Reducing my online presence

I have contemplated the value of social media in my life for a while now. The first social media account I signed up for was Facebook in 2009 when I was going into high school. Since then, I've had accounts on several other platforms including Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, etc.

While there have been some good things to come from being a part of these online platforms, the experience has overall has been net-negative. Over time, I've learned that social media apps are not designed for you and me. They're designed to extract information and/or money from us through data collection and ad revenue while using behavioral psychology to keep us coming back for more.

Is there enough value?

Time management has never been my strong suit so it's not surprising that I used to easily waste hours doom-scrolling social media in high school and college. After some reflection and talking with my wife after we graduated college in 2017, I decided to delete my Facebook account.

I was a little nervous to cut the tie, wondering if I'd miss out on something or make it difficult for people to reach me who didn't have my phone number. But I went forward with it, knowing that I had a 30-day deactivation period where I could log back in to save my account from permanent deletion. I found that I didn't miss it at all and let the account get permanently deleted without remorse!

With this new knowledge that the world wouldn't end when I left social media, I went after Snapchat next. I didn't have any long streaks to keep up or much meaningful communication on the app anyways so zip, I deleted that one too ☠️.

Bye bye, Twitter

Fast forward to this past week, I deleted my Twitter and Reddit accounts as well. I think having fewer places to manage online will sub-consciously free up some mental space. Whether that's true or not, I want to simplify my digital life and pruning accounts is a part of the process.

I still have a few accounts, namely Instagram and LinkedIn. Instagram is mostly used for the occasional good laugh and LinkedIn I use only when I have searched for jobs. Deleting Instagram has crossed my mind multiple times. The only one I have a legitimate reason to keep is LinkedIn for aiding in my career as a Software Engineer.

So far I haven't regretted reducing my online presence on social media platforms and putting more effort into my website and IRL connections. I also know the people who I am closest with are typically in contact via email or phone, not on social media.

Moving forward

I'll continue to assess my online presence. Less is more when it comes to time spent looking at my phone so I want to be extra critical of what get's my attention. Now it's your turn, go think about downsizing how much time you spend on social media!

Thanks for reading! Shoot me an email with your thoughts or just to say hello.

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