Why I Deleted My Social Media (And Why You Should Too)




Some time ago I wrote a review of a documentary called The Social Dilemma. In that article, I expressed how much I love that documentary and how awakening that documentary is. It made me realize so many things that changed within my habit and my life.





After that documentary, I watched more of social media-related content. I wanted to know if social media is really that bad, or am I just exaggerating by watching one documentary.


Although my source has been many, I am still unsure.


The reason why I still unsure is that I thought,

"There are way too many people using social media, am I sure that all these majorities are wrong for using social media?"


I was still in doubt even though my eyes were wide open!


So I went to watch more contents, read more articles.


There is one more documentary that was released some time ago (2018) called "The Great Hack". Although it's not really talking about social media, it does involve social media a lot. Basically, "The Great Hack" is a documentary about the Cambridge Analytica and how the usage of data can manipulate the election, which in that documentary, it is the 2016 US election.






In that documentary, I learned that what happened in 2016 is a strong proven case of how data was used against us. It can't be fake because Cambridge Analytica was closed after serving many countries' leaders in winning elections by using data.





But I still have my doubt.


"But everything in this world NEEDS social media! Even looking for a room to rent needs social media, knowing the latest news need social media, and everything else!"


I wasn't sure deleting my social media is the right move. I was afraid it might cause inconvenience afterward.




But I gather more courage and try to delete my account.


Deleting an account is not only hidden but VERY hard to find!


As a UX designer, it is clear to me that it was designed that way because Facebook does not want the user to delete their profile. If anything, they want the user to keep their account and just temporarily disable it.


What I mean by Facebook is Facebook as a group. So all the social media under it, such as Instagram and Facebook, are included.


Unlike Facebook, twitter has a slightly easier way to find the account deletion button.





When I wanted to delete my account, I saw the option to download my data.

So I did for all of them. However, I can't download my Instagram data because when the data was available, my account is already gone.


There are so many pages of my information. Such as the numerical data of my face (that is why Facebook will ask "Is this your photo?" on other people's photos that includes you but untagged), my messages, my secret messages (the pretty recent function to send a secret message to people instead of the regular message), how many times I changed my name, ads I interacted with, how many seconds of me watching their videos, and so many more.



a snapshot of my interaction with ads on Twitter


On Twitter, the data is pretty straightforward, and a lot similar to Facebook. I can see how many times I changed my username, my Direct Messages, people I interacted with, etc.


The data doesn't scare me because I knew they are collecting all these, but it's pretty good to keep your own data, just in case!


So the reasons why I deleted my social media are :

  1. Seeing the negative impact of social media, I do not want any part of it. I do not want to be one of the billions of users that enable social media being such a bad product.

  2. I am already addicted to social media. I check my phone all the time, I see my social media app all the time, I was uncontrollable. I realized this is bad and I need to stop.

  3. I realized that social media is purely optional. It is not a necessity and should never be a necessity. I don't need it!

  4. I do not support bad product design. Product design that encourages the user to keep checking on their phone and does not engage in real life, or even promotes bad mental health by transforming all the likes and comment as validation.

  5. I want our society to interact better with each other. I want to less digitize our way of communicating with each other.

  6. I want to have better mental health. Viewing social media metrics (such as likes, followers, and comments) with self-value is not doing my mental health any good. I want to have a better sense of self-respect and confidence.

If you don't know, I have been struggling with my self-image and low-confidence. So by deleting social media, I think this may improve my condition.


"OK, why don't you just control yourself?"


I don't know about you, but I think most people are bad at controlling their addiction, no?

I can't do it when the thing I am addicted to is still there sitting and accessible. It's like if you are addicted to smoking, you have a cigarette and lighter lying around.


Especially the fact that social media is designed to get you addicted.



Image credit : Exposure Ninja

I realized that people will never be on board with this idea, but at least I have done my part.


After doing this and stopped being on my phone that often, I use my time to talk to my family more and write more, as well as making more videos.


With me disengaged from my phone, I now realize how people are super-glued to their phones. My sisters are talking to me while looking at their phones, scrolling. They also opposed my idea of not having social media because they still believe that social media is nothing but goodness. They reminded me, what would people do if they wanted to see your photo? How would you see others' photos? All I can say is, I don't need to. I love my friends and family. I don't have to show that by liking their photo. I also talk to them frequently, I don't really need social media to know how they are doing.


In fact, if I need social media to know how they are doing, we're probably not that close.





I still have my WhatsApp and Telegram. If they want to talk to me, they can reach me there and if I want to talk to them, I can reach them from there too.


Currently, the only social media I have are LinkedIn (because I might need to search for jobs in the future, and I am not addicted to it anyway) and YouTube (because I am a creator there, but I'll try my best to not be stuck in the rabbit hole!).


I hope one day I get to see everyone interacting with others more and less with their phones.

I also hope that more and more people delete their social media account so that social media companies can relook into their way of designing the app and hopefully in the future, they are making a product that has a good impact on society.


In the future, if you see me sign up to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter again, please slap me in the face and tell me to stop.


-Leni


Leni Tjahjadi

UX Design, Copywriting, UX Writing, Marketing Visual, and Branding

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