Why I Deleted my Social Media Accounts

Hey Smogranch Campers,

I just turned 45 a few minutes ago. Please alert the media.

I just deleted several more of my social media accounts, as a birthday present to myself, something I really didn’t think much about, but seeing as yesterday was my birthday the resulting “panic” of me NOT being on Facebook led to a few rather strange conversations filled with both light shock and bewilderment. “Oh my God, I searched for you on Facebook and you were GONE, something must have happened, what happened?” “Did they delete your account?” “Was it accidental?” “How are you going to start over again?”

I did delete my accounts on purpose. I have many reasons which I will attempt to relay below, but I wanted to start with a disclaimer. If YOU are on social media, and you love it, then I say “cool” Stay, use it, love it, do whatever you find valuable or rewarding. I didn’t love it, at all, and found it to be something I was no longer okay with being a part of. Again, I’ll line out the reasons below, and I’m REALLY trying not to finger point here, but I’m sure at least some of this is going to sound like me being high and mighty. Let me assure you, I’m not. I’m a guy still trying to figure out his Monday through Friday and when asked what I do, besides saying “I work for Blurb” the rest of my story is as cloudy as anyone’s. But as you will see, I’m still in the playground, to some degree, something I will also try to explain. Oh, and for those of you saying “Who F****** cares?” Good question.

Gone.
Instagram
Facebook
Google +
YouTube (Probably THE most powerful of all online tools, but I don’t want to film myself.)
Tumblr
Pinterest (Never really gave it a true shot.)

Remaining
Twitter (The BEST tool in my mind, and I don’t follow the stream so no clouded mental space.)
LinkedIn (I was always on here and never knew why, but now I do.)
Vimeo (Haven’t used in ages, forgot I had it, so will probably kill it as well.)

It’s over, done, finalized and official that I will no longer feel the warm embrace of being “liked.” I have officially killed my Facebook page and in the process severed deep and lasting relationships with 2354 “friends” worldwide.
Adios
I’m not really losing these friends, just their online versions, and the idea that we are really connected via these networks.

The only reason I lasted this long was my job. As most of you know, I work for Blurb and our company has a large social following, one that reaches the edges of the Earth. I always thought “I can’t possibly delete my account because it’s essential in diseminating all this critical information.” I’d heard nearly every single speaker for the past five years suggest to their eager audiences, “Well, you need to get your social media up and running and then connect with your following.” I heard art department heads tell their students they can’t survive without it, and I watched as numerous friends began to donate nearly their ENTIRE life to the addictive gesture of checking their Facebook page. I don’t use “addiction” lightly. I’ve spend the past few years monitoring(informally) how, why and how often people “use” their Facebook pages, and what I found, for me, was alarming.

I first noticed this craziness in the early days of Facebook during my time as a portrait photographer. I was photographing kids mostly, and like I do now, I was using a Hasselblad camera with exactly twelve images per roll. During the brief moments when I would reload my 6×6 I would watch as the kids would pick up their mobile phone, punch in the code, check their Facebook page, turn the phone off and place it back on the ground. Within TEN SECONDS, if I had not engaged them, they would again pick up their phone, punch in the code and check their Facebook page. They would do this over and over and over and would continue to do it until I finally decided to engage them once again. Imagine doing this ten times in less than three minutes. I mentioned to my wife that I found this crazy trend developing, but if you haven’t paid close attention, and she hadn’t, it didn’t seem that alarming, at least at the time. Fast forward to today and well, we know what kind of spell these sites have on kids, adults, etc. I guess you might call the condition “advanced” now.

Last year, returning from one of my Blurb missions, I landed at John Wayne Airport in Orange County California. We were fortunate and actually landed eight minutes early. The only issue was we didn’t have a gate. The pilot came on and said “The good news is that we are early, but we are going to have to wait eight minutes for a place to park.” The woman next to me, based on her clothing and briefcase, was who I would label as a midlevel executive, business traveler. During our delay she turned on her phone, punched in the code and checked her Facebook page twenty-four times in eight minutes. Again, I don’t use “addiction” lightly.

I can also tell you that each weekday, during my morning visits to the gym, I routinely sit in a sauna. I do this because I love it, but I also do it because it is helping me rid myself of Lyme Disease. I can tell you that I am routinely the ONLY person IN THE SAUNA who is not on their phone monitoring their Facebook page. Yes, I said in the sauna. The age range is from early 20’s to late 60’s. There is never any talking, unless someone is dumb enough to actually make a phone call, which does happen from time to time, but that person is normally turned on like a pack of wolves feeding on Bambi.

My departure from social media began roughly a year ago while working on my ongoing opus in Pie Town, New Mexico. At the time I was using Instagram in addition to my normal black and white negatives. As I walked the dirt roads around the town I found myself seeing things and thinking “I should put that on Instagram.” So I did. Several hours passed and I realized I hadn’t made any pictures, nor had I really mentally engaged in my surroundings. Instagram was acting as a filter, blocking my actual, real interaction with the people and things around me. I deleted my Instagram account on the spot. To further belabor my point I will tell you another story. Recently, on yet another flight I was positioned next to a young guy who had the classic SoCal surfer look. I was in the aisle seat, he against the window with the middle seat being empty. As the plane readied for departure I noticed he was flicking through screen after screen of Instagram content. The flight attendant came by and said “You need to turn your phone off now.” He faked as if he was turning it off then went right back to scrolling through his IG account. Each time the flight attendant would walk by he would hide his phone and look out the window. After the plane left the ground he kept scrolling until he lost cell signal. I thought this was the end of it, but apparently not. Fifteen minutes from landing he had his phone back out and was scrolling through BLANK INSTAGRAM PAGES. BLANK. There was no content yet he couldn’t stop doing it, staring with a dead gaze into an empty phone. As we neared the ground his beloved signal returned and his face lit up once again. Again I thought this was the end but after deplaning and entering the airport I found myself facing the decision of jumping on the moving staircase or manning up and walking on the fixed airport floor. I noticed the moving stairs were bottlenecked for some reason, so I moved to the outside choosing to walk on my own. The reason the escalator was bottlenecked….yep, you guessed it. “Mr Instagram” was once again on his phone, oblivious to the world around him and was blocking the rest of the passengers who had begun to yell “Hey asshole, get off your phone and walk.” A-D-D-I-C-T-I-O-N. Now again, is this guy you? Is he me? I don’t THINK I’ve ever done this, but I’m sure I’ve caused someone walking down the street to take evasive action because I’ve been on social media. And I know for certain I’ve had to take evasive action, many times, avoiding last second collisions with status updaters. If this seems inconsequential to you, or you are one of those folks who apologizes for this stuff by saying “What are you gonna do?” or “Well that is the world we live in now,” things I’ve heard relentlessly over the past few years, I get it, but I just made the decision to do what I could by not participating.

The moment I began to find myself thinking about social media was the moment I knew I had to leave. I’d heard social described as a “quiet lie” because it’s based on the underlying concept of being “liked” where the participant crafts a funnier, wittier more humane version of themselves to attract more “likes,” followers or comments. More than once I’d thought to myself, “I wonder what the response will be to this post or this image.”I wonder how many comments I’ll get, or likes I’ll receive.” The realization I was having these thoughts was like mental poison entering my veins.

These aren’t the only reasons I killed my Facebook page. I also did it because nobody I know is able to actually consume what is offered via the interface. My primary need as a guy that makes things is UNDIVIDED ATTENTION. That is what I’m after, and social media is the LAST place you will ever find it. In fact, the volume of information, advertising, messaging and liking is so far beyond any realistically consumable level I feel you are in essence guaranteeing nobody will pay attention to whatever it is you choose to post. Informational heartbeats, lost in a lifecycle akin to the blink of a eye. Look at click through rates if you want evidence. I’ve posted links to essays and had “likes” less than five seconds after posting, which tells me the viewer saw the avatar, the name, probably said “I know him,” and “liked” without reading or really thinking about the story. So I asked myself, “What is the point?” I also don’t photograph myself. I find the “selfie” epidemic somewhat alarming, and I’m that guy still using a portrait a friend made over ten years ago. It is the only real portrait I have.

Social media is also an unbelievable time suck. There is a defensiveness about this. I know a lot of folks who say “I’m not on it that much.” I’ve studied several of these people and “not that much” translates to “all day, everyday.” The idea is intriguing, being connected to the wider world, but in essence many people are alone, at home, clinging to the idea of being connected. I realized I would be far better off talking to a neighbor than being connected via the short attention span theatre of social media. You can point to things like “The Arab Spring” and the validity of social media, and I would say you are absolutely correct, however, the VAST majority of people I know on social media are not attempting to dig their society out from under a repressive regime. Most of the people I know are sharing random information, animal photos, ridiculous videos or SELF PROMOTING at their own repressive level. (And believe me, A LOT of people are at wits end about this self promotion situation.)

Today I was attempting to communicate with someone I had never met. I thought she lived here in New Mexico but I found out she is now living in a remote section of a remote region of a remote country in Latin America. When I discovered her contact information I was at first bummed to see only a mailing address. My first thought was “How is that possible?” This is a first world, progressive, semi-famous person, she HAS to have more than that. Then I realized how great it was. Ten minutes later I had my letter written, my envelope out and a guestimate of the currency required to actually get my post to her doorstep. If you want to communicate with her you have to really put some effort in, which is a great way to cut out the noise of modern “communication.”

Effort. Ah, that slippery slope. I’ve been saying for ten years that convenience and conformity will be what kills professional photography in the end(an opinion that rankles more than a few folks), and I see social as being part of the problem. Now look, is social media inherently evil? I don’t actually know. If you have your ear to the ground and hear the rumblings of corporate driven data mining then all bets are off. It’s been said if you are on social media YOU are the commodity being traded. I’ll let you decide about all this. I’m speaking only of my realization that social media holds no upside to me because when I’m communicating with you I actually want you. I want the truthful you, the calm and centered you and the you that is allowing me to tap your undivided attention, and from what I can tell that you doesn’t exist on Facebook. Never has, never will. In fact I find it difficult to even be around “Facebookers” or “Instagramers” because they seem perpetually distracted, filtering every moment through the lens of the incessant share. I’ve also been around those we begin their conversations with “Did you see such and such on Facebook?” and when I reply “I’m not on Facebook,” it doesn’t even register, and within seconds they ask again “Well, did you see what so and so said on Facebook?”

The responses to my departure have been interesting, and in some cases akin to me saying “I’m going to rob that liquor store across the street.” There were gasps, questions, incredulous faces and shocking statements about not being able to promote my work or survive as a photographer.(I haven’t been a photographer in over three years, something I’ve written about and posted on social media endlessly, which tells you how many people are actually reading the content.)

Again, this post and this action is simply my opinion, nothing more, and you could dispute or dispel any or all of these points. I will leave you to it because, not to be callus, I don’t care. A retouching friend in LA once said to me, regarding digital retouching, “We are living in an age we will look back on and cringe, a time when those in the future will look at our work and say these people just didn’t know when to say when.” I feel the same about this age of social media. I think we will look back at the time and the lives we donated and cringe.

In a ten year period we went from claiming the technology was the greatest thing in human history to a technoconsumerism society where retreats are being held to detox people off of the same technology. I spoke to a film director in Los Angeles who said he now has to tell guests at his gatherings to pile their phones in the center of a table and anyone caught reaching for their device is politely asked to leave. Same for another who explained at business dinners anyone caught on social media has to pay the entire bill.

Perhaps I’m making too much of this. Perhaps I’m not. Again, it all comes down to undivided attention, something I’m finding so rare it feels like it should be on the endangered species list.

After finishing this post I began the great deletion process, four networks so far, and I have to say, they do NOT make it easy. Facebook wasn’t bad, but several other sites made it so confusing it reeked of a ploy to just get you to say “Ah screw it, I can’t figure it out, I’ll just leave it.” Direct support was nowhere to be found. Online tutorials showed screens and menus that did not exist in my account. I also said “Screw it,” but instead of leaving as is I just deleted what I could. Good luck out there.

What is really interesting to me is since I deleted these darn things, which as you now know hasn’t been long, I noticed something. Social media had become my default brain space. When I was in between tasks, or even tabs, my brain would say “You should check your social media accounts.” Subliminal. “Oh, you have a free second…check your accounts.” And now, I have nothing to check. I’m curious just how much time I’m going to save and just how much of that time and energy I can channel, funnel or apply to actual work?

Now, if there is ANYONE who read this far you might be asking “Well, you still have a blog and you still have Twitter, so you really AREN’T off social media.” Yep, true. I will continue to blog because I love writing, and if you know about this blog you know I’m long winded and prefer long-form “journalism.” Twitter for me is a great tool for delivering information. It was the first social media site I used and will probably be the last. I can’t possibly follow the stream, so Twitter doesn’t enter my mental space like the others do.

You see I have a new agenda in life, and to achieve what I’m after will require every once of time, energy, luck and focus, and anything that takes away from this I can no longer afford to be a part of. So, if you still have any interest in communicating with me, I’m an easy guy to find. Email, phone, or even a letter if you see fit.

426 responses to “Why I Deleted my Social Media Accounts”

  1. Glad your keeping this, though. I enjoy reading what you write (much the same way I do with Joe McNally, David Burnett and a few others) as much as I enjoy seeing what you shoot. You’re a grounded and creative well I like to draw from, and sip from. ~ Mark

    • Smogranch says:

      Thanks Mark, very kind of you. I love blogging. It’s the writing part I’ve done for decades. Actually, part of my new agenda are two non fiction books.

    • Brian says:

      Was just going to ask what the new agenda was about…
      Looking forward to hearing about the books 🙂

      Glad you kept twitter — I’m the same way; I can’t keep up with it, but it a centralized place for all the links I want to chase!

    • Smogranch says:

      Brian,
      New agenda is multi-pronged. Much new Blurb direction, which is something I’m REALLY excited about. I tell people all the time, I’ve got the best job in the world. And on a personal note, darkroom time and two long-form writing projects. I’ve NEVER done anything like what I’m doing now, writing wise, and I am a train wreck when it comes to grammar, spelling and punctuation, but the idea of creating a LONG piece is appealing and worth the effort. Also continuing to explore art, drawing, etc. Same with writing, not much real experience here, so it’s been ugly but fun.

    • Reiner says:

      That’s a prelude for more great reading. Hang on there Dan.

    • Ben says:

      Nice writing! I am relieved to hear that I am not alone in dumping most social media. I ditched FB, LinkedIn and only kept Twitter. The connections on LinkedIn and FB failed to help me find real work after I was downsized in December last year. I prefer to make real connections with real people in real life than fake friends.

    • Smogranch says:

      Ben,
      Sorry to hear about your downsize. That’s a total bummer. Good luck finding something. Stay positive.

  2. Joe says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve never been on FB but I have succumbed to G+, Tumblr and IG. I started with Twitter (gateway drug?) and will probably retreat to my 140 character cave once again. Please keep blogging, your attitudes toward books, reading and photography is engaging.

    • Smogranch says:

      Thanks Joe,
      I forgot about Tumblr. I delete that too! Ha! I will keep blogging because I love to write, and I love the actual dialogue. Thanks Joe!

  3. Daniel, I already noticed your Facebook account was gone. I deleted Flickr and LinkedIn ages ago. I don’t use YouTube, Vimeo, Google+ or Pinterest anymore but the accounts still exist. And I’m not quite sure what to do with Instagram, which I use less and less those past few months. I perfectly understand why you deleted these accounts and especially FB. I was discussing this topic with a friend of mine a while ago and we believe that one day those social media platforms will ‘collapse’. It’s tempting to delete my account but somehow I do love the interaction with people who motivate and inspire me, people living abroad whom I will never ever see in real life. So, I still hesitate…

    But please Daniel, don’t stop blogging! One of your latest articles (Meat and Candy) is awesome! I will send you an e-mail with some of my thoughts and struggles (if you don’t mind?)

    • Smogranch says:

      Serge,
      That is why I premised with “if you love it, keep loving it” cause I have a lot of friends who do, and I’m just happy it works for them. Not gonna stop blogging. I write every day, most of which I dont’ post, so it’s engrained in my mellon. I can’t stop.

  4. there are many aspects to your post, and to keep a reply simple, I will say that I am in agreement that Twitter is the best at the moment, because it allows to “stream” activity and pursue what we can with the time that we have.

    while I have a tendency to delete accounts after some time, usually as they gain popularity of some sort, I considered that the best way (for me!) to look at the social sites is to not view them as social, but as part of a photo workflow. this includes writing, which is very important (for me!) in photography.

    in this thinking, I have come to like Dunked.com and VSCOcam’s Grid because they lack the social structure/distraction, and offers a step in a photograph’s workflow towards its completion. consequently, the one way mirror of these sites means that I will not be removing them, which makes friends happy: they only have to check my twitter account for updates.

    best,
    –kx.

    • Smogranch says:

      Kx,
      That’s the game. Everyone has a style and plays it differently. I’ve found I can’t do short any longer, at least now well. I like long form. Even magazines are difficult for me now, I need the length of book material. I’m an oddball this way, and I’m sure in some way I’m missing a lot but I’m okay with that.

    • when I started the site, I had the by-line of “photography for the anti-TL;DR crowd”… but it just didn’t have a ring to it. and yes, long-form appeal is now a niche — or so it seems.

      I think there is nothing to be missed, if the cup is full (or nearly it).

  5. Very interesting read! I have to admit that social media is, unfortunately, an addiction for me…mild to say the least, but one, nonetheless….(yes, the word mild is probably a truer indication of the disorder!)…

    I keep thinking that I HAVE to promote,engage, connect more and more and find myself sitting in my Lazy Boy each night perusing the feeds while others watch TV(I realize the sadness this statement presents as I write it!)…and to be perfectly honest, I find myself actually scared to think of NOT being on social media…it would be the death of my ability to grow…(yes, I call bullshit on that statement, but nonetheless, it’s the feeling of thinking)…

    So sometime you are in Northern New Mexico, let’s go to Ghost Ranch for a day and take pictures…on a “not smart” real camera and leave the “smart” devices home…

    Best regards,
    Michael

    • Smogranch says:

      Michael,
      I know precisely how you feel. Here is a little carrot for you. I didn’t put this in the post, but I realized something a while back. The people who I consider to be, in many cases, the most interesting, the most talented and those making the best work are NOT on social media. They are instead…making work. I would find one of these people and think “Oh, I want to follow them on Twitter, or I’ll check for them on FB and low and behold they were nowhere to be found. I also realized that some of them are not only not on social media, but they are also not even online, nor do they have email. The truth is, many of us don’t need any of it. If I didn’t have a real job would I need a site? Email? No. How do I know? Because I have plenty of friends who don’t have any of it who are doing just fine.

    • I will make 2014 an attempt to catch the carrot (my palms sweat just thinking about that)….and my guess is that those you say are doing just fine without social media are doing so because they get off their butt and actually connect with people the old fashioned way…by getting out, calling on people, and making the real effort of getting their work in front of someone physically…I hate to say it, but a little spark of enthusiasm has just lit….
      Well, a little virtual toast to “They are instead…making work.”….

    • Smogranch says:

      Michael,
      What they do is take the time to make original work. They know how difficult it is, and time consuming, and they don’t promote until they have something to say. You can only cry “wolf” so many times before people quit paying attention. If you throw your work in the ring with EVERYONE else the idea it will actually be considered is very slim.

    • Thank you. I will chew on those words carefully.

  6. I dropped back in on this post to see the comments, and they, plus Dan, your answers, are as engaging as the original post.

    Think I’ll keep dropping back in…

  7. mike says:

    Daniel,
    I always enjoy your photos and writings. And as far as grammer and puncuation goes, screw it, break rules, just express yourself. I don’t have a facebook account either and people ask me about it and I tell them I just don’t have time. I don’t even have a smartphone. I don’t even like photoshop to be honest. I turn 50 in a few months and I’ve decided to just go shoot and make images.I’ll post a few on my blog but job one is to just shoot from the heart. I’m at the point in life where likes and dislikes don’t mean much to me. I’ve learned I can’t please everyone. Do I hate the world? No absolutely not. I’m a generous guy actually but I think I need to be doing my best work now and that requires being outside and shooting. Break rules, grow, experiment, crash and learn and I can’t do that while on facebook.

    • Smogranch says:

      Mike,
      I think sometimes we get lost in all the details and options and forget about the basics of making stuff. Distraction. Our culture is in great apart distraction. Technology, drugs, etc. This isn’t knew, just manifests itself differently today.

    • Brittany . M says:

      I was skimming through comments and I respect that you don’t like photo shop, I believe photo shop is a great tool but when use on photos and claimed as photography is gut wrenching , when you have to edit your photos or use filters when taking a photo it is not photography. So I can agree in that aspect I am not a fan of it being used in that way as far as I love it for making posters for events or creating a special image for a blog or just my desktop. But yes as far as photoshop and photography go , use it for a water mark but other wise I wouldn’t use it.

