9 Signs You've Truly Outgrown Social Media and Are Basically Just Doing It Out of Habit At This Point
There comes a time for a lot of us when social media just stops feeling like a relevant, necessary thing. Maybe it's that there are way too many social platforms to deal with now, and too much hype about how important they all are. Sure, some people can juggle Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Pinterest, Tinder and who-knows-what-else all day, every day, but it's looking more and more like you are simply not one of those people. Maybe, possibly, you are in the middle of realizing that you've outgrown your social media days—and that might actually be a wonderfully liberating thing.
To be clear, I'm not talking about being one of the lame people who dramatically departs social media, claiming to be "over it", and deletes their profile with a big announcement. We all know that this is the most desperate grab for attention possible, not an actual departure from the Attention Game that is social media. No one wants to be That Person who says "Ugh, I'm so done with Facebook, I'm deleting my profile, KBYE" in that pretentious, "I'm so much better than you because I don't need social media" kind of way (which incidentally, usually lasts for about a week before they quietly reactivate their profile). That is not the kind of person I'm talking about.
I'm talking about what happens when you, slowly and then all at once, realize that social media has gone from being this thing you loved and had fun with, to being a thing you begrudgingly participate in, both out of habit and out of obligation. For example, you understand that if you aren't on Facebook to get invitations to events, you literally might never even hear about them happening. But you are really starting to hate that being connected to the world means having to live in such a weird, fake, online version of it all the time.
Here are some clear signs that you're probably ready to just be done with social media for the most part:
You kind of dread getting online now
Social media is literally is starting to feel like work to you. Whereas you used to look forward to seeing what kind of exciting, new notifications would be waiting for you on your phone first thing in the morning, you're increasingly starting to dread even looking at the damn thing. You're going to need a shower and coffee and something full of carbs before you can even think about all the genuinely tedious prospect of checking all your different social networks and responding to the seemingly endless things that happened while you were sleeping. And then there's actually checking out what other people have been up to, what news is breaking, etc...it's a lot. And you no longer look forward to it.
You feel like you're just seeing the same things over and over again
The things that used to make you laugh until you cried now feel tired and overdone. It kinda just feels like people are recycling the same ideas over and over again, saying the same things that have been said before, and posting endless variations of the same kinds of photos to give the impression of lives that are tragically the same as everyone else. Nothing on social media inspires you, or makes you think, or really makes you feel anything anymore. It's just a game that we've all gotten so good at that it's not even interesting to play anymore.
You have so many unread messages and unchecked notifications
You keep telling yourself that you'll look/respond "later" or "when you have a minute" or "when it sounds like fun", but somehow, that never happens. You used to get so excited about a new message or notification and now you find yourself avoiding even looking at your phone because the whole thing feels like a big, boring chore. Besides, if someone really wants to communicate with you, they'll text you.
You find yourself not even paying attention while looking at social media on your phone
You used to dig into your social media feeds with the voracious hunger of someone who actually cared about what you were seeing. But now, it's more like an absentminded digital coma. You're just sort of...scrolling, swiping, clicking, scrollllllling. Looking through your phone more than necessarily looking at it. An hour will pass and you will have retained absolutely zero percent of what you just saw on your newsfeed. Did someone have a baby? Did that person you went to high school with get a dumb haircut? How many things on Instagram did you just double-click on without even thinking? What year is it? *checks mirror* Are you actually an old person now?
You live more moments of your life without post about them
You've figured out that you are way more present in the moments of your life if you aren't trying to capture the perfect photo or video for social media—and that you love those moments so much more when their value isn't measured by how much attention they get on social media. You realize that you have a lot more hilarious laughing fits with your friends at brunch if you aren't hunched over your phone trying to decide which Instagram filter looks best with mimosas. Sometimes—*shock*—you'll eat entire meals without Instagramming a picture of them, or go to whole parties without taking a single photo, or do a complete project without documenting it on social media at all. In other words, sometimes you just live life and, unlike so many people, you do it without needing to immediately share it online and gauge how successfully you're YOLO-ing based on how many Likes something gets.
And you actually want to keep some things private
It's not like you are completely opposed to sharing parts of your life with other people (it can be fun and help you stay connected to loved ones far away!) but whoa—social media oversharing has gotten incredibly out of hand, you guys. If not posting your most private, intimate moments online for the world to see makes you lame, then that's perfectly okay with you. Maybe you just want to protect the parts of your life that matter the most to you, and are really not interested in the growing trend of putting everything on social media.
You somewhat start to judge other people's social media behavior
Maybe you're becoming a social media cynic, but you're suddenly rolling your eyes the entire time you're online. Your inner monologue while scrolling through posts is getting increasingly sarcastic: "Oh, you're posting a "super gross" post-workout selfie to try and look like you don't care if people see you looking less than your best, because you're a "totally laid back girl who isn't into being superficial" but it's still totally obvious that you put on fresh mascara and made your hair look the perfect kind of messy and you probably took 27 selfies to get that perfect angle? Okay."
It's getting hard to not immediately see through people and their attempts to appear a certain way by carefully curating their social media content. Like when someone posts some hyper-intellectual Washington Post op-ed and you know they didn't even read it, you just know they didn't. Basically, at this point, there's nothing that anyone can post that doesn't seem a little desperate for attention and just totally obvious and mostly fake. And to be clear, you HATE feeling like this about people—you don't hate people! You really don't! You just hate what social media brings out in people, and kinda wish you could all go back to just living in the real world together.
You genuinely don't care if you're tagged in an unflattering picture
Whatever. That's what you look like sometimes. Who cares? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
You "Like", "Favorite", "Reblog", and "Retweet" things out of obligation
There was once a simpler time when engaging with someone's social media post was a sign that you genuinely liked it, or had something thoughtful to say, or thought it was so awesome that you wanted to share it with your own followers. Now, whether you Like, Favorite, or repost something from someone is a complicated tangle of social politics: It's not about what you like, it's about what it says about you and your relationship with that person when you interact with their post in a certain way. There are retweets ending actual friendships out there! What weird world is this?! If you accidentally forget who isn't speaking to whom, or who is in a fight, and which side you're supposed to be on, you might accidentally Like the status of your friend's ex-boyfriend and then suddenly ~*~DrAmA~*~. NOBODY HAS TIME FOR ANY OF THIS.
And if you think all of the aforementioned stuff is for kids and doesn't apply to your grown-ass life, you're probably wrong: On some level, we're all still playing that game. We're interacting with each other on social media out of some kind of obligation, or with some agenda, whether it's interacting on Twitter with a potential client in the hopes they will think you're brilliant and awesome and thus hire you, or it's, "Ugh, my sister just posted another boring photo of her baby but if I don't Like it, she will get her feelings hurt and call our mom and I'll have to hear about it, so even though I am so tired of seeing a million pictures on my newsfeed every day, I'm going Like this."
After enough time of feeling pressure to behave on social media in a certain way, you can't help but think, "Wouldn't it be so nice if I just wasn't present on here at all, and then no one would expect me to Like or not Like anything?"
Oh wait, that's totally an option.
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