Goodbye, Social Media; I’m Leaving You

This is story that has been told many times already, yet this is not a rant. I’m not saying that social media is useless, or a futile attempt to facilitate communication. On the contrary. Social Media is, above all else, a vehicle for inspiration, motivation, and also the quest for freedom.

Just because I’m no longer on any of the social media platforms available doesn’t mean that I cannot continue to enjoy the great tools of communication open over the Internet. I still very much live inside the Web, and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. If anything, many of my daily routines are dependent on being constantly connected to the Net.

Social media is a great thing, and can help people spread their message. My quitting isn’t in any way a condemnation of these platforms. Instead, it’s merely a personal choice to spend less time sharing, and more time creating.

I do respect the work of other writers, photographers, and anyone with a talent. Just because I don’t retweet it or share it on Google+ doesn’t mean I wasn’t inspired by something read or seen. Just like the readership finding its way onto LockerGnome. Is it considered the rule that only shared, commented, and retweeted content is valuable? No, of course not. Even just one comment could make the difference.

We don’t do what we love just to get so and so many shares, likes, etc. Writers, photographers, or anyone who does something out of passion does it simply for the love of it. People, I believe, appreciate and honor this.

I quit social media because it’s not the only way to consume great content on the Internet. In a way, I also wanted to be able to focus on the two things that matter most in my life. On one hand, I now have the task to write great content for LockerGnome. On the other hand, I also have duties in domestic life, including learning Swedish, but also spending time with my fiancĂ©e.

In my experience, I cannot say that my most meaningful relationships came from social media. Yet, perhaps one should categorize forums and instant messaging also as a kind of social media. In this sense, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter are just ways to digitally network. Beyond the endless stream of cat pictures, there is a real importance to social behavior on the Internet.

There’s no scientific, overly self-conscious egomaniac reason behind me saying “I quit!”

The truth is that I don’t want my persona to stand out any longer. Instead, I would like my name to become analogous with great content. If anyone is still interested to find out more about me, though, it’s not like I’ll be hiding. This is me merely stepping out of the limelight. Who cares what services I use? I’m not a Miley Cyrus. For one, I don’t look like her, and second, I’m not as popular as her.

Another matter to keep in mind is that privacy isn’t an issue. I’m not paranoid about what you can find out about me over the Internet. If I choose to use services by Google or Microsoft for free, I have no problem giving away my data into some random server farm. Yet this is a whole different subject. If I want to share photos, videos, and memories with my friends, I can do that without using any social media platform. Those whom I care about will always know what I’m up to. It is completely unessential to me if my former 17,000 followers on Google+ know more or less. Frankly, I doubt they even noticed that I’m no longer there.

Social media, social networking — whatever you want to call it — is a beautiful thing. When it works, it can connect people. Yet disconnecting is not the same thing as being disconnected. However, I admire those who use Twitter to express their will to survive on their quest to freedom. In those cases I can understand the endless possibilities with which these individuals are presented. Anyone who feels enriched by the effects of using social media has something I never was able to find. That’s the reason why I’m saying goodbye to social media.

However, by definition, I’m essentially engaging socially online by writing this. In the back of my head, I’m perhaps hoping to receive some kind of confirmation. So I’m guilty as charged. If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t be writing for LockerGnome. Everyone seeks some kind of positive feedback. It’s what keeps us running the distance. So I’m jealous of those who are able to get this gladdening resonance from their social media experience, while also reaching out to support others. To them I say: “Don’t stop!”

What’s your relationship with social media? Do you embrace it fully to the point where it consumed a good portion of your daily activities, do you use it sparingly, or do you not use it much at all? Drop us a comment and give us the feedback we seek!

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Article Written by

He's a writer and photographer living in Sweden. Technology, philosophy, and films are some of his other interests. In 2008, Maximilian completed a BA in creative writing in London. So, being a writer has been important to him for a long time -- although he prefers to be called a "storyteller."