      Also there is nothing wrong with getting a non smartphone , more power to you , I wish people would remember that its nice to use the phone for idk calling. I respect texting , for one reason because of where it stems from . but all the ttyl and brb really , many can’t email their , teacher ,boss, or someone they work with without it becoming a text message. maybe I just want long hand letters in the mail? Oh well being less connected to the cyber world will let me be more connected with the world around me .

      – from a teen who tries to think –

    • Smogranch says:

      Brittany,
      Just know I “grew up” before photoshop. We had, and still have, the darkroom. I realized years ago I did not want my photo-interface to be the computer. Others, many others, think I’m entirely crazy, but that’s okay too. I prefer letters to email and texting but again I know I’m not normal in this respect.

    • mike says:

      Brittany let me rephrase my comment about photoshop. I don’t hate photoshop…I use it everyday…it’s a powerful tool. I just don’t enjoy sitting in front of the computer working images. It’s a time thing with me. I’d rather shoot and leave that to someone else but I’m a one man show so I have to.

    • Ryan says:

      Mike – I appreciate your desire to not use photoshop. Our company hired a photojournalist a couple of years ago to do some work for us and she refused to use photo editing software and shot everything on film. I consider her a true artist.

    • Smogranch says:

      Ryan,
      I don’t know if she is artist, but I do like the fact she said “no.”

  8. Great post, Dan. I’ve recently been thinking about how I want to change my interactions online as well. Doing social media for companies doesn’t necessarily mean *I* have to be as social or more so than them.
    Your blog was my favourite place to visit your thoughts anyways so I’m glad you’ve brought back Smogranch!

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Sara,
      Thanks for sharing. I know a few folks who do what you do, and I know the challenges. I can already tell in 48 hours what a difference it has made in my life.

  9. Brian says:

    This log gives me hope that people will reclaim their lives from Facebook. I see Facebook as similar to nicotine addiction. I tried myself to take it up, but just couldn’t get addicted!
    I really hope other people will follow your lead, look at what Facebook is doing to themselves and quit. I did.

    • Smogranch says:

      Brian,
      I’ve discussed this idea with a variety of people. I have friends who feel like me, and others who were angered an accusational about what I wrote. Most just find social media harmless.

  10. SallyBR says:

    Just found your piece – gasp = on Facebook! 😉

    You make extremely wise points, and it was interesting that I found your blog today, a few hours after I deleted my google plus account. Instagram is an account I have but never use. Same with Twitter.

    As you, I am a blogger (food blogger) who loves writing. So the idea of “leaving the media” is not something I envision in my future. Blogging is a hobby that keeps me happy.

    Facebook has been bothering me for a long time. The only reason I keep it is because it allows me to be close to members of my family in Brazil, some folks that I never even met in person (I left my country 20 years ago). True, one can do that by snail mail. By email. But there’s something about Facebook that makes those particular connections more pleasurable. But this is a very personal view, of someone who lost other ways to be in touch with family due to major life decisions.

    at any rate, I wanted to say you wrote an amazing piece, and I’m glad I read it. Beginning to end.. 😉 🙂

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Sally,
      Who had it on FB? Maybe my account is still showing up? No idea. Thank you for your kind words. I totally get it. If I had family scattered about I might do and feel the same. Another friend stopped by today, and not even knowing about my post began to relay a story about being with a friend who is never without his phone. He said anytime any corresponsdence comes in the person will interrupt the conversation to talk, text or message, and yet not a single one of these messages was really urgent. It had just become learned behavior. I feel the same way. I have friends I no longer call because they are unable to finish sentences, thoughts and are constantly referencing online “things.” Tomorrow I meet with someone who is like molasses, not really connected at all, and just being around them is like a vacation.

    • SallyBR says:

      Oh, don’t worry, it was not a post coming from you, a food blogger shared it, and she is someone who always shares very interesting articles, so I did not think twice about reading it.

      Glad I did…

    • Smogranch says:

      Sally,
      Cool, glad I made her list and glad she shared it with you. Thanks for reading.

  11. Jen says:

    Hi Daniel,

    I had to resist the urge to check my social media accounts as I read your blog post –not because it wasn’t interesting! An itch that won’t go away until it’s scratched…

    The act of concentration on ONE thing seems to be getting more difficult. I have 9 tabs open right now, and that is low for me. Sometimes I already feel like a hermit and social media is one way to feel connected…but then you realize it’s an empty connection for the most part. Give or take some meaningful discussions that have happened on facebook. Having a wide variety of “friends” you never know who might comment on something and bring in a fresh perspective. But then in the blink of an eye it’s onto the next shiny object.

    And when speaking with fellow addicts, they always dissuade me from deleting my online presence. Like an alcoholic who always wants everyone else to drink. I find when I express wanting to delete facebook for example, people will become agitated and tell me I’ll really disappear off the face of the earth in that case. Maybe I believe them on some level. I got facebook in 2006, can it be it’s been 8 years?

    • Smogranch says:

      Jen,
      I was exactly the same. Undivided attention, at times, is a bit scary actually. I was approached by a variety of people curious about why I did it, which is why I wrote this post. Others were angry, accusational or puzzled. Others yet said “Why would anyone care?” The reality is that people do care because many of us have donated a portion of our lives to this idea. I always felt the creators were laughing at us for spending so much time on their platform. And yes, eight years of your life just went by.

  12. Sean Breslin says:

    Good move.

    I’m slowly starting to break away from social networking. My iPhone contract is up next month too and I’m seriously considering going back to an old mobile phone.

    I went to the post office a few months ago to try any buy an aerogramme (remember those?) to send back to the UK. None of the young staff at the post office knew what I was talking about and the manager said they had been retired at least 5 years. I used to rely on them so much in the 1990s when I was travelling. I little piece of me died when I heard that they’d gone and it’s all Facebook’s fault.

    • Smogranch says:

      Sean,
      Based on what I know about you, I’m not surprised. I think we share a trait or two. I mail things all the time, and have a small group of friends I trade correspondence with. Send me something and I’ll return the favor. We sent before, let’s do it again.

  13. randy says:

    Bonne Fête Dan !

  14. David says:

    Thanks for the great post, it is nice to know that their are other people out there who have also quit social media. I agree that it really is not necessary to have a social media presence and it is amazing how much time people (and I used to) spend checking their feeds.

    • Smogranch says:

      David,
      The fact we are even having this discussion, to me, is a sign that something was terribly wrong. A friend texted me and asked “Why would anyone care?” I had to explain that social media has become a second life for a lot of people who veil it under “work” or “business” or “networking” yet are really doing none of those things. It’s become a habit. Plain and simple. Breaking from it, for even a short time, will tell you how addictive it is. I speak from experience now.

  15. Julie says:

    Ironically I am only reading this through a facebook link or I would have never found it

    • Smogranch says:

      Julie,
      Yes, someone else said the same thing. I thought for a moment I hadn’t REALLY delete my account, but someone else had shared it. I’m still getting “you have a new friend on such and such a network” and these are sites I deleted, so I’m not sure what is going on.

  16. Simon says:

    Hey Dan! Great write up.

    As you know, I won’t be leaving anytime soon – that said, some days I’d like to turn it all off.. Like, off off.

    But then my bank would call and ask why my house payment was late, my wife would ask where the money went… More importantly, my clients would wonder what was going on and most likely fire me. :/

    Some of the various social media destinations have different value to me / my clients and some of them just suck life out of me – I look up at the clock after searching *quickly* for something on YouTube and, after being ‘stuck’ on there for an hour, I shake my head and give a nod in the direction of all the stats that say Youtube is quite powerful… ugh… Anyway, good article, I can’t leave yet, when I do it will be an interesting day.

    Sime

    • Smogranch says:

      Simon,
      I thought of you when I wrote this post. No joke, but not perhaps in the way you might imagine. When I was hanging with you I don’t think I ever saw you with your phone in your hand. We actually spoke. I did see you with your camera in hand. I never felt, “Okay, this guy is multitasking.” And lets’ face it, social media has endearing qualities and works for certain people in certain situations. We need people like you because frankly a lot of folks can’t do what you are doing, and may not even want to do what you are doing, but they know they need it. Let’s look no further than Obama and his original election. I actually really love seeing social success stories. I like seeing people be empowered to work in nontraditional ways, especially when the established system is broken or outdated. Power on amigo.

  17. shweta j says:

    Now where is the share button ?? Very inspiring, informative & a warning to what a social media addict yet socially awkward race we have turned in to.

    Thanks a lot !

  18. Harold says:

    As you say there are many who are still touting the “virtues” of social media but have to say it hasn’t worked all that well for me. I’m just about over the curiosity. I probably use twitter the most… with blogging there tends to be more signal and perhaps I will overcome the negative inertia in the coming year.

    Like your new blog design and logo. As I mentioned before there is a good mix of exploration and inspiration at the ranch. I feel truly blessed to have started when the world was analog with a few electro/mechanical gadgets thrown in. I like my analog stuff but I don’t really care whether someone uses digital or analog although I think there is a real benefit in learning the old ways. If nothing else it provides some perspective. We are going to produce new work but it’s good to have a point of comparison.

    Also liked that post called “The Rig” …if you substitute that Hasselblad for a tri-corder… 🙂

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Harold,
      New design, just for sport. Attempted to get as simply as possible, and thanks to Flemming and Charlene with “Coffee and Magic” I was able to do so. It’s now just a “flying gas can” to steal a phrase from “Hunt for Red October.”

  19. Bob Galbreath says:

    Awesome.
    Welcome back to reality.
    We’ve been waiting for you.
    You’ve got work to do.

    Sent From My iPet.

  20. Mr L says:

    Interesting article.

    However….have you given up alcohol, chocolate etc etc ….?

    It’s all about control. Some people let it control them others are the one in control.

    You have obviously let it control you, hence your admission and decision.

    I check my FB account 3/4 times a day. I have a smart phone but this only used for internet access for practical reasons (Google search, GPS etc) never to post check/post my social media.

    People need to stop being so obsessive and grow but a weak humans we always do things to excess.

    • Smogranch says:

      Mr L,
      Yes, have given up alcohol but probably not for the reason you think. Chocolate…never. I wouldn’t say social ever controlled me, but it was certainly creeping in. I don’t want to check anything three or four times a day, especially when there is little to nothing in return from what I’m checking. The realization my brain was asking to check was enough for me to know it was time to go. Again, for others who love it, power to the people.

  21. Eric Jeschke says:

    Love this post and totally agree with it. I have been thinking of deleting my FB account for many months now and the only reason I don’t is that I have relatives and old friends that I occasionally communicate with because FB is their “portal” and they don’t do email. Fortunately I only check FB once a day for a few minutes before bed and never got into twitter, etc. Planning to drop my cell phone this month. I’ll probably be viewed as a luddite but I’m thrilled to be reducing my online time.

    I do like blogs, and sort of view them as 21st century version of letters. Something thoughtful you sit down and compose…

    • Smogranch says:

      Eric,
      Great point I forgot to mention. I have friends who ONLY communicate via FB, regardless of how many times I’ve said “Hey amigo, I don’t go on FB.” In some cases there is an absolute lack of comprehension how I could not be on there. I will message back with ONLY my email and yet their FB messages keep coming. Now, I don’t have that issue. I like long-form blogs, magazines and our course films, books, etc. I also no longer view any news event where I HAVE to watch in video form because i can’t handle the advertising at 50,000 watts.

  22. Tanguy says:

    I guess everybody has some kind of an excuse to not delete FB..including me.I am still on it because I try to create a client basis.Once I have what I want I will “guide” them to my blog/website..what bothers me the most is the waste of time and the “fakeness” of all the “likes”…I appreciate your blog a lot.ciao

    • Smogranch says:

      Tanguy,
      I get it. I really do. And yes, the “quiet lie” of building an online likable version to gain a larger following was enough to turn me off. I’m really tiring of the relentless self-promotion coming from the photography world. Enough already. Go be a photographer. To do that to the best of your ability there is NO WAY you can spend a significant portion of your time on social media. Great photography is rare and isn’t easy to make.

  23. Brittany . M says:

    Just wanted to say , I have found my own inner conflict with social media , that when I found your article at what 11:45 pm on January second . which is currently now yesterday I couldn’t stop reading it , Now I plan on reading many of your other postings. I find your words inspiring and maybe one day I will delete my Facebook right now , Its the only way I communicate with a few people and less I can convince them the original purpose of a phone it will have to be used as a tool for communication.
    Being in highschool I have been apart of the every eight minutes check the phone for facebook updates. But As I am a senior about to enter into another part of my life I realized Having a social network doesn’t give me a social life . In fact often it makes me feel worse about myself and my life . I want meaningful conversation. not fads of hashtags as “vocab” which it is far from or where swag and Yolo are said like a prayer. as if passing trends make up your identity.
    I love journalism , and If I can put down social media to have more time for thoughts of my own stimulated by other passionate thinkers, artist, poet, philosophers , photographers and other forms of well produced ideas, Then I will have good cause to be rid of social media.
    SO thank you for creating a door to thought and conversation, There is so much I would love to discuss. and maybe my words will stem another train of thought for you. And for those of us who will be graduating High School in 2014 I hope that one day we will be know as the generation of thinkers , the generation of ingenuity, the generation of creativity .

    – Thanks for your time

    • Smogranch says:

      Brittany,

      First of all, it’s great having a high school age person on the site. You are probably not my normal demographic but what you write is very poignant. My post was intended to be just that, an explanation and a door. When you enter the “real” world after high school, which is really a slight to high school because high school is as real as anything else in a lot of ways, how you conduct yourself while interacting is critical. At least when it comes to interpersonal communication. Recently I was with a bunch of people my age, mid 40’s, and there was a high school age boy in the room. He wasn’t a “screen kid.” I noticed he was really calm, centered and was a blast to talk to. He had a great sense of humor and would listen with fixed eye contact and focus until one of us was done talking then formulate a well thought out response and respond. When we left I jokingly said “that “kid” was like a Shaman.” He was BY FAR the most centered person in the room. The adults were all fixed to their phones pretending that what they were doing was of critical importance when in fact NONE of it was. I really felt like the “kid” was quietly laughing at all of us. My advice, if you will accept it, is to realize that great, original work, in whatever field you choose, isn’t easy, doesn’t come quickly and requires focus and undivided attention. You are entering into a world where nearly ANYTHING is possible.

  24. Prashant says:

    Daniel – I’m a first time reader of yours and I must say I’ll be coming back for more of what you have to offer! I think you’ve hit the nail head-on.

    Absolutely agree that it is an ADDICTION and that we’re inching towards a collapse of the virtual world…humans cannot possibly live without “real” interactions. And your point about not being able to get “undivided attention” from anyone anymore is something I hope to leverage in my field of designing learning experiences.

    I don’t (yet) have the strength to do what you’ve done (get myself off the social media conundrum) but am hoping that one day I will. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Cheers,
    Prashant

    • Smogranch says:

      Prashant,

      It’s actually gotten to the level when actually getting undivided attention, at times, feels…..strange. This happened to me a few years go and when I left the event my wife said “What was THAT all about?” I said “That was someone paying us undivided attention.” Thanks for reading, appreciate you taking the time to response.

  25. Leigh Hall says:

    Thanks, Dan! That was a great post and I’ve seen what you’ve described many times! I’ve never been a Facebooker or have been on Twitter because it never intrigued me. I’m also a film and digital photographer who has just stumbled onto your article which appeared in Zite. I’m glad I found your blog because I find you interesting and I would enjoy seeing some of your shots. Thanks again for a great article and for voicing something I’ve been watching and have been concerned about for quite some time. D

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Leigh,
      Thanks for taking the time to respond. I actually don’t have an image site any longer, haven’t had one in years actually. I do occasionally post my images, but mostly in book or magazine form. I’m no longer a photographer really, haven’t worked as one in over three years, but I continually work on my own strange and obscure projects. I really don’t have any commercial goal with them, so I rarely show them.

  26. Tom says:

    So much of all this social media is like people talking all at once and no one listening. If enough people are talking you hear nothing. I wasn’t sure of any of it. Joined facebook and dipped my foot in the pool. Yes it sometimes is a time waster although it does have some redeeming qualities. I get a chance to see parts of the world in real time, places I will likely not be able to visit. There are a few downsides as well. No filtering makes for quite a flow of crap.

  27. Chris Nugent says:

    Great social media post (I read that far). I definitely see the the time-suckiness of the apps in my life. Going to give them up for Lent as a trial run.

    • Smogranch says:

      Chris,
      It’s always fun testing the water. You can always go back. Funny you mention apps. I have about three on my phone. I have friends who have hundreds and I always wonder, “how do you keep up with those?”

  28. Hi,
    I’m 38 and I understand what you wrote – and read it, from beginning to end without checking the length of the text first. I think you have made correct observations on social media, and acted to prevent personal damage. That’s good!

    Have a nice day!

  29. Jura Nanuk says:

    Great story, need to share it on Facebook! Wonder how many likes it will get 🙂

  30. Simone Paoletti says:

    Nice subliminal smile in your “Adios” !

  31. Kristin says:

    I’ve been in the process of weaning myself off of facebook, which seems sad to even say, it just sounds so ridiculous. I find it clogs and overtakes the mind, it’s too much at one time, too many images, too many thoughts and I also have had the same reaction to it that many have, starting to think in terms of facebook sharing, profile pictures, likes, comments, keeping up with the feed. It’s not real life, it’s a simulation and it starts to drain from the real stuff, for me at least. I found myself less motivated to create, also having the reverse feeling, why share anything if so much of everything is being shared constantly? it all becomes a wash. It became what I went to to fill in space, instead of watching, letting my mind roam, have a quiet mind or think about something I’d click on my phone. I still do it but not nearly as much. But I also have that feeling of missing out on something if I don’t engage with it and maybe I am but maybe I’m missing out on something I am better off without. I do know people who have bonded and made great friendships in 3 dimensional life through facebook and I have made a few as well and gotten some actual jobs through it so I think it does have a positive element to it but possibly not enough to make it worthwhile. Anyhow, thank you as always for sharing your honest thoughts and ideas.

    • Smogranch says:

      Kristin,
      Yesterday I spent three hours, one on one, no phones, cameras or computers. The pact was undivided attention. He listened to me, then I listened to him and then we have a dialogue. I couldn’t believe I had managed to avoid this kind of thing for the past few years. I’ll be sharing more about this soon. And yes, FB does work in mysterious ways, and has seen some true successes both on the individual and mass basis.

  32. AJ says:

    Like just about everyone here, I’ve recently also been uneasy, for a lot of the reasons you articulate, with social media, not just the addictive function, but because how it places a wall of separation (sometimes transparent, but still a wall) between us and reality.

    I teach, and I see my students incapable of surviving a single class without touching their phones. I have a ‘no visible phones’ policy and I have to say, every class, ‘make sure your phone is put away please’; even then I not only have recidivists, I have students who will suddenly get up, telling me they’re ‘going to the bathroom’…clutching their iPhone.

    If they were having meaningful interactions, the kind of conversations I had with my friends in college, I wouldn’t mind so much, but I’ve seen their texts and their facebook updates and…they’re not. x_x

    • Smogranch says:

      AJ,
      I’ve always felt very fortunate to have grown up, and gone to school, without technology. I’m really glad I didn’t have a phone because I too would have gone off the deep end, I’m sure. I can’t imagine having that kind of distraction, at that age, and what it would have done to my ability to focus. It is impossible for the human brain to do two things at once, so we have tricked ourselves into thinking we can multitask, which in essence is the brain toggling between tasks. After a while, like your computer, your disc, or brain, becomes fragmented and needs to reboot. The “brain fog” stare. You see people just ZONED out, phone in hand, staring into space, and they are rebooting their brain to handle the micro burst of information.

  33. Vivian says:

    Hi Daniel

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a blogpost outside of the educational blogs that I follow. I loved your post and so much of it resonated with me. I like the “voice” of your writing and I enjoy writing in an “obtuse” style to poke fun at life, too. 😀

    I’m turning 45 in three months, and I wonder if it’s our peerage that can take onboard Social Media very well, but also look at it with a critical-eye. I was the one that Tweeted it to Sheila, because I thought she might agree with a lot of what you wrote and she and I are about the same age. I’ve only been on Social Media for 1 year. I’ve tried lots this year in order to understand how it works with my students and I’ve abandoned lots too. (Never did Facebook, on principal that I don’t want to be THAT company’s commodity! I’m suspicious of Google & NSA, so I don’t post on Google+ but I have an account because of my teaching profession that works with Google drive and Google docs etc.) I’ll keep Twitter and blogging, like you and Sheila. I, too, write in long-form and I stubbornly won’t give that up in my blogging, even though “no one” reads more than 5 lines, apparently. I was told to keep my emails 5 lines or less. The problem is, I write emails (and comments on blogposts) like I used to write letters. 🙂

    I own a dumb phone and after reading your blogpost, I’m going to keep my dumb phone for as long as possible. I upload photos to Instagram that I’ve taken with a regular camera and I only upload what I think are the most beautiful or the ones with a funny story. I’m about to quit that too. It was novel in the beginning but I’ve lost the point of it. I’m starting to feel embarrassed when I post as if I’m asking for “Likes” (which I’m not). The thought that my friends might be “liking” them because they feel like they “should be liking them” is even more embarrassing.

