I’m seeing a LOT of articles lately about women (and men) who have decided to take a hiatus from social media. I’ve read about how they want to reconnect with their loved ones (in person), they want to reclaim all of the hours they spend perusing things like Facebook when they should be doing “more important” tasks, they claim that social media relationships are superficial and that your “ugly” side comes out when you’re hiding behind a computer screen. But to all of that, I have to call BULLSHIT.
Here’s the thing. I am an adult. If I am supposed to be working, feeding my kids, doing the laundry or performing some other necessary chore or duty, and I choose to sit on the internet instead, I do so with the complete understanding that I have a free-thinking ability, and I made a decision to shirk my responsibilities, willfully.
If the dishes don’t get done because I was sucked into Twitter, that’s my fault. Not sweet, sweet Twitter’s fault.
Here are all the reasons why people have given for choosing to opt out of their social media accounts, and why, for me, that just isn’t going to cut it.
You can create more meaningful relationships in person
If I want to create more meaningful relationships in my life with my loved ones I could put my phone down to do that, but then they would have to put theirs away too. Because, let’s be honest, if someone is in a relationship with me whether it be a friendship or a partnership, they are WELL aware of my undying love for social media. And the simple fact that not much will come between it. Not even love.
Social media brings out the ugly side of people
As much as I want to agree that *some* people sure do bring the nasty to the party when it comes to political, controversial or breaking news on social media, that’s another big ol’ choice they make. Just like you can’t knock out the inconsiderate asshole who cut in front of you in the pickup line at elementary school, you also shouldn’t rip someone a new one with your text assaults just because you’re mad. It takes a LOT more energy and time to write a long, ranting comment then it does to snap at someone in real life.
By the time I have typed up my well-worded text vomit, I have usually had time to breathe and consider my actions before I press send. In real life, not so much. Sometimes, words just fly out of my mouth, and I have to scramble desperately spewing replacement words to swat them all down before they smack the person standing in front of me. It’s impossible. On the internet, I can “walk away” like an adult. I can put my phone down, log out, play candy crush, pay attention to my kids for a change… do SOMETHING else. When I’m standing in front of someone and getting into a heated argument, I would be a complete ass if I just walked away.
You’ll have more real-life connections
Sure, real-life relationships are necessary. But if I’m being real, most of my “real life” relationships aren’t REAL anymore anyways. They live in text, and (wait for it….) on social media. All of us who used to go out and get drinks every weekend now spend our days “liking” each other’s cute kid photos and family outing check-ins. I don’t see my REAL friends nearly as often as I used to and because of that, social media actually keeps us connected. I am busy with my family. They are busy with theirs.
It’s also the best way for me to stay in contact with that weird uncle or cousin that I would never have requested to be friends with, but they somehow found me and now make really obscene comments on all of my posts as if it’s some weird inside joke, but it’s not. He’s just inappropriate. But seriously, I DO have family that I wouldn’t talk to or see for years, decades even if it weren’t for social media. And I would hate that.
You’ll spend more time with your kids
COME ON. I spend ALL. DAMN. DAY. with my kids. If I didn’t have Instagram to scroll through while they told me yet another story about some YouTuber doing some dumbass stunt I have repeatedly told them NOT to do in real life (“I KNOW, MOM!”), I would lose my patience with them much sooner. Social media makes me a good mom.
You can’t learn valuable lessons
Welp. I’ve learned quite a few lessons thanks to Facebook. For example, how to block someone. How to have thick skin. When to NOT read the comments or when to not leave one myself. I would have never known how racist my extended, long-lost cousins can be or how illiterate that girl I went to high school is. The importance of the proper usage of GIFS and memes. These are life lessons, people.
You’re just reading fake news
Come on! How am I supposed to keep up on current events if I’m not doing it on social media? I’ll just be on the internet reading news articles like a caveman. Nobody does this anymore, you find it all on Twitter, in your feed, tailored specifically to YOUR interests and geographical area. Shit, I can’t even have a personal conversation with my BFF on the PHONE without Wish.com popping up in my feed the next day with some off the wall and eerily similar item we had said in passing on the phone. If you don’t think they know you, they do. They are listening. But that’s another story.
I don’t know how or where this bandwagon of getting off of social media started, but if I had to guess it was probably someone who also sends mass messages involving words like, “Facebook will start charging everyone on February 2nd if you don’t….” Or, “you MUST copy and paste this,” because those are the ones who can’t see social media for its real value, and that is: personal connections, keeping up with current events, sharing your loves with those you care about most, and getting your fix of daily drama without even having to leave the couch or put pants on.
You guys can go ahead on your hiatus of logging off for “self-care,” but my Instagram account IS my self-care, so… I guess I’ll see ya when I see ya. Maybe sometime next year. But definitely not until the weather warms up, and definitely not when my kids are off school, perhaps we can catch up on Twitter? Oh, wait…. yeah… I guess we can’t be friends anymore. Sorry, byeeeee.
Nicole is a divorced mom of three, Realtor, and an expert procrastinator. She enjoys long walks to the kitchen where she tries to remember what the hell she came in there for in the first place. In her abundant free time she likes to share about parenting, divorce, single motherhood, and her experiences raising a young transgender child on her site, MomTransparenting. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram