Do you want to quit social media?

Seven years ago, I deleted all of my social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, everything.

I made this choice to reclaim my time (I was tired of spending countless hours scrolling mindlessly on my phone) and to protect my mental health (I’ve been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, have battled depression, and social media wasn’t feeling like a kind friend to my brain).

I had tons of fears about leaving social media.

“How will I find clients and customers?” “Will my friends forget about me?” “What if I miss out on something important?” “Will I become invisible?” “What if I feel lonely and bored?” “But how will I know what that one person I met at a conference one time five years ago is having for breakfast today? I simply must know!”  

But, fairly quickly, these fears dissipated.

After being social-media-free for a few weeks, a wonderful sense of quiet, space, and calm flooded my body. Like a reset for my nervous system. I felt less distracted, more focused, able to think more clearly and to complete projects faster.

Best of all, I felt more present in my life. I began to look up and admire the evening sky (instead of looking down at my phone). I could enjoy a meal with friends (rather than interrupting the conversation to snap a photo of my salad for strangers on the Internet to behold).

And all the terrible things I worried might happen? Becoming isolated, invisible, or suffering financially?

None of those things happened. In fact, the opposite happened.

My relationships improved. I felt closer to my loved ones. Instead of sending DMs, I switched to dinner parties, handwritten letters, weekly walks, and phone calls.

And instead of spending thousands of hours scrolling on various apps, I seized all of that time and used it to strengthen my writing skills, gain greater mastery of my craft, and refine my products and services to make them better than before. I ended up with more clients and customers (mostly through word-of-mouth referrals) and more income, not less.

I also wrote 4 more books.

Quitting has been a very good thing for me.

I want to make one thing very clear. I am not saying, “Everyone should quit social media.” If you enjoy social media and it brings joy and value into your life, by all means, keep using it.

What I am saying is, “Social media is optional, not mandatory.”

If you love it, use it. If you don’t love it, you can choose to make some changes.

You can quit completely, cold turkey. You can quit gradually with a transition plan. You can keep using it but establish new boundaries and limits. 10 minutes per day on the apps. Not 2 hours and 24 minutes per day, which is the global average.

You can bring your message to the world in other ways: through a podcast, radio show, speaking engagements, articles, essays, newsletters, a press release, product demo, info session, panel event, book tour, and so on. Twitter is not the only place to speak up and be heard. Instagram is not the only place to be seen.

Many people want to quit social media but—like me, seven years ago—feel frightened to do so. Perhaps you worry that the consequences will be too great.

I want you to know you can have strong relationships, a successful business, plenty of clients and customers, and exciting professional opportunities—without social media.

There are other ways to achieve what you want.

For starters, consider taking a break from social media for just one day. It doesn’t have to be a permanent decision. Just give yourself a tiny, temporary break to rinse out your brain and experience a bit of relief.

One day. See how that feels. Go from there.

Keep listening to that little voice that whispers, “Do I really need to include this particular thing in my life? Is it harming me more than it’s helping me? Could there be another way?”

There is always another way.

. . .

PS. If you want explore this topic a bit more, check out these pieces I wrote:

20 marketing ideas that don’t require social media.

10 reasons to quit social media.

This is what my iPhone screen looks like.

And, check out The Marketing Without Social Media Course.

During this course, you will take a social media detox to rest your brain. You will explore 100 marketing options that don’t require social media. You will develop a new marketing plan for your business–one that feels calm and inspiring.

See details and start the course.