    Well, more power to you and it IS power to choose what works for us and what doesn’t. Like you said, you’re not judging those on social media. I’m not either, but I know what brings value to my life. Those of us that lived before Social Media have something to fall back on, outside of Social Media. We’re not wiling to trade that away. As for the next generation, they can’t miss what they never had. (I’m sure our parents/grandparents said the same when TV became ubiquitous when we were little.)

    Cheers!

    ~Vivian

    ps Happy Birthday!

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Vivian,
      Thank you for posting and for spending the time to write. I’m doing a shorter, follow-up post now and one of the things I warn people about is ANYONE telling the something has to be done a certain way. Those people are either selling something or have a stake in the game. I too have been told “you should keep things short.” Well, guess what? I don’t want to. I will never do anything again that plays into the mental deficit we are creating. I feel strange when I see things like list posts or “top tens” because I KNOW they are playing into the “Hey, these will get me a larger following” scenario. I’m simply over it all, but to each their own….
      Again, thank you. Keep long forming it!

    • Vivian says:

      Hi Daniel

      I agree with what you said about not falling into the trap of doing things for followers or popularity. The joy of writing is the process of expressing our authentic selves and writing for ourselves. If others appreciate it, that’s icing on the cake. I, too, spurn all that advice about writing “Top 10” lists yada yada yada.

      I think it’s true that in the near future, this generation will look back and “cringe” about how we got sucked into much of this like sheep. It’s good to hear of people daring to make their own way and carving their own path. Maybe the tide is already turning… 🙂

      I wish the Internet wasn’t full of metrics (likes, thumbs up, thumbs down, up votes, down votes). Maybe we would be more our authentic selves if there weren’t any. I also wish there was more accountability for what we put online too, and then we can get rid of the trolls and those that would “hate first, facts later”. They’re pulling society down and it seems that our collective sense of human-decency and compassion is at a all-time low because of “social media vigilantism”

      I tweeted you these two links but I thought I would repost there here for your readers.

      TED Talk about letter writing on paper: http://www.ted.com/talks/hannah_brencher_love_letters_to_strangers.html

      Photos of beautiful libraries with inspiring quotes
      http://www.buzzfeed.com/wordsbydan/28-quotes-about-libraries-on-photos-of-beautiful-l-b6bd?bftw

      This link is more applicable to teachers, but it’s a blogpost about the power of a handwritten note from your teacher: http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/9928

      There is something special about paper and making physical touchstones of our history for ourselves to connect with and for future generations to connect to us. I’m going to make a bigger effort to handwrite a letter or note more often from now on.

      ~Vivian

    • Smogranch says:

      Vivian,
      AUTHENTIC. Ya, that’s about it. I’ve been telling people for years, about blogging, that if they want to stand out be honest and be funny. HONESTY is gone because everyone is pretending to be perfect. I first saw this to a sickening degree, and still do, in the portrait wedding world where life is rainbows and mermaids, all shoots are perfect, all clients have knit hats and fedoras. I was lucky. I had clients who saw right through that stuff. When I first began writing about screw ups while shooting I had several photographers call me and say “You can’t do that.” “You can’t tell clients you messed up.” The idea of speaking frankly was killed for the greener pastures of PHONY. Ultimately what happens is photography gets killed, which is what we are seeing today.

  34. lionelB says:

    Interesting. A deluge of responses. Clearly a lot of people are uncomfortable with an experiment which may have seemed like a good idea at the time but which got out of hand. For myself, I never had any social media accounts but I am not free of addiction – I have enough books to start a public library. Just as well as they are being closed one after another. I celebrate your departure from Tumblr. It gave me a headache the few times I looked. That and Flickr have abandoned any of the disciplines of design simply to crowd the maximum amount of stuff onto the screen. I remember panic over findings years ago that an average attention span had reduced to only three minutes. Now, three minutes seems an almost unimaginable span of concentration. Technology lets us see thirteen billion years into the past but that doesn’t help us if we don’t know how to look.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lionel,
      Tumblr worked for me for about 14 minutes. It hurt my head too, even the very simple layouts because it really felt like nothing but volume.

  35. lionelB says:

    Postscript. Last night in a dream a quiet woman handed me the future. It is a device with five reticulated screens, which concertina flat or open into a rigid curve. Each screen has its own feed. Now awake, I can see that the feeds are directed by an intelligent algorithm. No clicking. Three good guesses out of five are plenty. When your eye alights on a feed, all five jump to that, in what to me is an ungainly 1 x 5 format. Three minutes in every hour the feeds switch to commercials. The eye scanners ensure that you pay attention to at least 70% of the content, otherwise the device locks.
    I can see why she looked so sad.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lionel,
      I too had a forecast in my dream. Swimming in the “ocean” which looked perfect from the surface. Perfect. But then I dove under and realized there was a hologram being projected that made the ocean look perfect but the minute I dove under it was FILLED with trash. None of which could be seen from the surface due to the “perfection beam” which kept the tourists eating lunch looking at the nice, calm, clean sea.

    • lionelB says:

      Dan,

      Time to re-read Asimov’s ‘Foundation Trilogy’. It begins on a beach, with a warning.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lionel,
      Add it to my list!

  36. Simon Sinek just came out with a piece on the dopamine/seratonin effects social media has on people…if you can get through the first 1/3 of the piece, it’s pretty darn interesting…kind of scary as I see myself in this…

    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/04/how_baby_boomers_screwed_their_kids_%E2%80%94_and_created_millennial_impatience/

    “An entire generation has become addicted to the dopamine-producing effects of text messages, e-mails and other online activities.”

    • Smogranch says:

      Michael,
      Holy crap, I’m not alone. Glad someone more together than me put this out. Thank you!

    • Vivian says:

      The science behind what the Internet is doing to our attention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKaWJ72x1rI

      As I’m a teacher, I can say that educators are discussing/debating/agonizing over how to use the Internet for the good of our students, but we’re also aware of the pitfalls of the distraction of our devices. We’re not unaware of it, but also still at loss what to do about it. My way is to not own a smart phone myself and how I regret giving my two teenagers smart phones and I”m already trying to figure out how to NOT give them to my two youngest (!).

      ~Vivian

  37. Jeannie V. says:

    AMEN, brother! Enjoy your freedom. It’s a beautiful thing!

  38. Matt says:

    Hi Dan,

    Very well said. I will say that I enjoyed “The Leica File” and “Books I Love” series on YouTube. I will miss those, but I definitely understand your leaving them behind. I also enjoy reading your blog. You have great things to say and offer a refreshing perspective.

    Thanks!

  39. Ada D says:

    So these are the changes you had in mind! I love it! I admire your honesty and am excited to see you grow and move in this new direction. I think I read briefly in one of your responses above that you would be doing non-fiction book reviews? I would really appreciate that! So thank you for continuing to blog and sharing your writing with us.

    And like many others I have been considering deleting my FB account. Having lived overseas for 5.5 years before returning home, I find it does keep me in touch with friends and being able to celebrate life’s joys with them or sympathize their heartbreak. Unfortunately it can also be a barrage of self indulgent venting and the tricky part is navigating through it all and not being absorbed in it! But yes, cutting back on FB is on my list for 2014 but not necessarily deleting it altogether? I think the problem with social media is just the constant onslaught of information or imagery vying for one’s attention and it’s not going to go away any time soon. As human beings we have to slow down and remember that this need to be aware of what is happening at all times is not necessarily healthy nor is it best fulfilled by being on social media.

    PS. Happy belated Birthday!

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Ada,
      Thank you for reading! The volume is an issue for me. Can’t and won’t attempt to play in that arena anymore. As for non fiction books…reviews..not sure, but I’m writing one myself. Probably take me ten years to finish.

    • Ada D says:

      I did read your blog on AK’s Miami art book so if that is the non-fiction you had in mind, I am cool with that! There is just so much info out there, one cannot possibly read everything. I agree with you that every book is a journey, a world of ideas ready to be explored. It’s a wonderful feeling walking into a bookstore! But it can also be overwhelming. In one of our Publishing classes the issue of discoverability was discussed and creative avenues one can use to get a book out there. It’s not an old problem, it’s always been there but we have just had to solve it differently with all the tech changes and loss of brick and mortar stores. Book reviews help get the word out!

      On another note, if it takes 10 years to write your book, so be it! 🙂

    • Smogranch says:

      Ada,
      I told Andrew, “Nobody will read this post.” I’m glad to know at least one person read it. Anytime I write about photography or images or books, hardly anyone pays attention, but I’m still gonna write about it because I think all these things are important. If I write about tech, gear, etc, TONS of people read, but I just can’t do it. It bores me to death. Getting work out is a real issue, and like you said, always has been. Traditionally, the publisher helped, but I’m hearing more and more that isn’t happening. Reviews are great, but who they come from is more important than what is said, in some odd way. I could write the most incredible review in the world, but “book people” wounldn’t care because I don’t run in those circles. I think people REALLY need to understand audience, something I didn’t understand until I sat face to face with publishers who were asking me questions and I had no answers.

  40. Ada D says:

    Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one who read the blog book review! 🙂 I agree — write what you know and feel is worthy to write about; regardless of who chooses to read it. Staying true to yourself will help retain your sanity too. From the info presented in my class on discoverabilty, (surveyed from the actively reading public) ironically most people find their next book via referral through friends or family. But those ‘recommending’ family and friends would have needed to be told about the book somehow too!

    • Smogranch says:

      Ada,
      I totally agree. I get MOSt of my books that way. “What are you reading?” My wife is also in a book club.

    • Ada D. says:

      Unfortunately I am currently in the habit of starting books but not finishing them, partly due to being back in school — so I am reading textbooks! Such as: ‘Look Like a Hero: The Art Director’s Guide to Magazine Print Production’ by D Bennet. This is more like a small handbook that discusses magazine print production comprised of different stock so you can compare how ink appears on various types of paper. Quite handy. Outside of school, I am all over the place with books. I recently downloaded a PDF of a ‘book’ that the current pope has written that my friend posted on FB touting it as a good read (I used to study theology so I thought I’d give it a go) but have yet to make any headway with it. So I’ll list my most recent completed read which is the autobiography ‘Piano Lessons’ by Anna Goldsworthy. She is a prominent Aussie concert pianist and if you grew playing piano, you could totally relate to this memoir! And my most recent photography book purchase is Jordan Matter’s ‘Dancer’s Among Us’. There have been other books, but I haven’t finished or started reading them. Sometimes you just can’t read them all!

    • Smogranch says:

      Ada,

      The Atlantic wrote an article a few years ago detailing the difficultly adults were having a finishing novels. In great part is was due to the change in the human brain in regard to consumption. From novel length material down to micro bits, blasted all day from every angle. It’s changed us, for sure, and is one reason I bailed on the social. I literally have friends who can’t find their words, can’t finish sentences or thoughts. It’s SCARY.

  41. Jon Dessert says:

    You big baby, my Facebook existence is now far less meaningful now that you are gone to validate me…

    Oh and twitter sucks.

    Also, has anyone ever told you that you look like Rob Lowe?

    • Smogranch says:

      JD,
      I’m a traitor. The Rob Lowe thing…no, never. Not once. Ever. But I’ll get my best people on it and determine accuracy. I’m always here amigo if you need to talk. Power to the people.

  42. Ada D. says:

    Daniel,
    That is ridiculously SCARY. I have to admit my concentration and ability to retain info seems somewhat compromised or weakened over the past few years. I spoke about this exact same thing with one of my lecturers in regards to how we now process and absorb info — it’s terrible! But in all seriousness, I am considering culling my FB account. That’s a start?!

    • Smogranch says:

      Ada,
      Well, that’s a personal choice. I can tell you it’s been GREAT for me to NOT have to think about these sites. I’m far more productive and my mind isn’t as polluted.

    • Ada D. says:

      YES; I like that we are more productive and creative when we aren’t distracted by keeping up with social media. And out of curiousity, what are you and your wife reading at the moment? (if you are reading anything)

  43. Malka Michelson says:

    Hey Dan,

    Spot-on !!! Great read. I savor the times when I don’t turn my computer or cell phone on before noon.
    Cell phones in the sauna, WHOA… I had no idea they could withstand high temperatures. I rather enjoy a sauna infused with quiet time. Addiction.. (I first wrote this as Addition…without the ‘c’, yes, too many unnecessary ‘additions’) is rampant… When I got my iPhone people kept asking me why I didn’t have my email turned on, well… “I don’t want emails when I’m away from my computer.” That went on for months… then one day I broke down, turned on the email app, BAM over 1,000 emails showed up… I said NO WAY !!! and within minutes I was on the phone with Verizon getting the email app turned off and out of my phone. Yes, it’s mind-boggling all these distractions. I prefer an empty mind, space to dream and be present. See you in real time !!!

    • Smogranch says:

      Malka,
      We are programmed now, for the most part. I just ate breakfast here in London and the three people next to me, who were all together, sat silently scrolling through content on their phones.

  44. Laurence Zankowski says:

    Dan,

    I never was on fb, dumped my tumblr blog back in oct. just dumped google+, searched all my drives that may have any pointers to storage or some type of free web space, gone, even had space on dpreview. Gone, linked in is very difficult. they do not delete accounts though they say the do. so what I am doing is I am going to greek text all my profile/about, add misdirect email from the early nineties ( from 90-93 i had a space on a CS dept email server, which will remain nameless.) then demand deletion. I have a flickr account that will go away. had instragram for 2 weeks in 2012, thats gone. working on transferring email away from gmail. with twitter, no really on there. I only went on this last holiday season. though I have had an account there for years it seems.

    no wordpress blog though I set up a few.

    I am left handed and with a traumatic head injury, writing and even reading is hard. I journal on my iPad, using DayOne.

    switching gears.

    I lived in Corrales for 9 years. Walked the ditch path nearly every day. Got some fantastic shots of cranes up off of RailCar road by the Bosque. Assisted for Robert Reck, even travelled to the Caribbean with him as an assistant. Fell in love with the water and especially Nevis. With my cheap point and shoot, got haunting images of ruins in Charlestown by moonlight.

    Have over 120K miles on my Harley. Riding and grabbing shots of ruins, riding up river washes on it to grab images of strange rock paintings outside of Chloride, AZ. So much to take in out west. Redwood forest and its magic. Eastern Oregon. So much. I love it. ( need to do the Bonneville salt flats speed runs)

    Got to do the same in New England now. August till Nov.,poignant autumn runs. Thats what I want to do. Acadia, North Conway, the cape, Newport / Little Compton. Yes Sir, lots of miles to cover. I am from there and it means so much to me to honor what nature has provided for me.

    sort of a ramble but thats the price of a head trauma.

    be well

    laurence

    • Smogranch says:

      Laurence,
      Sorry to hear about the injury but you seem like you are doing well in terms of getting out. Some familiar places you mention. And also about the difficulty in actually riding oneself of these social things. I am still getting G+ notices, Tumblr as well and am wondering just what I have to do to cut them off for real. It really pisses me off. I dream of no email, but that won’t happen anytime soon. Downsize and strategize. The future I think.

  45. Laurence Zankowski says:

    Dan,

    forgot, did the lightning field, Pietown thing back in 2008. Also did this strange film thing with Christopher Coppola. I was camera dept. for two operators. What a trip. Rides through the back country to Silver city. My VLA shots of clouds and antennas. The ghost towns, bringing up a lot of memories.

    Be Well,

    Laurence

    • Smogranch says:

      Laurence,
      My wife knows Robert Reck. VLA is awesome. That entire region, the Gila, etc, all so grand. The first wilderness area in the entire US and one of the four most remote regions left in the US.

  46. Daniel, I regularly come back to this article. It keeps fascinating me. I debated about this topic with some friends who are also tired of social media. The good thing is though, we have had several longer meetings and conversations lately without checking our smartphones at all. The hours flew by.

    In the meantime I deleted some accounts, some of them weren’t used anymore at all, like Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, and Instagram. I haven’t missed them since.

  47. Tom says:

    This has made me think that maybe all these sites are like snacking on potato chips. Satisfying on first bite but devoid of nutritional value and they just make you fat. Facebook has some odd things about it and now more ads are starting to slide in there. It’s also a place where lot’s of people are taking and no one is listening. Or they listen in little bytes (or bites as the case may be if your eating chips). I may follow suite here. I know other who have. It’s a bigger time waster than I realize.

  48. anne says:

    This post made me laugh so hard. I’m in my late 20’s and I hate social media. I currently have no social media AT ALL. I mostly used Facebook and Instagram. I deleted Facebook first. Everyone questioned why I deleted it. I tried only Instagram for a while. Delete. Luckily I’m in the age group that actually had to write notes, call people, truly socially interact growing up. This “younger generation” has known nothing else BUT social media. I feel bad for them. My teenage brother “plays” video games with his friends online. I’m like…ummm I thought you needed two remote controls to play video games with friends?! It’s great to know somebody else out there feels the same way. I found myself wasting so much time throughout the day “checking” my social media. Checking on “friends” who are not really my friends. If you’re important then you have my phone number. If I’m important, then you will use it. I finally tuned into myself and thought…how much of this social media time is taking away from quality time with my child? Or bettering myself? Or maybe that time could be used volunteering and actually “socializing” while doing something good. If people want to be in your life, they will make an effort. I, too, miss REAL socialization. It’s quite depressing and I CRAVE that old school kind of friendship. GREAT ARTICLE. Hopefully, commenting on your post is not going against my “anti-social media”!! haha

    • Smogranch says:

      Anne,
      Well said, and good to hear from you. I too have had those EXACT thoughts about social, and how everyone is so faux connected. Checking, checking always checking. You can add texting to this mess too. Someone I really respect called me out of the blue yesterday. He asked “You aren’t one of those guys who is hurried all the time are you?” I said “Yep.” He said “Danny Boy you are missing the point of it all.”

  49. Amy says:

    THANKS for sharing your birthday GIFT to your self and others– getting off Facebook. I totally resonated with this… and am about to turn 46. Sometimes I think as a single gal, no kids, that I need to stay on Facebook since it helps me “feel connected,” but… NOPE… honestly it’s a time suck & I am a rather low-key, just-be-real kinda gal. So… the whole jazzy way of trying to say things “The BEST EVER… EPIC FAIL… etc, etc” drives me nuts. And, honestly, I think a few minute check EASILY becomes an hour a day. That’s 30 hours a month… that could be used volunteering, picking up the phone and talking with a friend/relative, going out to grab a quick bite to eat, etc.. I have a marathon in 8 weeks,… seriously have to get my core muscle work in or else I will not get some of this hamstring and other current “aches of the day” under control… hmmm… but oops, staying on Facebook puts that in jeopardy. It took me a while to call it an addiction, but honestly… it is! And, the ONLY thing I like is staying in more visual touch with friends overseas… that feels qualitatively a little better since we can see each other… yet, there is always the option of setting up a Skype call for FREE. Anyway… I am starting to ramble.

    So… did you 1) Deactivate your account? or 2) FULLY remove it and give Facebook your data?

    I just requested and received ALL my data (Archive) so I am getting ready to Deactivate for 8 weeks… yet, I wonder if I should just fully Remove it so as to stop this insane Deactivate/Reactivate tendency.

    Any thoughts? or Feedback? Greatly appreciated!

    Amy

    • Smogranch says:

      Amy,
      I should be asking you. I had no idea there was a different, or even an option. Great, just what I needed. I just deactivated mine. I figure anything I put online is out there forever if someone wants it. And yes, addiction is a word that people scoff at, but I known plenty of people who are scrolling on their phone and have no idea they are doing it. And these folks range from 8-80.

  50. Kakiko says:

    I don’t know you, is the first time I read you.
    I found this very interesting. I have many accounts too. I have being erasing my facebook completely for 2 times, but now I’m back. My excuse, connected to my family and friends in my country.
    The rest of my accounts? I don’t know, I still have them… but I’m in the constant fight of trying to keep the less time I can in there.
    I have been in the same situation of spending so much time in there, to the point that all the information I know day to day is because I read it there. Making my state of mind or mood changing every scroll.
    I know, frustrating… I like to share videos or photos I take, but yeah, I’m still in the line when sometimes I would love to don’t have internet…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  51. Jill says:

    I deleted my site’s social media accounts for a while out of curiosity about how many visits they actually generated (for the moment let’s ignore the fact that hits are a meaningless form of currency). I found that it made no difference whatsoever. Thank goodness; I didn’t have to do that anymore! Such a waste of time.

