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Whoops, I No Longer Have A Social Media Life

When I Cold Turkeyed my social media account

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I decided to close my social media account a couple of months ago, for the most common reason : arguing with friends I barely even met. Best decision I have ever made-thank you, frenemies, it even help me scare off the PPI telesales calls who were there for me again and again but strangely enough have stopped calling me. Like a cigarette smoker trying to quit, my hands were always in my pockets ready to flick up and down my mobile screen. There was always something to be said, a fight to pick, a thumbs up to tap. As a partial introvert I found social media a place to express my ideas and connect with people I was unable to talk to in noisy settings. It grew into a second home, social club, kitchen, news station, library, photo album and worryingly, life mentor. I practically lived on social media. Like any addict, I was hooked more than I cared to admit.

So here’s my account of what went right as soon as I gave social media

the boot

1. Downsized screen time. Most of my day is screen filled. At work it's a medium sized screen. At home it's a bigger screen. On the occasional trip to the cinema it's an enormous screen. Let's not even mention shopping near Picadilly Circus.

2. Real conversations. I could actually ask people how they were, face to face. My partner, my family, my remaining friends. I could share a laugh instead of an lol or empathise instead of emoji-ing it. I saw the person, not just a photo or their name highlighted in bold letters.

3. I could go to the toilet in peace. I kid you not. Back in the day, instead of the newspaper whiling away toilet time, it was the phone. And they ask why phones are less hygienic than what you empty your intestines in.

4. I can appreciate my food. I can think 'Mmm, delicious’ without having to type it up. I can delve straight into a bowl of chips without photographing them at fifty different angles while they get cold.

5. I actually now have a private life. No more scrolling up and down deleting embarrassing photos, past thoughts and, uh, poetry. If I'm pissed at someone they needn't know because sweetie, the door is always closed. So I look like a nice person instead of Morissey on triple steroids, because my thoughts are kept to myself.

6. I could focus more on what I really wanted to do. As a writer, I had lots of articles to write but while on social media I was spoiling any new ideas by condensing them into a cryptic one liner or ridiculous GIF on my updates.

7. My thoughts are alot clearer and my self confidence has improved. I'm not sitting around waiting for the opinions of others to validate my own. I can do my grocery shopping without linking a bag of spinach to world politics and a Candy Crush invite.

8. My mobile data was still there at the end of the month. Currently I pay a lot less for phone credit as I no longer have to check updates and messages eating away at my data like Pacman.

9. Hours of likes, trolling nazis, profile noseying and narcisstic gallery editing are now replaced with talking to my loved ones, reading books, housework, catching up on a good movie or just anything that's a million times more productive.

10. More mobile phone battery. We always need more juice. Especially for mobile gaming. Gotta take the fight somewhere if it's not trolling right wingers and psychos. Screw hashtags that make me a fighting statistic. Everyday for less than ten minutes on my phone, I'm a warrior cat in a tank armed with a chainsaw and forty thousand gold coins to spare. That's 8 percent of my battery and nothing more, compared to random activity spikes everytime I get a friendly reply on a subject I disagree with.

For the record, some people have thought that I would return to my online diary. I have revisited my social media account a few times and somehow it just doesn't look like something I'd even be tempted to do anything with anymore. For the time being I've deactivated it. People that I really do matter to, know how to stay in touch with me. But for now, I'm quite excited at this whole offline thing I call real life, including my ten minutes as an armed feline.

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