of missing out) was intense.

Adjusting to life without social media revealed these negative side-effects that social media can have.

Healthy Social Media usage

I want to clarify that I don’t view all internet activity as negative. On the contrary, as an aspiring self-taught software developer, I rely heavily on the internet for various aspects of my work. However, it is the social media cycle, with its tendency to cultivate insecurity and anxiety, that I find problematic.

The real question is: How can you use social media positively and healthily? I have some ideas:

  • Limit notifications: Disable unnecessary notifications to reduce distractions and interruptions during the day.
  • Take breaks: Regularly step away from your phone to focus on real-life interactions and activities.
  • Avoid it before sleep: Avoid using social media right before going to sleep to improve sleep quality.
  • Practice self-awareness: Pay attention to how you feel when using social media. If you notice negative emotions, consider taking a break.
  • Time management: Avoid mindlessly scrolling for hours with a social media management app like e.g Crowdfire.

With social media management apps like Crowdfire, you can efficiently grow your online presence across all platforms from one convenient place while limiting your time on all social media to stay connected to the real world. No more endlessly switching between social media apps to check for new posts or updates. You can manage apps like: Instagram, Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and more. Moreover, you can even schedule and manage how much time you spend on social media, helping you maintain a healthy balance. No more notifications from all social media apps every five minutes, just Crowdfire.

Life after these changes

As someone who grew up with social media, experiencing life without it playing such a dominant role has been a significant and positive change for me. This shift has allowed me to observe and understand the people around me more deeply. At 19, I use Twitter for news and inspiration, Instagram to connect with friends abroad, and Medium to read and write. Crowdfire has been a game-changer, helping me limit notifications and mindless scrolling on various apps for the past two years.

If you found this article helpful, I’d be grateful if you could consider following me. Your support means a lot to me. Thank you!

-I

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