  52. Kim J says:

    I came across your post by accident. I was trying to find more information about an Instagram hoax–lol–go figure. Needless to say I’m glad came across it and I read the whole thing. I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who feels that way about social media. I’m not going to be hypocritical and say I deleted all my pages too cause I didn’t but I’ve been thinking about it for many of the reasons you touched upon. I did delete my twitter because I didn’t have many followers and I’m giving up Facebook for lent. That’s a start. I hope to better utilize my social networks in such a way where I’m not just wasting a bunch a of time. Once again your post was great.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Kim,

      Good luck with it. When you boil it down to what it really is, it means next to nothing. We are going to look back on this time of donating our lives to these silly things and cringe.

  53. Tara T says:

    I came across your post this morning when searching for how to delete my facebook account. I’ve been pondering the thought that people who are accomplishing things and really living life are not addicted to FB and/or the internet. Deleted FB this morning and came back to read your post this evening. I’m glad I did, it was a good read.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Tara,
      Thanks for that. It really isn’t a big deal, but FB has become such a huge part of many of our lives that it FEELS like it’s a big deal, when in reality it’s just a silly social network.

  54. Risse says:

    Hi, I’m a college student and turning 20 this year. Not too long ago, I deactivated my facebook account and twitter. At a seminar the speaker asked the audience “who doesn’t have a facebook account?” I proudly raised my hand, then she immediately said “from what mountain do I come from.” Seriously, I just back-fired with I can do whatever I want can’t I? so from then on, that became my answer every time people ask me why did I delete my account. So far, I am happy with all those toxic comments, status, pictures, conversations out. and also I have spent more time reading than lurking around the internet. Considering the fact that my news feed is clamped up with selfies and foods and stuffs I really don’t care about. Though I don’t have much updates on shows (local theater) I still have access on them through my friends. And my urge of constantly checking for notification were gone.
    But still, I’m enjoying a quiet life away from social media. 🙂

    • Smogranch says:

      Risse,
      Good to hear. I just love the idea that FB is actually connecting you with things. I can, and probably does in some small way, but the vast majority of stuff is a complete and total waste. I’m at the point where I don’t want to hang around people who are on it all the time.

  55. Chris says:

    I just deleted my Twitter this past week. Say what you will but it’s just as bad as the rest of the social media heap out there. Too many people looking to market themselves or a product (I guess in this era marketing ones self is marketing a product, isn’t it) Too impersonal. And it has too much influence over the decisions we make or the things we say. If it works for you so be it. But I look at it like this: we as a human race survived for, what over a 1000 years without it? And we did fine. We didn’t need to be ‘in touch’ with everyone else with our fingers on the pulse of society every second of every day. So why do we need to be now? It’s driven purely by self importance and by the idea that if you aren’t a part of the herd you may as well not exist…F*** em! I don’t care!

    • Smogranch says:

      Chris,
      I hear ya. I feel the same way in the regard of “Oh, this is new, we need it now.” I think that is complete and total crap. I also think these things have made us so selfish and selfc centered I’m not sure we are going to ever come back, which was what my reference to the Kilimanjaro glacier was about. Great, you have an iPad and you are showing the mountain, but the glacier is still gone. We have all these things but at heart we are still humans doing the same dumb stuff we always have and always will. For me, Twitter is about “Hey, I’ll be in London in two weeks, anyone around?” But I guess I could also do that here, but I don’t have 3000+ readers on a given day.

  56. Jenny says:

    This found me at a perfect time. I had googled ‘Should I delete my social media’ and this is what I found. I’ve deleted fb multiple times and always find myself back. It always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A lot of this blog really resonated with me. I’ll be deleting at lunchtime and I won’t look back this time. Thank you so much for this, I personally found it incredibly helpful!

  57. Lexi says:

    I love your article! I signed up for Facebook in 2008 and loved it at the beginning…I was totally addicted. I began to grow tired of it over time. It was fun to catch up with old friends and acquaintances but I feel like I am perpetually stuck at a high school reunion and it feels unnatural and unhealthy. Many of my “friends” are more interested in getting their high from posting pictures and getting their fix from all the likes and comments rather than checking in or making arrangements to get together. The narcissism is growing by the day and people’s profiles seems to be a reflection of who they want to be and not really who they are.

    I have deactivated several times but something kept pulling me back in…(addiction for sure) but this time, I want to permanently delete it instead of deactivating. Your article is helping me make the leap. I am so tired of everyone’s heads buried in their phones like a bunch of drones. I feel like getting rid of my cell phone too. I can’t believe I wasted so many years of my life on that site. Ughhh I could have been so much more productive. Lesson learned!

    Thanks for writing this great piece!

  58. Paula says:

    Daniel, you have no idea how your post helped me. Like Jenny, it came at a perfect time. I had deactivated my account several times before but my break didn’t last and ended up reactivating. It sure is addictive and I felt like I was missing out on something as everyone seems to be on it but everytime I go back on I think geez always same thing, why did I bother. My last straw was when someone I cared about so much blocked me causing me so much hurt to the point where I have now permanently deleted my account. I feel like one of those people addicted to some sort of substance where I know need to go to “rehab”..but I felt better after reading your post. So much of it resonated with me..thanks so much

  59. Ana da Silva says:

    Your post also came at a perfect time for me. I deleted my account for good two days ago and haven’t looked back. Today after many years, I found myself actually paying attention to my surroundings and being fully present when my kids talk to me.. Thanks for the great post

  60. Dan says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with this, i recently deleted mine too, i just feel that it’s getting worse, it causes unreal ammount of issues over silly things, then there is the privacy concerns (if privacy exists), And i also miss the days people actually visited you, or phoned you, relationships with friends just seemed so much more personal and important than they are considered today, and i blame social media for this, it was meant to bring people together, but i believe its doing the exact opposite, I’m already feeling less stressed knowing it’s deleted! it was great when it started because it was simple and not life invading, but now its like a telescope into your entire life for whoever is your “friend” . no thanks not for me, – a 27 year old “uncool guy” hehe.

    Great article.

    take care

  61. Anna says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about getting off social networking altogether as well. I’m a 20 year old who feels so disconnected because everyone is SO connected to their phones…and not each other. It is really frustrating to walk around my campus and see peoples’ hands clung around their phones. I want to do an experiment where I get an old Blackberry or flip phone and get rid of my iPhone 4s and if people truly want to contact me, they can shoot me a text or better yet, CALL ME. I searched on Google, “reasons to delete every social networking site” and this popped up and I’m so grateful that it did. You share a lot of insight on the matter and it helped me feel less alone. The desire to be present is slipping so fast, it seems. I only hope others will soon realize this and do something about it. Your post has inspired me to do the same. Because I’m guilty of these things and I want to master and overcome technology and not allow technology to master and overcome me. Thank you for posting this. I hope you write back!

    • Smogranch says:

      Anna,
      Just to let you know, I haven’t looked back. All of that crap is entirely out of my mind at this point. I’m focusing on making work and helping others make work, and work with meaning. Not easy, but far more interesting than the constant babble of social.

  62. Paula says:

    Oops.. sorry meant to say * I thought I would share this video*- autocorrect’s fault 😉

  63. adam says:

    Hi,
    This is a great post as I am about to delete my social accounts for having information overload. Just curious, you talk about focusing on making work and helping others have more meaningful work. How are you going about this? It’s so important to do work you can feel has an impact and especially helping people reach their potential.

    • Smogranch says:

      Adam,
      I work full time for Blurb and spend my life helping others understand and utilize the platform. None of what I do matters unless you make meaningful work. Plus, I’m shooting again, for Blurb this time, and trying to do good work myself.

  64. Alicia says:

    This is one of the best blogs I’ve read. I’ve found myself going back and fourth with myself with this decision about social media. I’ve been on Facebook since 2008. I have started that page over more than 3 times and deactivated it on numerous occasions.Often times I have in mind that it just causes too much drama in my life and I shouldn’t really care what others are doing that much. I also have my sisters and cousins who love long distance so I’m able to keep in touch with them. But I also have their numbers I can call them and text them if I really want to chat. I have found more cons with fb then pros yet I still feel this need to be apart of it, it has truly been an addiction over the years.

    I have caught people in lies through Facebook, telling me they would be one place and then I go to their page and it’s something totally different. I have spent countless days when at work or in church and I’ll just scroll through my time line for hours at a time , just wasting time really. So one day I got disgusted, I recently turned 30 and thought somethings must change. I want to better my life and go after my goals and this social media epidemic is taking over my life, so many people’s lifes. So I deactivated my account one month ago and I’ve had people sending me worried text asking of u was okay cause they didn’t see me on FB and some people even angry I deactivated it again but I feel so free and like I’m actually focusing on real life things. Like enrolling back in school, reading more books, “which I stopped doing when I got hooked on social media”. I deleted my Instagram back in September of last year that thing was beyond addicting and I felt it was a cry for attention and approval from people with getting the likes and follows and it can actually play games with your mind. I removed all games *angry birds, candy crush, and etc” from my phone in March. I removed the apps Pinterest and You Tube from my phone a month ago as well. Next it will be google plus. This article really confirmed how I had been feeling and what I’ve been sharing with my other friends yet no one is in agreement with me. They basically say, “it’s a way of life and nothing negative, it’s a healthy addiction. Maybe it is for them but it wasn’t healthy for me. Hopefully this long hiatus from it all will make it easy for me to never return to any of them, lol. I’m aiming for a 6 month hiatus, but hopefully by not being on them I will not have an urge to return once the 6 months roll around. Thank you for this blog, it was a positive conformation for myself.

    • Smogranch says:

      Alicia,

      Well said. There are many excuses flying around about what these things are and what they do. It’s early days still, the effects will really be sort out years from now.

  65. Hannah Kozak says:

    I’m on a similar page as you, Dan. I love to blog because I love to write and share my photos. And I like Twitter, which was originally dismissed as a lesson in narcissism for nerds and quickly became a world wide messaging giant.I still love Vimeo, as I can upload my short videos and then see them on a decent size screen so I can edit.

    I always knew that Instagram, Google +, Tumblr and Pinterest were big time suckers, so I never played the game. I keep FB for now but it’s losing steam. Don’t even have the app on my phone, never wanted to check my status that badly. Don’t even like my phone ringing to be honest. Linked In – Why are you staying there?

    FB is a huge time sucker, as are all the rest and if someone were to put all their time into social media, as we’ve been “told” to do, we would never create any new art. Social media: It’s too passive. Glad you shut it all down. I have always loved your blog and your sharing of photos, books, traveling and living life.

  66. Rachel says:

    Loved every bit of this read, in fact, I’m posting it to my facebook page 😉 I have been so disheartened by social media as of late, and your thoughts have completely hit the nail on the head for me. I have seen such hurt come from misconceptions of status updates, friendships lost over the once every 4 year political wars, and have watched emotional scars form over “friend deletion”. I miss the days of having dinner with a friend that didn’t pick up a phone, mid conversation, because of an alert ding. Thank you thank you, you have a new fan… and I might just write you a real letter 🙂

  67. Stacey says:

    I found this post after I “deleted” my Facebook account (in quotes because they make you wait two weeks, hoping you’ll reconsider, before actually blowing it away, and I’m at Day 12 of The Wait).

    I started to have second thoughts (which is exactly why The Wait is built in to the process), so for reinforcement, I Googled “why you should delete your Facebook account” and landed here. Loved the essay. It encouraged me to continue with my newly Facebookless life. Not only had FB become a real pain in my ass with all the bickering and jealousy and disappointment when no one Liked or Commented on my stuff, it’s a privacy nightmare. Facebook records everything you type even if you backspace over it and don’t post it? Facebook has come up with algorithms that can tell if you’re “dangerous” or suicidal? Facebook is selling my every keystroke to advertisers–and maybe even my HR department? No thanks. Freak me out, dude.

    I recently discovered The Minimalists, and a few weeks ago, this process was set in motion by something I read on their website (I’m paraphrasing here): “What you spend the most time doing…yup, those are your priorities.” Pretty obvious, yes? Apparently not to me. I spent days with that Mind.Blown. sort of revelation that DUH–my priorities are 1) posting shit and 2) desperately wanting people to notice that I had posted shit.

    So hey, my point, and I did have one, was thanks for the reinforcement. And yeah, I *miss* it!! And I hate myself for missing it! I especially relate to your funny observation about taking photos of random stuff. I now have to stop myself from pulling out my pocket camera and taking snaps of wry, oh-so-witty, abstract crap to post without comment, so I could see who could guess what I was up to. Ugh. What a dink.

    Thanks again, and write on.

    • Smogranch says:

      Stacey,

      I was there. Not I’m not. I think you will enjoy life FAR more, real life, if you walk away. What you described is precisely the point. A modern epidemic.

  68. Summer says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that I came across this! I am 29, an artist and I’m totally addicted to Instagram and Facebook. I love Pinterest too but I actually use it with my design clients. I want so badly to be like I was when I was 17 with a phone that only made phone calls and ha snake on it. I am caught up in this “game” I feel with my peers like “you have to be on social media to promote your work” and “how else will people find you?” But it’s crap right? Your points about not really seeing and experiencing your surroundings but thinking about how it’ll look on Instagram is me 100%. So my follow up question is-how are you feeling now that some time has passed?

    • Smogranch says:

      Summer,
      It is crap. I don’t believe you have to do anything other than make the best possible work you can make. Spending copious time on social will not help you with that. I feel BETTER with each passing day. I see friends on IG and FB and actually feel a bit sorry for them. I don’t know ANYONE who uses those sites who isn’t wrapped up in the ‘being in liked” aspect of it all, even the ones who claim they aren’t. IG in particular. Monitoring their likes and comments like a heart rate monitor. As there work tapers off in quality and quantity.

  69. Stacey says:

    Yes, Summer, it’s crap. I sell on Etsy (in addition to a full-time job) and I can promise you that time “promoting” on FB and other social media is WASTED time. I can’t point to one single sale as the result of any of these sites, but I *can* list sales I’ve made by getting out from behind my desk and meeting people face-to-face. Use traditional routes like art shows/fairs, networking events, and print advertising. You’ll end up with better results and you’ll feel like a productive member of society instead of a bloodshot hermit.

  70. Adam says:

    I abandoned my social networks on May 9th, see my comment above, and am so much happier and less stressed. you seem to fill that time with more useful/fun activities. I’ve had more time to meditate, I highly recommend the Headspace app, I started working out again, and have been simplifying my life in other areas as well.

    I recently read a separate article about creating a distraction free iPhone, its very hard at first, I’m only on the 2nd day, but I already feel liberated in the same way I did when eliminating my social networks. The article can be found here for anyone interested:
    https://medium.com/life-hacks/the-distraction-free-iphone-or-why-im-happier-since-i-disabled-safari-80f8d525b0d8

    In down times, I sometimes still look to grab my phone, but not as much as I used to knowing there isn’t a constant stream of news and status updates. I enjoy being in the now and I even find my conversations more engrossing and my ability to communicate has never been better.

    • Smogranch says:

      Adam,
      Wow, a transformation. I’ve felt the same. Did not know about the app, but that “reach for the phone” feeling is nearly gone.

  71. Summer says:

    You guys are great! Thanks for the advice and encouragement, I deleted all the apps from my phone and have not checked anything today. Again, so glad I found this.

  72. Laurence Zankowski says:

    Dan,

    Just a reminder:

    Deleting an app on a iOS device does not delete or deactivate an account. You actually have to delete/ deactivate your account at service level ( best term I can come up with at the moment ).

    Then you do the following ( iOS based option ):

    To fully rid yourself of such apps, the nuclear option is:

    If you still have a PC/ Mac, launch iTunes, find your app you are deleting from your iOS device, delete it from iTunes.

    If you have not done so already, Delete the app from your iOS device.

    Connect your iOS device to your PC/Mac.

    Do a backup of iOS device.

    Then do a restore. Any data from deleted app should be gone from your device. If you are real serious, you won’t even do a restore, you will do a factory fresh install. Then load only the apps you want from iTunes while connected to the PC/Mac.

    I could go into more detail here but I won’t.

    Be well,

    Laurence

  73. Jesse Perez, Jr. says:

    I’ve never heard of you before until today’s Google search on “there has to be a way to recover a deleted Instagram account” (withdraws that I’ll soon explain lol).

    I’ve recently deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Facebook was just becoming too time consuming, too much likes and too much drama for me to fathom a clear conscious throughout the day, especially trying to get back into the Word of God. Instagram is no exception. I’m almost 30 and am at a time where I feel that I need to make some major changes to better myself, so at an impulsive moment, I deleted these two major brain-siphoning applications from my phone. It’s been a few days and I’m feeling some withdraws from Instagram lol. I really liked sharing jokes that I found on the internet with my friends to share a laugh the most, but felt that at the same time I was being too consumed by the Instagram genre of filtered pictures, ‘mandatory postings’, forceful Instagram ‘check-in’s every five minutes if that! So, your third to last paragraph had nailed exactly how I was and more, about social media being a default brain space. I’m glad I came across this page, because it greatly reinforces my reasons why I chose to deactivate/delete these social media apps. I feel in time that I will be much better and grateful that I did, but for now, I feel I needed this, so thank you. I have Twitter that I don’t use nearly as much as I did FB and IG, but will find you on there and follow, because apparently you got some good mind-food! Thanks.

  74. Cros53 says:

    Great blog. I have never been sucked into the social media playground, where people exist in a world of deception and rationalization. I have been given this life to truly live, not to find affirmation through fake “likes” and fake “friends”. Thank you for swimming upstream in a world that is rushing down.

  75. Marquise says:

    Wow! I’m so glad I came across this post. I just recently deleted my social media pages yesterday (6/26/2014). Facebook, Instagram, & Kik are now out of my life! I woke up yesterday morning with a random thought thought on my mind that, if I want to be successful in life then I have to stop doing what everybody else is doing. So I immediately reacted & deleted all of the main social sites that I be on. I’m not gonna lie, I felt a little sad at first. Because I’ve spent a lot of time on those sites & was kind of addicted to checking into them often. But I knew that it was time for me to cut bullshit out of my life & start getting shit done! In fact, nobody needs to know that I ate pizza for lunch, just finished working out, or at home watching the basketball game. Mostly everybody is on those social media sites looking for ways to stroke their egos by seeing how many likes & comments they can get from people, like you said in your post. Now on the day after, I’m happy I went through with deleting them. I feel like I have more time in the day to dedicate to studying & researching. I’m glad somebody feels the same way I do!

    • Smogranch says:

      Maquise,
      I actually think that the a lot of folks aren’t doing it for ego they are doing it because they are lonely and need the support of random people telling them they are great or good or interesting. I think this social world has made people wildly insecure.

  76. Stacey says:

    I’m now dealing with weird fallout that I never expected: People are pissed that I left Facebook. One of my “friends” even told me on the phone, [snarky tone of voice] “Too bad you left. I’m posting photos of the girls winning their karate tournament.” Me: “Well, you could e-mail them to me.” Friend: “Great. One more thing I have to do. Why should I when you could have just seen them on FB?” Me: :-O

    So apparently I’m not even worth attaching a couple of photos to an e-mail? There’s also another couple that I had recently met whose phone number I forgot to get out of my FB messages before deleting my account. I know their address, so I sent them a cute postcard with a note something like “Forgot to get your number off FB–call me so we can do something!” I’ve heard…nothing.

    It’s like I quit drinking and now I need a whole new set of friends…

    • Smogranch says:

      Stacey,
      I would be lying if I didn’t say I got my fair share of nasty emails after posting this post. People were pissed, accused me of doing it for publicity reasons and others who just said I would be missing out on their lives now. It’s SUCH a strange condition we find ourselves in, and when I say “we” I mean the social media population. The reality for me is I actually don’t want to spend time with people who are on there all the time. There is a needy desperation I find disconcerting. And they can’t seem to finish a sentence or thought. Also, I’m lucky. Love to be alone.

  77. Stacey says:

    Amen to that. I had a FB “friend” whose obsessive posting was downright worrisome. He would make 100 to 200 posts a day–I’m not exaggerating–and clog up my feed so badly that I eventually had to hide his posts to allow other stuff to pop in. Between posts about missing dogs and heroic servicemen and cute comics and all other sorts of mental flotsam, he’d post at least daily about how he couldn’t find a job and his marriage was falling apart. Really?!??! You don’t say!! And the fact that he couldn’t see the forest for the trees was just forehead-slappingly stupefying.

    And now folks can’t seem to reverse-engineer their social sensibilities. It’s so weird. I’m out of sight, out of mind. I’ll live through it because I also enjoy being alone, and there are other people/things to take up my time. But every now and then I just have to think “I can’t believe it’s too much trouble to e-mail me or call me.”

    • Smogranch says:

      Stacey,
      I”ve had friends completely lose their lives to the FB machine. Completely. To the point where we had pseudo interventions and twenty minutes later they were posting again. It was the “I can quit anytime” stuff. I’ve also seen people post the most sensitive, personal things and it SCREAMS of loneliness, desperation and isolation, all the while being “connected” at home in the dark….alone.

