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You don’t owe social media anything!

rizwanjavaid profile image Rizwan⚡️ Originally published at rizwanjavaid.com ・1 min read

Recently I took a short break from social media. I didn’t feel like posting anything anywhere. I did not plan it, I just fell out of it for a while. After a few days of staying off of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Instagram, I felt a calmness come over me. I was able to focus on the important things in my life instead of always looking for the next photo or post to share and then checking to see how many likes my post received. I guess it was time to take a break and think about my relationship with social media. I’m not saying social media is all bad. It has a good side too. I learn new ideas, voices, and viewpoints I wouldn’t otherwise but the negative effects are strong and can be damaging.

Taking a break from social media helped me understand the power it has. It consumes our time, energy, and our actions. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You don’t owe social media anything.

You don’t owe it your time.

You don’t owe it your energy.

You don’t owe it your attention.

You don’t owe it your health.

You don’t owe it your self-esteem.

You don’t owe it your mental health.

You don’t owe it your privacy.

Spend your time, energy, and attention on your loved ones and most importantly take care of yourself first.

Discussion (13)

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jhuebel profile image
Jason Huebel

THIS. All this and then some. Social media is not a healthy environment. It hasn't been for a while. What they call "engagement" actually roughly translates to "keep them hooked". Social media companies are basically drug dealers.

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Jason Huebel

BTW, I wanted to mention that I don't consider dev.to as unhealthy. I've often found that topical social networks are civil-- and often encouraging. dev.to is that.

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Mike H

Completely agree. I'm about a month in to a break from Facebook and Instagram and feel like I've gained a billion hours back each day. I do miss seeing updates from long-time friends, but guess what.. I've reached out to everyone directly. Go figure! :)

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Juan F Gonzalez

But I enjoy my time on Twitter and also LinkedIn, I deleted my FB account and never had Instagram so I'm not stuck in that pit. All I can say is, use social media like the tool that it is but do not let yourself be used by it.

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Frank Mitchell

Couldn't agree with you more Rizwan! When I wanted to learn Python (about a year and a half ago) as part of a career change, I removed myself from social media.

It felt like a weight off my shoulders and I could focus completely.

A year and a half down the line Im now a competent Python programmer, discovered a love of Raspberry Pi and taught myself Android development. None of which I would have been able to do had I been constantly worried about checking Facebook, Insta, Twitter etc...

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DeChamp

Well said. I took about a month away from my personal laptop and only worked on my work computer during work hours. I spent many hours outside and loved it. It really helps to get away

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Mahesh K

Problem is that organization like Facebook have invested a lot on psychology and it shows in how they manipulate the feed. Also they are getting into currency. God bless Millennial who fall for that sort of corporations tactics. It's always better to unplug. Internet was better without social media in 90s or early 2010.

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Vuild

The opposite. The more you give it, the more it harms everyone.

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Jakub Sarnowski

I'm curious: why would you think you owe anything to social media at all?

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Rizwan⚡️ Author

I think it is because sometimes I feel compelled to share something, to stay up to date, to add to the conversations, or to read the latest news. If I don't check my timelines often then I could miss out. The addictive side of social media makes me feel I owe it to something. Thanks for asking.

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Jakub Sarnowski • Edited

Thanks for the explanation! It's very good that you've noticed that your relationship with social media has some toxic attributes. It is very easy to get addicted to it and feel bad not spending time on it, due to the "missing out" thing that you describe. But if you think about it, it's total nonsense. You don't need to know everything about your friends, nor every new technology and new trends. Spending after-work time with family/friends is a lot more rewarding than staring at the screen looking for new information :)

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rizwanjavaid profile image
Rizwan⚡️ Author

Thanks for the reminder. It's a daily struggle but we will overcome! :)