  78. Stacey says:

    Pardon my busting in here again, but I just read something interesting in the Chicago Tribune that I think you’ll all find very interesting:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-facebook-experiment-20140628,0,5442982.story

    The paper from the National Academy of Sciences goes into much more detail:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full.pdf

  79. Tom says:

    All this reminds me of that star trek episode with the Borg…..resistance is futile, you will be assimilated. I think that one woman had the implants removed but she still had flashbacks. Is resistance futile? Will we be assimilated?

  80. JennyG says:

    I found you by searching “How do I know if my Facebook has been deleted? “.

    Obviously, I’m in the waiting period of deletion. I started by deactivating for a long time. Then, I decided to just take the plunge completely. I never had tumbler or instagram or any of that. I keep a blog of book reviews that I’m lucky to update once a month. I am, however, on Twitter. I do like it because I’m not addicted to it for some reason.

    Anyway, what caused me to take a step back and finally give Facebook the boot was the amount of time I realized I was missing with my kids. I have two sweet little toddlers. The time I miss I won’t ever get back. They will never be this cuddly or sweet again. (Especially when they are teenagers. Maybe then I will need to ignore them for Facebook. )

    When I think about whether I’d rather spend hours mindlessly browsing silly posts from college acquaintances or laughing with my kiddos, the choice is pretty clear. Facebook had to go.

    Can some people use it without becoming addicted? Absolutely. But I’m not one of those.

    I am easily addicted to all sorts of things. Call me weak, whatever. But I can tell you this: I’m pretty happy without it.

    Sure, there are crazy days with my kids or with my deadlines that I feel like I need a break. I’ve found, though, that I’ve reconnected with some old hobbies. Also, Facebook never really made me feel that great. There was always too many depressing news stories that would keep me up late at night heartbroken, or too many political arguments for my taste.

    Remember the days when it was rude to ask who someone voted for? Remember when we didn’t show embarrassing pictures of our kids that would moetify them as adults?

    Maybe I’m just getting old, too, and turning into a fuddy duddy, but I want to return to those days.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Jenny,
      I think you will be surprised. The further away you get the easier it becomes. What is painful is looking back and realizing the amount of time you wasted. I know I did…and do.

  81. Michael says:

    After I deleted my Facebook (the proper delete, not the hokey deactivation) I wanted to go on Facebook to brag that I’d deleted my Facebook. Thats when I knew I’d made the right decision.

  82. D/NO D/NCO says:

    Dear Dan: Your very lucid, coherent explanation resonated with me and my own experience with — and departure from — FB. Relatively speaking, I was a late adopter and used FB for about four years. For a time, I suppose, it was a useful tool. Among other things, I curate and write about performance art and FB was a way to announce exhibitions. Along with other facets of being “social” (or at least the online, solitary version of “social,” from a keyboard or phone), I got off on the reaction of posting provocative things, political, comedic, newsy. At times, it felt I was offering snippets of a stand-up routine, desperate for applause. Other times, I might just be trying to instigate a fight. There’s a lot of truth that the brain starts gagging for that feedback. The posts that no one responds to feel like shooting blanks. I also noticed a flattening of how I responded to a sequence of updates and content. For example: “Leg day at the gym!” = “My mom just diagnosed with terminal brain cancer” = “London is amaaaaaazing.” Like, like, like, like, like, like…

    FB also creates the illusion of being political and active in the world, but ultimately, it amounts to just a circle jerk of nothingness. I take that back. That circle jerk of nothingness IS amounting to the financial gain for FB, so much so that FB was able to buy something even more (self)-limiting and insidious as Instagram for $ 1 billion. One billion dollars for an image based platform that continues to offer the illusion of cultural production and critical engagement. So that “time suck” so many FB users are aware of is contributing to the wealth of a company “so big it cannot fail” (sound familiar?).

    The FB Inbox also became a nightmare, one that couldn’t be shut off, a box filled with junk mail and party invites. So I ignored it. Certain freelance clients started trying to hire me by sending me messages via FB, which I would invariably miss. It felt weird. And unprofessional.

    I deleted FB at the start of 2013. I don’t miss it at all. I also don’t miss the illusion of my connection with 1500+ other FB users. As I read somewhere, “I deleted facebook, as I wanted to leave high school.” I kept Twitter to maintain some kind of online presence and it’s still far more manageable and useful and succinct.

    Warmest regards.

    – D/NO

    P.S. I, too, also departed from photography, commercially and as an art practice. I didn’t weather the transition from analog to digital well (and resented the idea of needing Photoshop to make an image), and even further so, I started shooting large format analog. I really should have just raised unicorns, instead. With the rise of camera phones, MySpace, FB, etc. the production, consumption — and disposal — of imagery became overwhelming. Photography rose to a lingua franca more so than ever before and the idea of continuing to pursue it on a fine art level seemed pointless. I wonder why people continue to get MFAs in photography. Maybe to become Instagram curators.

    • Smogranch says:

      Dino,
      Unreal reply. You sound like…me. As you know, I agree with everything you said, although you said it far better than I. The last two sentences are spot on. And I have NO IDEA, other than photography is a great endeavor, and if you are able to make your own work I can see the experience as beneficial. If you need to enter the commercial world right away…not so much.

  83. Prabhjot says:

    It was good to read this post. You are bang on target. I used to be active on Orkut. Then after sometime managing social media accounts seemed tough so I hardly use any of them

  84. f maruchan says:

    I just recently removed my facebook account for personal reasons temporarily and its been a struggle on a hourly basis, getting the urge to check on what’s going on with your friends and talking to them via facebook chat… i’ve become so dependent that I don’t have anyway of communicating with them other than facebook, I just have a few phone numbers memorized, mostly friends that I’ve had had long before myspace and facebook but everything else that is it. Been on social media since the early 90’s if you can count on AOL 3.0, AIM, ICQ, IRC, yahoo chat, skype, myspace, hi5 twitter..facebook….. so basically it has became a part of my life… While I probably may open facebook again in the following months time, I am just trying to find a way so that when I do open it, it’s not so prevalent.
    Nice article

    • Smogranch says:

      F,
      Thanks for that. I really is an addiction, and that is what they are banking on. As soon as it becomes the default brain space the writing is on the wall. I was there and now I’m not. It’s better out here.

  85. Amanda says:

    I agree with your above points. I deleted my Facebook account nearly six months ago and experienced profound relief when I did. I am still “addicted” to other accounts and haven’t made the break with Tumblr or Instagram. Your observation about disengagement with the surroundings is spot-on. Social media formats are also crippling to our concentration and focus. I’m afraid of what they will do to our minds long-term if this trend lasts.

    • Smogranch says:

      Amanda,
      I see it in so many people around me who think they are in control, but I see them speaking in half-sentences and unable to focus or follow through on much. You’ll get there.

  86. Tom says:

    Ok here’s something very strange for ya’. I’m still connected to facebook (I hope not addicted) and up pops friend suggestions for ‘people you may know’ . What do I see at the top of the list? The name of a guy I knew very well who died of cancer about three years ago. madness. I guess you never die on Facebook. Is there a hell?

  87. lisa b says:

    with slow internet in latin america, i am glad that this post opened so i could treasure your words and the comments; i would have laughed if someone asked, ‘what mountain did you come from?’ as i’ve always dodged the facebook/telephone/television options for different reasons.. facebook always seemed a bit too creepy for me – i opened an account for the sole purpose of voting to help a few people w/competitions, but i didn’t like how it immediately connected me with way more people than i wanted… and i backed right back out and said, ‘no way..’
    telephone… if someone wants me, they will find me via other channels if it’s important.
    television… so many times it becomes a drug.. people sit to watch a program and immediately stop interacting with others in the room… hours later they’re still ‘drugged out’ on television. what happens to the quality of the day/evening?

    anyway, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and perhaps awakening others!

    lisa/z in ecuador

    • Smogranch says:

      Lisa,
      Thanks for opening up the post! I just tried to track down an author and the only thing on her site was a mailing address in Bolivia…so I wrote her a letter. Few weeks later…I got my response. Facebook is something we are going to look back on and cringe. If society doesn’t falter first.

  88. Irene. says:

    I have finally deleted my facebook as well last week, after struggling back and forth over 5 times the past few years! This time I felt it was really consuming my time and polluting my mind. I have not felt as good as I feel now, not having it, since when I opened it back up last year!!! what a relief! 🙂 thanks for this amazing post. I am glad there are still “normal” people that are not brainwashed with having social media as being mandatory.

  89. Austin says:

    Just deleted all my sh*t. Thanks for the reaffirming post.

  90. Michelle says:

    I came across this article because I was curious and googled on percentage of US not on Facebook. I really have given it a go and know so many love it all so much but for me it always feels like it takes too much of my time to keep up with it. I teach Yoga and many I know really love doing all the poses daily in various locations and posting them. I find it a slippery slope of each time I post something more notifications come in which you respond to and then it keeps going. Each time I take a break (on one right now) getting that message from someone that is basically a stranger asking where you are at is kind of strange to me. Also as a woman my posting my exact moves every day of where I am at doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. Glad to see I am not alone in my thinking. I am currently on one of my many Facebook breaks I often take. Sometimes for days, weeks and with how feel it could become permanent. Right now I am going to go practice my Yoga and walk my dogs and all without a phone documenting it all:)…I feel like such a rebel!

    • Smogranch says:

      Michelle,
      I’m starting yoga again. Did it for years, and still feel it is the best physical, and mental activity I’ve ever done. I find it the polar opposite of being online. Quieting the mind and social media are perhaps the best representation of peace vs. chaos. Good luck with your down dog and your social media diet.

  91. John says:

    Great read, and it sounds really simillar to my situation and i have just deleted my FB account..
    Quit smoking few years back, so this should be easier… haha

  92. Christian says:

    Hi,
    Very well written (sorry if my English sometimes fails, Im a Swede=) and interesting reading. I started searching the net for why people left Facebook and gettin rid of always being connected, and ended up reading this. What was quite astonishing, the fact that I felt exact the same. The last post I have made on facebook, was a shorter way like yours of explaing all that. I havent deleted my account yet, but you fired it up, and soon Im going to press that button 😉

    Cheers!

    /Christian

    • Smogranch says:

      Christian,
      Skol tamy fan….this is my memory of Swedish friends teaching me to toast…I’m probably butchering it. I’m sitting there thinking “Hmm, who is this guy Christian?” I have ZERO interest in going online and seeing who you are, but I do have interest in thinking “When I’m in Sweden….I’ll look this guy up.” I wish I was more the other way, and I’m missing out on things. I know I am, but I just can’t bring myself to go back to that world. It feels too good to be gone. Thanks for taking time to write.

    • Adam says:

      Daniel,
      I get that same feeling, that I wish I liked social media more, that I might be missing something cool on instagram or twitter. I logged in once after I deleted instagram from my phone, and saw I wasn’t missing anything but a wedding photo from a high school friend, and someones taco dinner.

      Btw – Its great when I get a new notification on this blog. The people that comment on this post, they’re all people I’d want to sync up with also and grab a beer! Your building your own social community just on this blog post!

    • Smogranch says:

      Adam,
      Try writing a letter and see what happens. Opens and a world even further away from the world of online noise. I love building this group.

    • Christian says:

      After the abscense of Social media abuse, I ended up writing this. http://consurge.blogspot.se/

      I love to read all the posts here from all kind of people, now starting to see beyond that mirror.

      Cheers!

      /Christian

    • Smogranch says:

      Christian,
      Good for you and well said. “Can’t people just do nothing?” Apparently not. I still feel the pull to pull out my device and check something that does not need to be checked.

  93. Lilieanna says:

    I truly believe that social media is going to kill society, because no one has the guts anymore to say anything to anyone face that could mean a lot more than saying it through a message on Facebook. I wanna say thank you because your article make me bravely to close and leaving my Facebook account. Honestly I wanna delete my Facebook account but i don’t be brave to do this so i just closed Facebook accounts until i feel that i really must to deleted it.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lilieanna,

      I think once you close FB you will realized very quickly it fades from your mind. It isn’t critical by any means. And, for those you begin to see, once again, in person you will actually truly become connected.

  94. I found this post very interesting, Smogranch. I have read it all, comments included.

    Now I am in the process of deciding which kind of approach I want to my “social” networking.

    I opened a Facebook account a couple of years ago and rapidly became obvious to me that was an absolute concentration of noise that will never lead to something meaningful. I also gave away my cell phone, because I realised I was running into other people’s agendas constantly; and ultimately into problems that never existed, just were invented for the shake of being like a hobbie.

    The result was pretty good: I got more meaningful things done in my spare time than what ever could have imagined: formation, meeting new and interesting people, contributing to society and worked in important projects (as One Hundred Papercuts 😛 )

    On the other hand, I am unsure about if completely removing all my social media activity will be a good thing; as I found it puts me nearby my teams that in other way I will never meet in person. Also because I think it can be useful for people to know what kind of expertise they could expect from me.

    So I have been keeping activity in my minimal Google+ profile, which basically consist in an try of objective description about me, links to some projects I have been participating, and some post of thoughts I have that I once in a while.

    But I find it very distracting, seeing myself as other people could perceive me, and wondering if this is okay. This appears to cause on my a certain level of pressure, distraction, and caution when doing new things which keeps me back from getting things done.

    So my wonder now is if I can get rid of this and keep my social networking informative and a pathway for real communication, or just give up. Do you think this could be possible?

    Have a nice day you all 🙂

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      Simple answer. Do precisely what you want to do. Anything is possible (horrible cliche) but it’s true. Want to go live in Patagonia and be a designer. Go. Want to move to NYC to be a photographer. Go. The truth is you don’t need social media to do either. Social media is EASY. Great work is extremely difficult, hence the number of people corresponding to each.

    • Okay, thank you. I will think about it deeply.

  95. JB says:

    Bravo! When I 1st tried to leave fb over a year ago, I scoured the internet looking for reinforcement to help me do it. All I found were the results of studies that showed we were ‘a little’ addicted to social media & ALL the tips talked about monitoring your time on them. I liken that to telling a drug addict to just slow down a bit. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN when you have a wild & raging addiction that you’ve been fueling for years!

    I am in the health/wellness/speaking industry & kept justifying my actions with the so called importance of online mktg for business owners. The tortuous psychological & emotional roller coasters seem to be the worst part. Knowing that valuable, high-priority actions of the day have to take a back seat to the addiction is heart wrenching.

    I would post something on fb & go back to check it every few minutes to see who’s liking it. If there were not enough likes I would contemplate deleting it. I got behind on so many of my daily chores & errands, even to the point of being late to appointments bcs I was in the middle of reading posts in social media. It robs us of countless things, yet we would not let a thief rob our homes & keep inviting them back! This time I am freeing myself of social media bcs I’m worth it…my family’s worth it & my life is worth it!!!!

    p.s. Thank you for your beautifully written heart-felt & genuine article. Thank you to all the people who contributed in the comments. I read every single one of them & derived strength from them. I believe that when we are true to ourselves & honest with others we can change the world….this is a great start!

    • Smogranch says:

      JB,
      If I had a dollar for every “I only use it for business” response I would be a rich man. Before I deleted my accounts I looked up a few of these folks. What a mess. Police brutality posts. Restaurant posts and yes, total bogus work posts. “My life is awesome.” It’s all horse$%$#.

  96. Dom says:

    This was such an incredible post. I found it while google searching for the courage to delete my FB and IG. I always though I was immune to the social media “addiction” since I had an advanced degree (I’m a veterinarian) and mostly posted pictures of my “successful” life. I thought I was sharing tidbits with my colleagues. I soon began to realize I am no better than a 16 year old in highschool struggling to be popular. What really “put the nail in the coffin” was a former classmate who directed a passive aggressive hashtag towards me. It was a silly Holiday similar to “national hotdog day” or “national matching socks day” but it appealed to me as “national Dog day.” Well I thought, hey this is the perfect opportunity to launch my best, most heartwarming canine photo. It was my dog and I, I had my lab coat on with my stethoscope arched perfectly across my neck and my dog (who’s a rescue, which I must continue to mention in every picture I post of him as if it gives me stripes of honor for getting my pure bred cocker spaniel for $18.50) and I were gazing pleasantly into each other’s eyes. I picked the right filter and sent it on it’s way, with my finger firmly pressed on the refresh button to see how many hearts I have melted. Well a few hours later, my fellow classmate post her and her beloved dog professional photos from graduation stressing the fact that she had this type of pic “first” and she finished with the hashtag #OriginalityIsKey. I felt so attacked and slightly at this subtle hashtag and that’s when I knew social media was controlling me in ways I didn’t fathom. This is a person who’s invited to my upcoming wedding and had been a pretty good friend throughout vet school. However, when it came to “likes” and “praise” and “originality” all bets were off. I know this is an extremely petty example but it really resonated with me. No matter what degree or high position you have worked to obtain, no matter your age, we all can be affected. It’s very unsettling and downright scary. So after my experience and reading your insightful post, I decided to take control of my free time. No longer focused on others in my field, ridiculous holidays, or who got fat after school. It all cheapens us and creates ridiculous tension. I’m done. Thank you and I wish you all the best!!! 🙂

  97. COMMUNICATION IS GOOD, FACADE IS BAD

    I has been thinking that perhaps social media is good when intended for making people easy to contact you, and bad when it tries to define you.

    So possibly a good way to use it is not to say or post a thing about you. Just keep it there in case someone wants to easily communicate with you for something worth it. But I am pretty unsure.

    For example, I have been using a Google+ account to provide links to other profiles where people could find useful to engage with me. As a specimen, to a gaming platform where friends can see when I am on-line in a game so they can easily join the play. Or also to provide an email address; which seems the simplest, noiseless and productive way of communication ever created.

    PORTRAIT OR EGO?

    Then what I was wondering if I could use this platforms to make more obvious which my areas of expertise are, so people with who I work overseas on-line could figure out better which kind of work they can delegate on me. I suspect this to be Very Useful.

    On the other hand, I also found writing about oneself to be very distracting, as you subconsciously begin to think you are your profile and you are worth it because the achievements written there, even if you are aware of it. After that I tend to work in what will provide better social feedback, instead of what is the most valuable thing I could be doing.

    Therefore what I am trying to figure out is if social media could be informative and communicative, while keeping building a facade out. What it is more obvious is any Facebook like social networking or instant messaging will not fit well that purpose, as 95% of notifications are just attention begs.

    GENUINE CONNECTED SEEMS THE ASSET

    And one last think: how you treat people, how valuable your work is, and how honest your avatar is works better by far than what you write about yourself or what the hell you post about your life. So perhaps the answer is there… linking the world and shutting ego up.

    And one easy way to linking things without the use of social networks is to use your name as nick, so Google search can build you reputation without you having to go to the theater.

    SO THE QUESTION IS

    Shall I use my logo or my face? X-D

  98. A study posted in concludes the following:

    “We found that it was not uncommon for some users to purposely choose to listen to, or indeed not listen to, particular music according to the image that that individual wants to portray to others,”

    “In addition, users of Facebook have a high degree of control on what is shared with others, but we found they often chose not to share anything for fear of conveying the wrong message to fellow users. Consequently our desire to be regarded as authentic in social media can also prove to be difficult to achieve. A desire to conform actually inhibits a truthful unencumbered sharing of content. Importantly, this leads the researchers to conclude that displaying an authentic image on SNSs is actually more controlled than first thought.”

    So the problem with social media is others’ expectations could start driving your life, instead of your real own desires.

    This is perhaps the origin of the social anxiety that we are discussing in this post. I still wonder if this could be sidestepped.

    • Seems the reference link has been automatically deleted: it is a study in sciencedaily.com called “people fake to look real on social media”.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814123925.htm
      sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814123925.htm
      tinyurl.com / pcy5dpp

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      One of the main reasons I got off social was having to endure the social version of my friends. They were one person online and someone entirely different in real life. I don’t have time for that.

    • Online social networks have a significant negative impact on individual welfare, a study says (http://tinyurl.com/lfqxnh4):

      “We find that online networking plays a positive role in subjective well-being through its impact on physical interactions, whereas [the use of] social network sites is associated with lower social trust,” they say. “The overall effect of networking on individual welfare is significantly negative,”

      So here’s why people like to be in this sites, but find it stressful: they like to interact with others; but the media is not appropriate for building relationships of trust, as users can easily fake themselves.

      This lack of clarity is what creates anxiety, and with that addiction and unrest.

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      Since I wrote this post I’ve heard from a lot of people. Anxiety is a good way to describing how they feel. The need to be liked, accepted, and when they aren’t it takes over.

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      I would say the innocence is long, long gone.

    • Yes, I couldn’t recognize myself in my social networking profiles; even when I tried to describe them as genuinely as possible.

      After removing my photo and description from them I realized profiles where just that: a tool. And I was tricked in thinking it was the person I am.

      Now I feel I am in my body, not in my virtual portrait.

  99. Laureen says:

    Great article! I found it when I was considering going on Facebook again, so I was looking for like-minded thought to help confirm what I had realized from my past use of social media. I agree, it is addictive, it is also the most shallow form of communication I have ever encountered. I am 53 years old so my fundamental years were without technology except for playing my neighbours “awesome” Pong game when I was 12. I still like playing computer games once in awhile. I am not on any social media. I did try Facebook a few times but hated it! They sell it by saying it is a way to stay connected to family and friends, but the only thing you connect with is a one dimensional persona of that person. I don’t care how many happy faces you put on a post, you don’t experience someone’s happiness unless you actually see them smile or hear it in their voice. It really hit home to me when I was talking to my adult son on the phone the other day. He wanted me to send he and his girlfriend a recipe that I use to make when he was a kid. I said I could e-mail it to him and asked him if he checked his e-mail regularly. He said no, not too often. Then I said I could text it to him. He said, “Mom, why don’t you write me a letter”. So, that is what I will do!

    I hope social media crashes at some point, because our society will be better off without it. The more of us who stay off of it, the more possible it becomes for others to do the same!

    • Smogranch says:

      Laureen,
      It is wildly addictive. I see it almost everyday in those around. Picking up and punching in without even knowing it. Wondering if their last post is getting the required love. We are humans. We take things too far. One look at the planet is all the proof I need. Good luck.

  100. Ella S says:

    Wowee! To be honest I had never followed you and I had no idea of your work, etc. But, after staring at my computer screen on social media for literally 3 hours, scrolling and refreshing, I noticed how utterly pointless the whole concept of social media was. Of course, it has its benefits (connecting with old friends, urgent messages). But really, is it worth it? So I literally googled: deleting all social media accounts- and I found this. After completly reading it, I deleted my Facebook account. I had already deleted instagram at the start of the year, one of the best things I have ever done. But Facebook still consumes way too much of my time. It’s crazy, really, that deleting an account seems like such a big deal. But it really is, the people of our time are so dependent on social media and the false attention that comes with it. I can honestly say that after scrolling through my news feed, with posts from so called ‘friends,’ I have not once, ever, felt impressed, happy or inspired. I have always felt sad, jealous, depressed or judgemental. Soooo thank you! A really awesome post, that highlights the severity of the addiction that many people have. 🙂

    • Smogranch says:

      Ella,
      Thanks for taking time to comment. Social has a real grasp on people. Not everyone thankfully, but many. Probably not going to change anytime soon, but it’s interesting to contemplate what it really means.

  101. thaddeus l.b says:

    well damn,it s worse than i thought. Somehow i erased my facebook info or pushed it somewhere out there accidently.Any ideas,suggestions,help finding it,shoulder to cry on,or humor to uplift my idiocy.

  102. “Losing Interest in Social Interaction”, asked to the guru Mooji:

    http://youtu.be/O529zALjDjQ

  103. Lii says:

    Been there, done that. I agree with having a blog, it really does help and sometimes, you get people on the same page and everyone benefits. You know why social media exists though, right? It’s to keep us from thinking about what’s really going on in the world.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lii,
      You might be on to something. It seems to be working.

    • Easier than that: they just want you to give as much time as possible to their platform, what effectively keeps you out of thinking.

      The reason why it works so well is because you instinctively look for social interaction: remember the best times in your life and you will realize that you where doing with somebody, and you did that because something to do with those persons.

      But on the Internet this can easily turn into a false self image, as you cannot be physically present but a profile substitutes you.

    • Lii says:

      To Alberto S. N.:

      What you said here: “The reason why it works so well is because you instinctively look for social interaction: remember the best times in your life and you will realize that you where doing with somebody, and you did that because something to do with those persons.”

      Do you really think that it is an “instinct to look for social interaction” OR, and I’m not debating your comment or anything like that, is that just what we were always “told.” Do you see what I’m getting at? My point is if you tell someone they are stupid long enough, then they start believing it.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lii,
      I heard a radio piece yesterday that said the human body is hardwired to respond to social and the sounds that accompany it, like the ping or beep of your cellphone. So I agree with what Alberto said. I do think there are rare exceptions of humans who are happier alone, isolated. I’ve met a few. But for the rest of us, we are prone to these social leashes.

    • Yes, we respond and look for social interaction. The point is these are in nature spontaneous and non intentional or, more briefly, you just like people.

      And social networks many times are not only about liking people alone, but purposefully ensuring to look great full time too.

      So my proposal is this: take the first, leave the second.

    • Smogranch says:

      I’m reading “The Circle” by Dave Eggars. Not to far fetched in my mind.

    • David says:

      Dan,

      I read “The Circle” last winter break for my English class. It really does seem to look like our society is headed in that direction. I was reminded of the book again during the Apple Watch announcement. That watch makes me ask how much connection do we really need. I’m actually taking a class this year about how social media affects the way we read.

      -David

    • Smogranch says:

      David,
      It’s really so sad and lame. I keep reading and am both amazed and saddened by this book.

    • I will tell you a secret:

      I have plenty of (really useful) technology at home, and none of them shows time in a directly manner; even my desktop. For that I use an alarm clock (that I don’t watch), and sometimes a metronome!

      And this is hyper relaxing and productive: when the alarm rings time is over, so you can forget about it the rest of time.

      Imagine if the watch had calls, tweets, Facebook friends and mail @-@

      Perhaps a bit of it is fun, but do you really want to spend your life in other people’s priorities? Because if you use your days following other’s comments, your life is depending on others.

  104. After some time testing different configurations with my social network profiles, these are some interesting conclusions I have done. The following portraits what I think is the most important:

    “DISLIKE” IS YOUR FRIEND

    Pain is good, as it protects yourself from harm. A reality where there’s no pain is like masochism: you receive good feelings because of doing bad.

    This is the strategy of social networking, and why is so harmful. Moreover, it teaches you only to expend time where there’s no pain; independently if it is very temporal or there are great pleasure for it afterwards.

    You feel like a pro even if your life is going down; and the standard reaction is to empower the self-image, instead of really fixing those problems forever.

    SOCIAL NETWORKS AREN’T ABOUT SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS

    When you remove your biography and photo in your social network account, then you easily realize there’s little further usage for it more than giving that image to others. Even the implicit usefulness for communication looks empty without that, so everything should be a farce.

    THERE’S ALSO FRESH WATER, BUT MIXED WITH CRUDE

    It is pretty to look at you very well crafted profile, and be very proud of it. The problem is you easily begin to think you are you profile, and that your pleasure belongs to the image it projects.

    If there’s a good way of using social networking, it should be ego-less. The problem is that your virtual version of you is the only thing you have there, so this is very prone to ego.

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      People are living the online version of themselves. In photography that relates to the “Unicorn” scenario of everything being a half stop white, hot, beautiful, perfect with unicorns flying over the shoot. And then…..you talk to that person offline and they are pissed, stressed, broke, unhappy, unsure and insecure. God forbid you talk about any of this online because remember, they are putting on a plastic face for the clients. It’s all complete and total bullshit. But, people seem to like it.

  105. Robin says:

    Holy s***t dude, I love this blog entry. I actually deleted my Facebook account recently, and I didn’t miss it for a single moment. In all honesty, I found a better connection with my real friends. Instead of liking their non-sense on Facebook, we actually go out more. Some of my friends deleted their accounts too, right after I did.

  106. Kurt says:

    I deleted Facebook recently, for the second time. I’m still on Instagram, and I found the impulse to start posting on Instagram as if it were Facebook–which means even more frequent and inane postings…”just realized bla bla bla”…”I wonder about bla bla bla”…as a musician I’m debating what kind of social media presence I’ll want to embrace when I release my album. I just don’t know. I feel more human without all that stuff. I think it’s important, during the transition, to have the next thing lined up; to replace the fake interaction with real ones, replace the inactivity with productivity, etc. The struggle is real but I am with you in believing it is worth it.

  107. Being funny isn’t as enjoyable as being the one who laughs.

  108. D/NO says:

    As a fellow freelancer, this article (published today in Zocalo Public Square) hit close to home, as it underscores the instability and ephemeral risk of social networks, both in work and in the rest of life:

    http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2014/10/02/how-laptop-living-almost-left-me-homeless/ideas/nexus/

    D/NO

  109. Karen says:

    I just deleted FB and IG and my friends just don’t get why I did it.
    Today I got out my 500cm to pack it for a trip to NM came here to look for some inspiration and found this post. I just wanted to say Thank you for writing it, saying all the things I was feeling but couldn’t articulate. Reading this makes me a little bit calmer for some reason, a calm I needed today. thank you.

    • Smogranch says:

      Karen,
      I hear ya. Has happened to me a hundred times now. “What?” “Your gone?” No, not really. I’m still here. A new site on the way. Lots of New Mexico as well..

    • In fact I have found that quitting from social media keeps you as easy to contact as always.

      When people write my name in Google the first thing they are prompted is my email, which I answer daily. So no excuse there!

  110. sasha says:

    This… Social “phenomenon” I would call sickness, seems to really expose the naked truth of the human experience, everyone lives a fearful life and yet yearns for attention, the paradox being that people have so much fear they are unable to reach out in a genuine way.
    I also see that the utter obsession with self is magnified with the delusional feedback loop of the SOCIAL MEDIA. It does not bode well for human kind, if one is to examine the speed that we have ended up in such a dysfunctional social environment.. what does that mean about the next 5 years?
    meanwhile we bomb the world to pieces..
    nice observations, just recently people en mass are identifying this, I have a twitter profile, It is only used to push my music out, and with that I do a poor job. I have learned about this sickness though.. In fact a while ago I started a page @selflessie as a response to the most recent sign of human decay, the “selfie phenomenon”.. yikes. on that page, only shadows are posted. mind you, no one seems interested, but It is all I can do, a personal revolt.
    I found this article by way of seeing how others have dealt with this paradoxical new reality, this crazy making social nightmare. the GIANT ECHO CHAMBER.
    anyway, cheers mate, thanks for being a voice of humanity in a selFish bowl.

    • Exactly: your comment puts things on perspective.

      On the other hand, I would like to say that perhaps people is more capable of realizing the issue than what we can imagine. They are just postponing it for a while.

      My own experience of wasting tones of time on the Internet is this: what once I loved doing, I no longer can handle it. That is wasting time on constant distractions.

      There’s a point where you have got too much, and you want to keep it far from you and it not to return again. It’s like hearing your favourite song over and over, till you hate it; or like studying your favourite subject again and again, till you have seen all of it.

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      Yes, we all realize at some point we have very little time.

  111. Paula says:

    After many unsuccessful attempts at deactivating my account, I went for the “permanently delete your account” option. Have to admit, it hasn’t been easy. I spent countless hours behind a screen, with the constant FOMO (fear of missing out) anxiety, interacting with people who I thought were really my friends, but only a handful of them actually noticed I was gone from facebook. I heard from the same people after that but it was always the same message: “hey I miss you on facebook, when are you coming back?” However, after giving out my personal email address so they could still keep in touch, only ONE of them has actually written….! Out of sight from facebook equals out of mind. I often ask myself, what did people do before facebook and all the other social networks? I don’t regret leaving facebook but I have to admit, there are some days.. and this week has been one of them where I was so tempted to go back but after having read your article and the many comments thereafter, it only re-enforced the idea that I had done the right thing by staying clear from facebook. Great article. Thank you for writing it.

  112. Anonymous says:

    I deleted my Yahoo! Answers account about a month ago because I decided I didn’t want to share personal information with people I didn’t know before sharing it with my friends. It just seems unfair. Other than that I don’t have Facebook and I don’t use YouTube or Google+ (I only have it for my gmail).
    Social networking seems somewhat pointless but others can use it and I don’t judge them…

  113. Laura says:

    Hello, my name is Laura and I have been clean for 2 days.

    Clean from Instagram and FB that is. =) So glad I read this article after my decision. I personally did it because I found most of the time I was getting angry, annoyed, or upset. Three things I could simply avoid, DAILY, by just deleting or not going to these sites.

    I also realized how addicted I was, along with the rest of the world. I sit at a traffic light, look around and everyone is looking down at their phones. I go to a dinner and everyone has their phones on the table, must have the phone at your fingertips at all times! You go on vacation and instead of enjoying the beautiful view, you are taking a picture, posting it on IG… with the perfect filter, or #nofilter. ….On and on…

    I have to say, it’s only been 2 days, but a weight has been lifted. Great read, I look forward to reading more from you.

  114. Kimberly says:

    Oh this is really tough for me. I came across this blog post after searching Google for “why people delete their Facebook account?” I recently noticed that a friend of mine from high school (I went to a private Christian school) had deleted her Facebook account. I have no idea how to contact her outside of Facebook (I don’t have her email or phone #) and I started to question my reasons for being on social networks. I have met a lot of people in real life because of online networks like Global 14 and G+ with the photowalks. In fact, being an online network coordinator is what originally brought me to Los Angeles years ago but now I am here and stay here for different personal reasons. All of this would have never happened had it not been for social media. But something is changing inside of me. My friend deleting her account really got me to think. I know this sounds mean but for me being an online network coordinator was more about manipulation, flattery, and connecting with the Who’s Who of the world online in order to reach our project goal, push an idea and connect. Connecting with influential people that lived across the country was never an option for me until online social media was invented. So when I started networking online connecting with people who in real life I would have never made it past the security gate of their home to knock on their front door, let alone know where they lived or even run in the same social circle as them now I could simply shoot them a digital email and have it land on their doorstep. Brilliant! The only problem was that it wasn’t genuine. At least on my part. Like I said earlier I moved to West Hollywood networking for this project and I had a change of heart and no longer could support it. I lost a lot of friends in real life and almost everybody I had made as friends online. I had built an online personality that no longer reflects who I am today. I feel like I need a support group for this kind of stuff. It is weird. I have my old friends from high school but I am 35 now. Honestly we are just friends because FB suggested it back in 2007 nothing more. I do have a new church that I am attending but I find it strange that the pastors even encourage posting selfies of 1 minute facetime with the person next to us #churchname on FB and IG. Like really? I am a hair stylist as well and currently have applied for several stylist positions and they all need my FaceBook and Linked In profiles along with a Video Resume. Will they still hire me if I don’t have social profiles? Now I am just struggling with what I want to do. Thanks for sharing your post.

    P.S. I am not a professional photographer by any means but I have hung around a few and find the digital revolution of cameras a very interesting topic. Anyways, I find your blog to be very interesting. Thanks.

    • Smogranch says:

      Kimberly,
      Wow, quite a comment. We all have a lot going on these days. I think you hit on something very interesting. “The only problem was it wasn’t genuine.” Yes. To put it mildly. Social is based on that quiet lie of being liked. It’s the underlying current. I find non social media folks more interesting to hang out with because you actually get them. Most of them. Not a skittish, phone-hopping human. Going out into the world is where it’s at.

    • Kimberly says:

      Hey thanks for responding to my comment. Yeah my comment was kinda thorough. 🙂 I am in the middle of a social media test right now and I have been off all my social media accounts for 8 days. I really noticed how much of a sickness this social media is recently. Just the other day one of my girlfriends from church had a movie day. During this Lord of the Rings marathon she stopped the movie several times to snap a picture of the screen and then a picture of the group then posted the collage updates to her friends online so everybody can see what they are missing. How dare they didn’t come to the movie day so we will just rub it in what they are missing. This is really what she was saying. You know, I really don’t care anymore about being seen. We have become very narcissistic with this selfie tagging epidemic. Since I have been off of my social media I have had more time to spend with my husband and actually have been nurturing a relationship with a friend in the UK via email. I am usually delighted to talk to her because she is very real and tells it like it is. We never connected through social media and I think that is why it works. It has been quite pleasant. I just don’t know if I want to pull the plug or let my networks get cobwebs. Maybe after I pass the month mark I will be able to decide.

    • Smogranch says:

      Kimberly,
      Wow, that sounds pretty..sad. But, it’s the norm today. Your not there unless you tell people you are there. I’m just glad I grew up BEFORE this nonsense. I’ll take face-to-face conversation.

    • I think the question is not about if to plug or to unplug, but about the moment you stop talking and showing “yourself”. Then everything comes to its place effortlessly, as a drop falling from a cloud.

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      Creating great work takes time. Far easier to just post images of oneself.

    • Kimberly says:

      Hey Alberto, I don’t know. For me, just not showing up doesn’t seem as difficult as actually pulling the plug on the whole thing. It’s an interesting dilemma for sure.

  115. You where right, Daniel. Now it’s crystal clear for me.

    It is as simple as, when you stop worrying about how your life looks like, you get the mind space for joy.

  116. Jea' says:

    I also took the plung and deleted my Facebook account mid August 2014. I found your blog because I need affirmation to delete my Instagram. I can say that I’m not addicted to Instagram at all, but I still feel that I need to delete it. I would also love to read your other blogs how do I find them?

    Thx Jea’

  117. John says:

    I just had Facebook for about 5 years. Before the smart phone, I wasn’t that bad. But since then, I had some of the tendancies you had about checking it constantly and what most people were putting on FB was junk. I now knew about every aspect of their lives, including functions you weren’t invited to. I had even lost a friendship due to FB. Since leaving FB for good, like before FB, I am in the dark about their lives and I love it this way. I made a golden rule with myself: If I don’t have your phone number, then I don’t need to know you on other than a superficial level.
    FB, in my opinion, triggers a type of ADD and it robs you of living your life through a filtered lense of a race to the bottom on the witty vs. Like chart that everyone is so memorized by and at the same time creates a sense of loneliness for some and acceptance for others. I’ll stick to the traditional forms of communication, thank you. I rather share a moment with one person and make them laugh or cry or be happy because they’re with me as opposed to sharing it with 2000 people just to feel a pseudo-emotion for the sake of how many “likes” you can get. PLEASE!

    • Smogranch says:

      John,
      Yes. It’s fake. It’s mostly about being needy, being accepted, being witty and then receiving a constant pat on the back for being witty otherwise the witty attempt needs to be taken down and replaced with something…more witty. I’m getting to the point when someone pulls out their phone, and I can tell they are doing it because they are hopelessly addicted, I just walk away. Don’t even want to be around them. I’ve seen friends staring a wall while flipping through Instagram. Staring at a wall, zoned out. Flip, flip, flip, and the look at me and say “Man, Instagram is so great.” Never looking at their phone. It’s so rare to meet anyone who says “Ya, I’ve got a real problem with this.” Everyone has an apology or a reason why THEY won’t go off the deepend. “I”m only going to use it for such and such,” and then two weeks later they can’t get through a dinner without checking their feed. We’ve created a culture of “cry wolf” creatives who don’t seem to understand the damage these things have done to the DNA of what they are trying to do.

    • The world is full of fakes: get used to it.

      I have had some successes in my life, and mostly any time of those I had to ignored ideas that 99% of people believed to be word of god.

      But nearly any personality I have met told me to be the same situation. If you want to make a difference, get used to it.

      And expect some of them to become irrationally emotional about it, even when there isn’t any apparent reason for that. Because you are destroying “their life”, which is based on the belief they can confront their fears with those ideas you are erasing with your style of doing.

      If I get rich, get the job I planed, get as fit as a person could be, be joyful with no apparent reason; and all of that is by doing different than they are doing, expect some to attack your success so hearty; even when it is so obvious and you never criticized their way.

      So be as deaf as a deaf person could be. Kindly hear to other people when they want to help you, and become immediately deaf and mute as soon as they become emotional about disqualifying.

      Take note of who they are and make them clueless about your future plans, so they are helpless about sabotaging them; and specially about sabotaging you emotionally. Let the work of realizing their irrationality to themselves: it’s much easier this way, without having to deal with you.

      Lately I told a person I don’t have Facebook or mobile phone, and he seriously asked me if I had friends. I also told a person I read email constantly during a day, and he told me that was too hard to reach me; and showed me that WhatsApp was one click away (the only advantage I can tell WhatsApp has is you can click on the face of the person, instead of writing the name; while email allows to receive messages everywhere with rich capabilities).

      Look, not being in social media has not relation with being a lonely person. I just ran the well known Big Five personality test and it says my personality is very extrovert, agreeable and open to experience; which it’s confirmed when I go somewhere and meet people that are doing!

      The rest of time it becomes harder because people are more into Facebook than gaming, more into chatting than hanging out, more into sport magazines than working, more into watching motivational videos than sporting, more into watching porn than sleeping.

      And I have 75h of training in community management, and succeeding on it without social media accounts. Just changed spam for values. Thank you.

      https://launchpad.net/hundredpapercuts

  118. Very interesting to read everyone’s opinions. I’m a sociology student doing a study on Facebook usage and non-usage (at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and I need more participants (over 19) to take my survey. I especially need people who have deleted their Facebook accounts.

    You get to give you opinions about how Facebook has helped you, or not!! I’d really appreciate it if anyone who reads this will take my survey. Here is the link:

    https://ssp.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8kOGMEKoW8AXlxb

    Thanks,
    Emily

  119. SNR says:

    I patiently read this post and all the comments for the past two hours. Compared with the time wasted by me in social networks for the past 4 years, this two hours have been precious for me because I have taken a right decision to spare more time for real life. My business was flourishing when I was concentrating in it all the time. But, after starting to use social networks just as a trial, I was automatically dragged into them with the flooding followers and their comments. And, slowly, my business showed downwards growth. It creates expectation to check the appreciations we receive from unanimous followers. In fact, it is like intoxication. The relations built through social networks are not strong and soothing. Everyone comments casually and we take it as serious. I request all to come to their real family and real friends and share love with them. Do not lose real relations by longing for casual and artificial relations. I was thinking of reducing my time in social networks, but was fearing for losing that intoxication. Your post and the like minded comments made me to decide to reduce my time in social media. I hope I will regain my peace and time to concentrate more in my business. Thanks to the writer who has saved the precious time of many innocent users of social networks. Thanks to all.

    • Smogranch says:

      SNR,
      I think the moment social creeps in as motivation is the beginning of the end.

    • SNR says:

      Hai Dears,

      Now, for the past 10 days, I have stopped visiting all my social media accounts except that of my business. Wow…I feel like got released from jail. Now, I am able to inhale free air outside my home instead of sitting in front of system visiting so many accounts and answering unknown persons. The world was just like this before the social media came to dominate us.

      It is said that among the list of intoxicants we have seen Nicotine, Alcohol, coffeine, etc. Hereafter, we have to add Social media also in that list and in future there may be separate specialist doctors and syllabus for deaddiction of the social media patients.

      Mr.Dani, you and me are the same age group males. You have helped me to take a right decision in my life by abandoning unwanted presence in social media. I can’t forget you in my life.

      I like to receive your comments about whether I can use FB and Twitter for promoting my Educational business alone. Are the followers serious? I have seen that there are more LIKES or FOLLOWERS, but, only a very few of them turn into customers. Is it the global trend or for me only? I am curious to know. I do not like to search for getting this detail through others in net, because, your observations seem genuine and from the heart. So, I asked you. Tell me about the use of social media for business.

      Thanks in Advance.

    • Smogranch says:

      SNR,
      I think you should use social if it feels right and there is a real return on your time. If not, then no, go your own way. You are not alone. I met someone with 700,000 followers who had never made a penny from social.

    • SNR says:

      Thanks a lot Mr.Dani. I understand that you are about to indicate that the Social media followers are casual. My observation is also the same. I just wanted to confirm with you. Instead of spending too much of time in social media, I am planning to advertise my business in traditional news paper websites and their News Print copies. I have decided to use my business FB and Twitter accounts only when I need to update and inform something for customers. Say about 15 minutes a week. Hope this will help me manage time.

      Thanks for spending your precious time to reply me. I am looking for more articles from you that reforms innocent users of internet. Thanks.

      SNR from INDIA. (Though we are from different continents and cultures, we have same wavelength in protecting ourselves from such addictions. This seems great!)

  120. Nicole says:

    This post pretty much sums up my own thoughts on social media. I’ve been complaining to my friends & family for the past year about how all Facebook does is promote self-indulgence and false self-perceptions.

    I got so sick of seeing yet another photo of ‘friends’ dressed up, ready for a night out, followed by the obligatory check-in at a bar or club, and countless selfies to make sure everybody knows that they are enjoying themselves. As an aside, I question how these people found the time to enjoy a night out when they spent so much of it updating their social media profiles. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people enjoying themselves and I like a night out as much as the next person, but can’t we do it without ramming it down everybody else’s throat? If I needed to know every detail of somebody’s night out, I’d go along and join in!

    Facebook was showing me a self-indulgent and self-obsessed side to my friends that I really didn’t want to see.

    Despite all my complaining, I still automatically checked my Facebook at least 5 an hour and became much noisier than I would like to admit. I was in the same situation as you – between tasks, I’d check Facebook. When bored, I checked Facebook. When winding down at night, I’d check Facebook. First thing in the morning, I checked Facebook. Totally addicted!

    It came to the point that my complaining about it was even starting to annoy myself so I de-activated my Facebook account 3 weeks ago. I thought I’d have some ‘withdrawal’ symptoms, but I actually don’t. It’s been a lot easier to stay away from than I anticipated.

    Of course there will be times when I’ll be dying for a gawk at somebody’s wedding photos, but if that persons wedding was actually important to me, I’d probably be at the wedding to see everything in the flesh.
    If not, then I don’t need to know about it!
    And that’s pretty much my motto!

    Thanks for posting this entry, good to know I’m not the only crank who’s sick if Facebook and what it draws out of people!

    • Smogranch says:

      Nicole,
      We have become a culture of narcissists.

      “Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The term originated from the Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.”

      I’m not that interesting, nor do my movements demand anyone know about them. Occasionally I might do something that has a greater public interest, but not very often, and certainly not enough to warrant real time coverage. In this regard our culture is spinning out of control. It’s the perfect sedative for the masses. The public posts selfies as the banks rewrite the financial code in the middle of the night. The rich just got richer.

  121. Lanie says:

    Wow. Thank you so much! Although I am 17 years old, the only social media I’ve had in my life were a Twitter and Pinterest that I barely used, and Instagram, which I overused. Instagram I only had from August-December 2014. It was only five months but it was five months too long. Although, I quickly gained a large follower base of old friends and new, I also began an addiction. For me personally, the problems I received from social media outweighed the good. It definitely consumed my time more than I would like to admit but I am SO glad I finally did permanently deleted it. (I actually did it halfway through this article!) I want to live my life in reality, not simply on social media. I want to take in what is around me in every moment… breath in the air, smell the aromas, and truly digest the environment around me rather than being too busy with posting everything on social media. Well, I hope the withdrawls will not be too bad, but thank you for writing this splendid article.

  122. Michelle says:

    Thank you for this article! I didn’t read all the comments but I completely agree with Robin. I hope my friends will follow my lead. I have been off facebook for a little over a week and even though I complained other people were always on their phones and thought I wasn’t on “that much” anyways, I didn’t realize the other things I was sacrificing (like communication skills and putting in EFFORT). I don’t ever want someone to feel the way I have felt around some of my friends & boyfriends when we’re out having a good time and they’re off in another place on their phones while right next to me. It’s a terrible feeling. Today after work I will CALL one of my best friends who lives in a completely different time zone. I am now having to put in the effort that I honestly enjoy putting in to make time for the important people in my life. Peace love and light to you all. 🙂

  123. Christian Nordberg says:

    Hi there again,

    I deleted my FB account and was without it a long time. Suddenly I had more time than ever. I started reading books, felt more “awake” , and I became like a weapon against Social Media. I started a blog, and wrote my thoughts of it. But there was some things that kept naggin me. Some of the people I used to have contact with, and that I felt in somehow enlightened my life, suddenly was gone. My rage of how much I hated Social media had turned to a flame against friends. I opened up a new account, and went in with a motto “not the way I used to be on FB” ;even declared it open in a post… But here I am again,over-sized it, hating it, not seeing any use of FB of whatsoever. I read an article similar to yours recently and I felt a shame… A shame that I returned to FB… AND I come to remember your post long time ago(this one) , that made me leave FB. I will leave FB this time for good, with or without my “friends”. Just wanted to point out that, a real aganoist against FB, even can fall back. ^_^

    Cheers!

    • Smogranch says:

      Christian,
      Rage isn’t good for anyone. Funny you mention reading. I’ve been cutting back on ALL online time and have read at least a dozen books in the past month. I actually feel more intelligent.

    • Your experience is very similar to mine, and I liked to dig deeper on it to see if we can get any interesting conclusion.

      For example, when I get into social media I feel almost threatened and very self concious; what rarely happens to me in real life (except when dating XD ).

      But when I quit it, specifically when I remove my face from the Internet, it feels like I have gone to live to the mountain. It seems like I am living in a parallel reality where I can see people passing by, but not really interacting with them.

      I dislike both of these options, and I wanted to find a third.

  124. Rebecca says:

    Daniel,

    I relate to much of what you have said, and I definitely don’t think you are making too much of this. It is a topic that is not discussed enough, especially amongst my age group. I am 20, and except for a handful of friends, everyone else I know in college is submersed in the muddled world of social media when they are not in class, sleeping, or taking a shower. (Actually, some of them also get on social media in class. And there’s such a thing as waterproof iPhone cases… Anyway.) I say muddled world, because sites like Facebook muddle your mind with a large amount of unimportant information, causing important ideas and information to get lost in the mix. I don’t look down my nose at those who seem to be obsessed with their social profiles, but it is frustrating when a close friend and I get together and she is continually checking her Facebook and Instagram feed. It is hurtful, too. I crave her undivided attention because I love her and want to be able to connect with her. I know that I was once in her shoes, too, and probably have hurt others who I didn’t give my attention to or ignored in favor of being on my phone.

    During the time I was debating about deleting my Facebook account, I googled “Why I deleted Facebook” and found very few relevant search results. This was in 2012, I believe. I did find an article that discussed connecting with others face to face and actually granting someone a listening ear as opposed to creating a faux relationship over social media. This gave me the motivation I needed to delete my account. It was difficult at first but a few weeks later I was relieved – no, happy – that I no longer felt the need to keep up with the world over Facebook and impress with the pictures and comments I posted. I have noticed that people seem to be much more willing to say hateful things on social media because face to face interaction is not involved. It is a place in which you can say what you want without seeing the hurt on someone’s face. I am glad to not be a part of that any longer. Instagram and Twitter were more difficult to let go of because I had always enjoyed them, but I deleted them as well when I felt that they were keeping me from my school work and becoming a replacement for Facebook. Instagram changed the way I visualized the world; I would see something and the first thing that came to my mind was, “I should Instagram this.” After a while, it was a mindset that became problematic. I guess I should admit that I still have a smartphone, but I use it mostly for reading, which is wonderful because I love to read and it gives me a big, yet portable screen on which to do so. I can have a hundred books in my pocket which I can reference at any time. I have kept my Pinterest because it is always a helpful tool for me considering that I’m studying graphic design and art. I don’t use it as a social media platform, but I do find visual inspiration there. Also, I am learning basic German and Italian through an app called Duolingo. So I do still spend time on my smartphone, but I am careful about when and where I use it. I truly think that smartphones can be valuable when used properly.

    As for the benefits of a social media free life, I don’t even think I can list them all. For one, my attention span has increased dramatically. I think this is important for young adults to think about, especially as parts of the brain are technically still developing until the age of 25. It seemed that my brain was beginning to expect a constant flow of information to the point where a quiet moment to think and relax was not enjoyable for me. Another benefit is that I no longer find myself feeling sad and jealous while sitting at home scrolling through my feeds. What a petty reason to feel those kinds of emotions! I also find it much easier to give my undivided attention to old friends and to build relationships with new ones. I have free mental space to come up with more creative ideas and more time to act on them just as I enjoy writing for classes immensely more. I have given my mind uncluttered space to really think about the subject matter and to write slowly, instead of spending my spare time on Facebook and procrastinating on Instagram. It is also a chance to learn to do new things, such as learning a new language or learning to cook new dishes.

    In short, I never realized how much TIME I spent DAILY on social media before I deleted my accounts, hours of comparing myself to everyone else and desiring their “likes” and comments. It is a draining and empty endeavor. The illusion of connecting with others and building a platform through which to represent myself ultimately was an invitation for me to become more self-centered.

    Now, in 2015, I googled “Why I deleted social media” out of curiosity, and your article as well as many others showed up. I think more people are starting to recognize that social media often distracts from living, forming relationships, and working to cultivate passions and ideas. Your article was thought provoking, and it was wonderful to read a fresh perspective on this topic, so thank you!

    • Smogranch says:

      Rebecca,
      Oh to be 20 again. Listen to some advice from a 46 year old who still feels kinda like 25. Life goes VERY fast. VERY fast. The real world is endless, fascinating and far more textured than the online world. Get out there and talk to people. Meet your neighbors. Listen to Earth and connect. Don’t mean to sound too much like a “tree person” but it’s true. The screen is simply a wall. You can use it for protection or it can block you from what’s really over the other side. Good luck, have fun. Do good work.

  125. Glenn says:

    Hey Daniel, Today I came to the same realization that has been churning in my gut for quite some time and your blog post was the first link I found. So After reading your post I will be doing exactly what I felt I needed to do and your words were exactly what I needed to read today.
    Thank you!

    Glenn 🙂

  126. Liz says:

    I am happy to read this. I was on Facebook for like a day. I didn’t “get” it. Never liked it. Am happy I never continued. Never been one to jump on the “bandwagon.”

    I have been on Pinterest and LinkedIn for a while and enjoy them both.

    Am now only considering a Twitter account because I want to promote an IndieGogo fund raiser I’m doing and I keep reading online that Twitter is essential to a successful campaign.

    Here’s to real life! Enjoy!

  127. gabriele says:

    Whoa. I loved reading & relating to this piece of a truth telling…I actually just lost a really good friend recently in a bad fight.. I was upset I knew it and I knew he was very upset also. Anyway I had went on my 2 poisons (Facebook…instagram…) and saw that not only had he deleted me from the profile, but I was blocked as if I was a stalker of his when admittedly sure I’d probably look at it once in a while or so…But anyway it made me feel so unimportant and gave me this epiphany that if I can lose someone I’d consider my *best* friend like that on social media….what would occur between me and my other 700 or so followers…So that is when I deleted permenantly my accounts….and I gotta say it’s been life changing as now I don’t look at my phone all day (sometimes I’d even be about to go to sleep curled up in bed and pull out my phone…) So it’s fantastic and I commend you for your honesty.

    • Smogranch says:

      Gabriele,
      I hear this all the time. Tone is hard to judge and people, well adjusted people, lose control and post when they shouldn’t. Sorry to hear.

  128. yolabubbles says:

    I deleted the fb app on the mobile because I could access it on both my laptop and tablet. I thought I was doing pretty good deleting the site a few times a year when I thought I was spending too much time focusing on the post instead of the moment. I get to travel to the mountains and the coast often..lots of pictures and experiences to be had. I captured beautiful shots and posted for years. I don’t care who you are..but it’s damn hard to not care how many likes or comments you get. I enjoyed attention and got a decent amount of likes. The fact that I could articulate that is the very reason I deleted this fb for good. I had been out to dinner and was in a huff because a cousin’s, adult child was pressuring me into buying something from one of those small business things that are so popular. I was complaining earlier to a friend that, “none of these people would be caught dead commenting or liking my posts but have no problem harassing me via personal message to buy something on fb.” Yes, I had 3 beers and was smarting from the lack of personal relationships and excess in quiet judgment from the, “family”, I haven’t spoken to in 10 or more years. They are judgemental and often hypocritical and represent all those painful teenage years I survived through all those years ago. I decided..why should I worry about people from a time and place that caused a lot of self doubt and hurt…I can’t continue in this way and try to heal. So I began to systematically delete everyone that I don’t have a real time/life relationship with. I eventually realized I was deleting practically everyone besides my immediate family, parents and siblings. At this moment I realized how absurd my moment of emotion was and just deleted it altogether. I may create a new account one day and stay afresh, free of those who assume that I owe them a peak into my life.

  129. Cheryl Kelly says:

    I have recently deleted all of my social media accounts and I couldn’t be happier. I feel the exact same way; aiming for undivided attention which is rare in most cases. I couldn’t have found a better way to explain why I had to let go of these sites. What’s really great is the time I have to read. A great hobby I had lost time for. I would pick up a book, read a few pages and then check my instagram. Not anymore 🙂

  130. At this time I am ready to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming over
    again to read other news.

  131. Will Gordon says:

    So, you deleted mostly all of your social media because it was getting hard to control the urge to use it? Sort of like if your hand leads you to steal, cut it off?

    I can understand not wanting to be a slave to social media but isn’t deleting all your accounts a bit drastic? Recently, I have wanted to get back in touch with a friend of mine from back in the day. This person was very nice and the last time I talked to them was two years ago. So I tried to use social media to reach out to this person but they have done what you did and deleted all forms of social media. Now, if I really wanted to get in touch with this person I’d be stuck digging through the deep webs of cyber space looking for information. Which is very time consuming, especially if just for being curious to how this person is doing.

    So, I say drastic solution to a simple problem. Either way, if it was an addiction, the problem will be refocused into something else until the addict learns how to control the impulse.

    • Smogranch says:

      Will,
      I think you should reread the post. I deleted for many reasons, not just what it was doing to me but what it was doing to my friends, and the experience of having to deal with their online identities. Being around socially addicted folks, etc. I want no part of it. It’s been over a year and getting away from the nonsense was the best thing I could have done. But, others love it, so if it works for you…I say go for it.

    • The point is we want to talk with people, not at people.

      It’s still very easy to reach me in the web, and I usually spend time speaking with people in it. But I don’t spend time trying people to like me: people just like other people.

  132. cycoeva says:

    I posted this article on my facebook. sweet irony.

  133. Ali Mohammad says:

    Hey Smogranch,

    An amazing initiative that you have come across, I have recently deleted my facebook as well and was wondering the social impact it has on your life. Of course I have an assumption surrounding the idea of no social stimulation without facebook, however I could be wrong with this, I was wondering the results that you experienced.
    Overall amazing, a lot of respect for your work
    Cheers

    • Smogranch says:

      Ali,
      It was the best decision I’ve ever made in my career. Social is and was a near complete waste of time, at least for someone like me. Others, a very, very few, have found a tremendous financial benefit, but I fear those folks are about to have the rug pulled out from under them. Stay tuned.

  134. Eric Alan says:

    I WHOLEHEARTIDLY AGREE. ITS GOT TO THE POINT WHERE EVEN IN CHURCH I SPOTTED PEEPS (there I go using that lingo) WHO WERE ON THEIR COMPUTERS aka….their phones GOING TO FACEBOOK AND EMAIL ACCOUNTS AND WHERE DOES IT END?
    IM A COMMERCIAL DRIVER FOR A MAJOR SOFTWARE COMPANY IN THE NORTHWEST FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS AND AT ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ” almost incident ” I SAY THAT BECAUSE I WAS WATCHING PEOPLE CROSS THE STREETS OR JAY WALK ILLEGALLY BUT NEVER CAME CLOSE TO HITTING THEM, THESE IDIOTS CANT GET THEIR FACES OUT OF THEIR STUPID PHONES OR LAPTOPS……YES I SAID LAP TOPS AS IN FULL BLOWN OPENED UP AND USING THEIR ARMS AS A DESK.
    IM ABOUT THE AUTHORS AGE AND IM SICK OF THIS SOCIETY WHERE WE HAVE TO BE CONNECTED AT EVERY MILLISECOND, AND CHILDREN (AS IN AGES YOUNGER THAN 5) THAT HAVE TO OWN A PHONE TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEIR PARENTS. IF PARENTS ARE CONCERNED WITH STAYING IN COMMUNICATION WITH THEIR KIDS DONT ABANDON THEM. UNLESS KIDS CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN PHONE BILLS THEY SHOULDNT BE GIVEN ONE.
    START INTERACTING WITH ONE ANOTHER THATS WHY KIDS TODAY ARE SO INNEPT AT SOCIAL SKILLS.
    BEING ABLE TO OPEN UP A COMPUTER AT 3 (as was my little nephew was) DOESNT MAKE YOU SMARTER, IT MAKES YOU DUMBER IN SOCIAL SETTINGS BECAUSE THEY CANT INTERACT WITH ONE ANOTHER.
    Nothing I mean nothing is so important that we cant wait to get home and call someone on the phone, whether it be a cell phone or land line.
    SINCE THE GOVERNMENT WANTS LITTLE BRAIN DEAD ZOMBIES AS HUMANS GO, WHEN WILL SOCIETY START A INTERACTION PROGRAM FOR THOSE WHO CANT OR WONT GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.

    Its a disease and needs to be taken care of. I have seen people litterally freak out if they couldnt have their cell phone or computer…..AKA….SEE HEROIN JUNKIES.

    • Smogranch says:

      Eric,
      I saw a guy yesterday trying to cross the street in LA. The driver approaching to turn right was on a phone and the guy walking started waving his arms to signal to the driver that he was about to cross the street. The driver didn’t see it and kept coming then almost ran over the guy as he ran the stop sign. The guy walking just looked defeated. The mobile phone just might be the device that kills our species. Consider how much more fuel is being used because drivers sitting in traffic are not paying attention and thus wait that extra few seconds before moving along….just think about how much worse the traffic is because people aren’t paying attention. How about our productivity levels? It goes on and on but mention this stuff in public and people look at you like you’re living in a cabin in remote Montana.

    • On the Internet, writing in full capital letters is synonymous of shouting.

    • Smogranch says:

      I LOVE SHOUTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG

  135. Lauren says:

    I just permanently deleted my facebook account today after being deactivated for a few weeks and the difference in my life has been amazing. Shockingly, ONE person noticed I’d left Facebook… my mum! I was pretty interactive too. One person I was quite good friends with, even visited in real life and she works for me occasionally.. I no longer have any contact with AT ALL. Zip! I spoke with her every day before leaving Facebook.

    I realised most my friendships were an illusion. I was far more isolated from people than I realised! Facebook made me feel I was maintaining friendships but I wasn’t. I have NO idea what’s going on in the lives of the people I once followed.. not A CLUE but I also now realise that none of those people were friends at all. How sad is that? I was also on it for business and leaving Facebook made me realise I sunk a whole heap of time into my facebook page for no reward whatsoever and that is the reason why my business has been slow starting off. I’ve done no real life marketing at all, not a single mail out or dropping off flyers.. zip Facebook is the big “friendship” and “business” illusion. People aren’t even who they really are on Facebook, you don’t even know who they really are. Ever visited that “amazing facebook friend” and the real life experience is completely different? That’s what Facebook is, an illusion of having friends and the illusion also includes who you think those friends are as a person.

    Deleting my facebook account does hurt and I will miss “not knowing” but at least I see the truth of my friendships and my isolation that I allowed Facebook to create in my life.

  136. Joe says:

    Really good blog. Thank you. I have been thinking about ridding myself of this delusional social media addiction and then second guessing it. I am a writer, authored one book, and thought that advertising the book through Facebook and the others would grant me some free advertising. However, I soon saw myself, from a distance, becoming quite distant from reality. The reality is, I am a writer who has not written for a while, addicted to mundane nonsense. People are so busy clicking the next fake news or posts about idiotic things that they pass over my book by only clicking Like. I in turn spend countless hours reading the idiotic posts, the news and the fake news. Then I decided to watch YouTube videos as well as download a social interactive game that I need to check every half-hour. Thank you my friend for opening my eyes back to the real world. God bless.

  137. Renee says:

    I found this to be very inspiring. I have never used a smart phone so I never got as hooked to social media via the cell phone. But my desktop computer is another story. I never wanted to joint Facebook but was roped in to it so I could see all the latest posts of my grandchildren. Before I knew it I was hooked in that I was always looking for updates. I finally said enough was enough after losing a friend that I had for over 30 years, were teens, long before social media took over. All because of a misunderstanding over a comment. One stupid comment and I was misunderstood. One forgets that we communicate best by seeing our facial expressions. Tongue in cheek, or rolled eyes. It was the 2nd friend I have known for over 30 years and lost because of Facebook. I have twitter but hardly ever go there because i do not really know anyone who uses it. Same with Instagram. My grandchildren have been poisoned by Facebook. My oldest so far and to attempt suicide over social media.
    I deleted my Facebook account a few days ago. Actually converted it into only a networking page with my website information. its all i use it for now. I don’t have to see any news-feeds and cannot check in on others. I get my commissions without the stress load.
    Thank you for this. It really helped give me validation that I did the right thing by getting rid of it.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Renee,
      Geez, sorry to hear about your oldest. Like most things, humans have taken this junk WAY too far. I can say with certainty that not only do I not miss ANYTHING to do with social media, but I feel smarter, more grounded and less distracted by NOT being involved. I still have Twitter, but I don’t know why. I don’t need it and it makes me ill. It will be gone soon as well. If we all turned off the computer, walked next door and spoke to our neighbors the world would be a much friendlier place. Oh, and destroy our TV’s while we are at it.

  138. AJ Dexter says:

    There are a lot of comments and conversation about this, which I admit I didn’t read yet. I did however get a lot from the article, and thank you for sharing it.

    This is something that I am constantly pondering/struggling with in one way or another. I’ve removed Facebook from my phone, which was a great big brain suck, and it has helped me immensely. It allowed me to realize just how much I was using it everywhere.. Waiting for a cab, on the escalator, at intersections. I use it a lot less now, but I’m on a constant mission to minimize and cleanup my online distraction footprint.

    Anyway, lots of good food for thought, and a hearty hello from the Pacific Northwest.

  139. Qis says:

    I am glad I found your blogpost a few hours right after I deleted my Instagram account. Very inspiring and interesting! Thank you so much sir.

  140. Tam says:

    Thank you for this article and also for eliciting such an amazing response from so many people of which i’ve read through most of. SO good that you are able to bring so many likeminded views together like this.
    So I just typed into google “why i deleted instagram” because last night I was reduced to tears over a negative comment that was brought about from how I showed my life on social media. I am an athlete that takes their sport very seriously and I became addicted to instagram and practically lived off comments from people to kind of get acceptance that I looked good. The odd bad comment would ruin my day, I remember every one. The number of likes I got for a picture would dictate my mood for the day. If not many people liked it as the picture before Id automatically take that as I dont look as good on that day even though thats a ridiculous thing as I am the same person! Every thing I did in life I would think I had to take a picture just in case I wanted to put it on instagram and 99% never got posted. I would spend maybe on hour staring at 20 of same very similar selfies, trying out filters, picture editing programmes to choose the best one to post. The wasted time makes me feel sick at myself! Not only that but the amount of comments I started to get from people who managed to find me online were a mixture of mostly postive like that I inspire people but then I would get the odd hater comment that even though I deleted and blocked the person straight away, it still got to me. People who were jealous of me would never dare comment, but would stalk me endlessly and I couldnt handle it anymore. I started to question myself and my own confidence was getting shattered. So today I decided to take a break from it. Suddenly I had my life back. There was no need in my brain to constantly check my brain for new likes to give me that serotonin release. I had soooo much time the day felt like it went on forever! I concentrated so much better at school, I basically felt free and a breath of fresh air. Before I decided to delete my instagram, I mentioned it to someone and they were like NO dont do it under any circumstances… you will let the haters win and I inspire people. But then I thought after, its not a winning or losing thing, this is MY LIFE and why should I be there to inspire at the expense of feeling underconfident inmyself, having people constantly questioning why I would eat/do certain things I posted which then made me second question myself and above all, I wanted my life back. As I finish writing this comment I still havent clicked the delete button! I think I am scared of regretting it, but then I think I need to be confident in myself. SO I am going to delete it now. I also plan on deleting whatssap (massive distraction due to the fact people expect instant replies and theres that horrible feeling you get when someone hasnt replied yet you can see they are online and vice versa. Bullying is so easy to do on whatssap as people can just sit behind a screen and fire alot of comments at one very easily. When I looked at my ‘blocked’ contact list it was about 20 people! I plan on following all your advice now. If someone wants to get in contact with me they can call me or email! End of story! Im 22 and i dont want to spend anothing minute wasting my life! I have alot of amazing moments in life to look forward, i want to take in every moment of nature and happiness without thinking that the rest of the world has to know because it is MY life and I want to shape it my way… thank you once again

    • Smogranch says:

      Tam,

      Give it a little time. You won’t even think about it. Once you get outside and look back you will see the insanity it really is. Like most things, humans take it too far. This is just another example in a long line of examples. Here’s to your social free life. Oh, and talking to real humans is way more fun anyway.

    • Adam says:

      Tam,
      Judging from your post, you seem a like a very bright and inspirational person. Trust me, you won’t need Instagram for people to notice it!

    • Smogranch says:

      Thanks Adam. And the best part is I’m not really after much.

    • In fact, in my case, I almost developed antibodies to that kind of environment. It just feels too dummy to me, reading that amount of comments just for calling people’s attention.

      And yes, it seems that your life makes sense just because you can share it. There’s nothing bad with sharing, but that is just too much.

      And Trolls, the only thing they deserve is to be completely ignored and banned. In some regard you answer them for some kind of politeness, because you don’t want them to feel completely disregarded. But that is exactly what they deserve: HELL!!! As their only meaning of life is to make you feel bad.

      Send all these play-actings to HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,
      Ya, sharing is good. From time to time.

  141. No Soy Marinero says:

    A year later, how’s it going?

    • Smogranch says:

      Funny you should ask. A new post going out tomorrow. Never going back to social. The further away from it I get the better I feel and the more it appears like lunacy. But I went one step further….stay tuned for new post.

    • In my case I feel I’m in the best period of my life, and that it will stay this way forever. It’s like time never existed, and I can do whatever I want.

      Also it’s true that I no longer own a mobile phone or look at the time, and just use an alarm clock for knowing when to change activity. And I start the day doing what will make something to collapse if omitted, so I get everything important done for sure and I can stay relaxed at every time. Without deadlines.

      I also leave reading messages as the latest thing of the day, so my mind stays at what I want it to be. Although sometimes I still the temptation of reading random messages and pages of the Internet, but I will finish dropping it completely.

      The moral of the fable for me is this: curiously the non stop pursuing of doing things is what makes the mind to stay in distractions, as you don’t allow yourself to think straightforward what you feel you would want to be doing right now.

      So I usually ask myself “would I like this that I’m doing to be the norm?”. Then you easily realize you rather want to do things than to stay chatting in the Internet.

    • Smogranch says:

      Alberto,

      For me it’s like this. Wake up,make coffee and read. Read until coffee is gone. Yoga. Then work. Stop work, pick up guitar. Read. Sleep.

  142. Maian says:

    I recently just deleted all my social media accounts, too. I have to say that since I deleted them, I don’t have the urge to constantly check them for any notice. I just feel free and focused. I like to believe that the virtual world belongs to the virtuality. You could judge me how you want but don’t get me wrong, I found myself constantly competing with people whom I have never met in real life. We’re all competing to see who is the prettiest and who has the best life. And the worst of all is to checking up on exes to see them doing greater than me; it just brings me down so much. Everything just didn’t feel real anymore and instead of connecting to other people, I would be on my phone going through Instagram and Facebook. And I wasted so much time that I could use to do something productive.
    Deleting my social media accounts really brings me ease of mind. It’s just the idea of now that people can’t check up on me or stalk me. And now I have my own private life where I don’t need a filter. Vice versa, I don’t need to know what is happening in other people’s lives, whom I never met in real life. Now I could live freely and just be myself without any filters.
    Social media is great but it also brings the worst out of us.

  143. Nina says:

    Hi, great article. I’ve just found it and it really makes so much sense. I didn’t have a lot of social media accounts and I’ve never had Facebook. I did have Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. I dumped them all last year and I’ve never felt more free. Weird thing is though since dumping Twitter specifically, I’ve lost a lot of people who I regarded as friends and know in real life. I hardly ever hear from them now that I don’t seem to be part of this little Twitter clique. I’ve done my own thing and they’ve carried on with theirs. That’s fine. I feel in a way like I’m almost being punished for not being on Twitter. I know (as I’ve heard) that friends prefer to tweet rather than answer my messages. That’s cool I guess, a little sad, but OK. That’s their choice. i just find it odd that so many facets of a friendship seem to count for nothing unless its done through the medium of social media these days. Whichever way, I’m really glad I’ve gotten off the social media platforms.

  144. Steven says:

    I just happened to stumble upon this but my views are from a similar view point as yours.

    A good read, many thanks.

  145. emkay says:

    I stumbled across this article by accident – and I am super happy I did.

    It’s interesting, and the comments which have followed (of which I still have a few to catch up on), are interesting and enlightening too.
    For several years I was involved in organising celebrity events, and almost inevitably my social media accounts (Facebook, twitter and instagram) became less about ‘me’ and more about the events and PR.

    Last year I quite the job, the largest reason being I was heartsick of being surrounded by fakery, ass-kissing, and huge egos. I immediately deleted my twitter and Facebook – although annoyingly, Facebook is apparently always still there lurking somewhere in the ether.

    I use instagram to post photos i take – I deleted all the old pr and promotion pictures. I also use VSCO grid – which I prefer to instagram because there is zero social aspect.

    I do not miss twitter or Facebook, in my experience (as personal as it may be), twitter and Facebook have become empty places full of meaningless exchanges between people more concerned with ‘image’ with substance. I’ve witnessed the worst of human nature on social media, from invented terminal illnesses, to the infamous ‘catfish’

    I believe dishonesty is easier online than anywhere else. I prefer truth, and I like being able to hear cadence voices, and witness changes in body language – accurate communication requires facets that are completely absent from the screen.

    Anyway, I’m blathering,so I’ll be quiet!

    Thank you for a good read, I’ll be checking out more of your posts (refraining from adding a smiley face because it would be ridiculous!)

    • Smogranch says:

      Emkay,
      Having done a very few events around celebrities I can’t understand how anyone can work in that world. I know some love it, but I felt like you. The most awkward surroundings as “civilians” cater to the whims of the spoiled. Glad you are on the outside now. It’s way more fun, and it’s real.

  146. Nhlanhla says:

    wow, amazing. I also deleted my social media presence today because I would like to channel my energy and time on something big and fruitful. I hope it will work out…I have to admit the social media was taking a toll over me, now I just need to decipline myself. ..it was great reading your article.

  147. Jean says:

    Great read, has anyone noticed how you start ‘disappearing’ from other people’s lives when you are no longer online? When I meet up with acquaintances, they ask politely what I have been doing lately, and then immediately revert to the ‘Did you see so-and-so’s Facebook? She just got married/split from her boyfriend/went to some exotic country!’ chatter, which leaves me out in the cold. These people, inevitably, end up on my ‘Ignore/ Decline Politely When They Want To Meet Up Again’ mental list. Not having Facebook has made me open my eyes to people who still want to be part of my life, and allowed me to keep them. Lol

    I deleted my Instagram two years ago, before it became the norm to have an Instagram account, because I found myself snapping pictures and asking myself banal ‘What filter should I use?’ questions. Facebook got purged too, after an online argument with a former colleague that went very ugly.

    Also, I had another friend ask me once what was happening in my life and that she hadn’t seen me for a long time on Facebook, to which I replied in the form of a sarcastic joke, ‘Well, I’m not exactly dead – I’m still living in this world – it’s just that I don’t have a Facebook profile anymore…’

    Social media made me feel even more unsure and critical of myself, which is the main reason why I decided to delete myself from most of these sites. Face it, nobody is actually going to care when you post your 100000th selfie on Facebook…

    • Smogranch says:

      Jean,
      I’ve found that certain people can’t filter life without social, so when they ask “Did you see so and so on Facebook?” and I rely, “Sorry, no, I’m not on FB,” they look puzzled and then ask the same question minutes later. As a collective, social dwellers are so fried it’s difficult to be around when they are nerving out on online overload.

    • After two weeks they won’t be able to tell a thing about what you spoke for hours.

  148. As the Easter holiday came, my village become full of crazy smartphoners. So crazy that the Internet, which always worked so fine, completely stopped working for all telephony operators for four days.

    But once the Monday come, the malfunction mysteriously went away.

  149. zezz says:

    Hey hey,

    Tonight was the night, it had been on my agenda for sometime now and it had finally come down to it. It was either me or the book and I’m proud to say, I won!!
    (Bye bye Facebook deleted and deleted) reasons for this “deletion”, well was for the over done advertisement, exact same post that were posted the year before, the same videos and the same unrelenting status updates!!
    It will take 14 Days to be completely deleted and I actually can not wait for it to be gone it, not going to say I hated the thing but it did in fact become a daily addiction because it was so easy to access also available with just a click of a button. Connecting with people I once knew “once” knew in high school, primary or an old work place maybe a adventure around. But those are past events some of those people in the real world I’m not even connected to via a phone number or email address so why in this mad world would I want that memory to still be alive, if it was a great memory why force it with a fake Facebook or social media connection what I’m truly getting at is, it’s time time to start living life again as it’s meant to be lived looking up, not looking down or backwards but forwards on to new things new actual human contact. A whole world out there is waiting for actual human contact and place to explore and a sea to cross for a real true meaningful conversation with a real friend or a loved one xx peace out lots of well wishes and hopefully that’s it for me and the (evil book)

  150. Angie says:

    Loved this. Have wanted to delete my Facebook for a long time now but I somehow always find something that holds me back. I feel thankful that I have never joined in on the Instagram parade. Ironically though, I found this blog post because earlier today I was thinking of getting an Instagram account because I felt like I was somehow missing out. Before I did, I searched “why I shouldn’t get Instagram” hoping that I would find anyone else on the planet who isn’t a social media obsessed robot. I then found this article and I am soooo glad I did. Not only did I talk myself out of joining Instagram but I also decided to delete my Facebook. I am curious to ask the writer of this blog post if you are still off of Facebook? Also, have you ever thought of joining it again?

    Sorry if those questions have been asked already, I only read through half of the comments lol. Thanks and great article!

    • Smogranch says:

      Angie,

      Still off. Not going back. No desire at all. Life outside is FAR more interesting. Same for IG. You could give it a test?
      Just don’t go on for two weeks.

  151. Daniel, what is your opinion about LinkedIn?

  152. mylittletrain says:

    Last week, I officially deleted all of my social media accounts. Whew. At first, I felt as if I was being forced to remove myself from social media because of an unfortunate 12-month bout with a cyberstalker (somewhat irrelevant). However, once I started removing myself from these sites, I believe I gained perspective on the whole social media situation. During my purge, I had a thought:

    Maybe we’re supposed to remove ourselves from social media after we graduate (from high school or college). Maybe these sites are just there for us to use as a ‘crutch’ to help us along, until we figured out who we were as a person. Once we grasped that concept, receiving likes, comments, re-blogs, etc., would become something that was not necessary anymore.

    A comparison that comes to mind is that of a child and their favorite toy. For a few years, that toy may be their pride and joy, but over time, they grow out of it. Maybe when we’re ready, we’ll grow out of social media, just like we grew out of playing with our favorite childhood toy.

    Thank you for the blog post. I’ve been looking for another person’s rationale behind the deletion of social media accounts. It’s good to know I’m not the only one!

    • Smogranch says:

      That is quite possible. I feel like I grew out of it. Still feeling like I’m growing and growing away from it more and more each day. I think the people who are coming to things like IG and Facebook now are already behind the curve. Vine, SnapChat and Periscope are what you need today and tomorrow they will be dead too. It’s a race you have no hope of winning.

  153. Schmutz Marina says:

    Thanks Daniel for your … how do i call it? … Article or notification?
    Whatever… I LOVED IT !
    As you were putting in writing all my thoughts about social media and it’s alarming impact on us , it’s ( I ‘d say ) “vicious” influence of making us addicted to it and not even noticing how we become like obsessive maniacs.( Your examples of the mobile phone 6 checking his instagram’s empty page- obsessed guy was already hilarious – i laughed by reading ,because i remembered several such situations i observed myself.)
    Dear Dan, i’ve never been in any other Social media types , except for Facebook. I became my FB account last year ( and quite reluctantly , i must say, just out of curiosity), i noticed from day 1 how unreal, artificial is that world. How people want to be what very obviously they are not.(at least for very many ).How dangerously infectious it is for many people who follow, agree even with the most stupid ideas of some others who have the skills of playing the “Orchestra dirigent /conductor” Role…….
    Anyway, i embrace your initiative of writing about it, especially how fake is that so called FB Friendship thing…I join to your point-people should go out and get real friends and not feed themselves with illusiory phantasms of the social media friendships. All just waste of time.
    I wish you all the best for your future projects.

    • Smogranch says:

      Marina,
      When the game is about being liked, the game is rigged from the moment you subscribe. I think talking to your neighbors is a good start.

  154. Helen says:

    Any tips to someone wanting to start a blog? I can’t decide if it’s better to be anonymous or not because that was a big issue with social media for me. I’ve done the same as you and deleted all of my social media and have been happily off for almost four years. Life is definitely better without it and humorously enough I still know more about it than my friends still using it do. They ask me questions about settings and such and since I went through the process of finding where to delete my accounts I was able to tell them. I really enjoyed your post and helps reassure that my actions are not insane.

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Helen,
      Just be honest, and funny if possible. Anonimity is great, and I’ve thought of starting over that way, but just dont’ have the it or energy. Life beyond social is grand.

    • I have 75h of training in social media management, and my advices are these:

      1. Search engine positioning is founded on value.
      2. Human brain is visual, not wordy.
      3. Write as you would speak. And read it aloud to validate.
      3. When the noise stops, the melody sounds.
      4. Correctness is the child of transparency and simplicity.

  155. Sophie says:

    Dear Daniel,

    I very much enjoyed reading your post, and I am very pleased to find someone else in the world who has acknowledged the corruption of social media. I do not own any form of social media as I feel it is so damaging and disruptive to peoples lives and mental well being. I am 22 years old and currently studying a Marketing Communications Degree, and am beginning to look into research of the negative affects of social media as I think I would like to use my voice and do something about this 21st century devastation! Your blog article written now, a year ago, was very enjoyable to read and gives me hope that one day I can make a change and encourage people to be themselves, stop following the sheep of the world, and value their own strengths and privacy once again.
    Great writing, I really enjoyed this,

    Sophie x

    • Smogranch says:

      Sophie,
      Thanks for those words. It’s interesting to watch how quickly social fades away once given a little distance. Now, just a little over a year past I can’t imagine going back. Good luck with your work.

  156. Elizabeth says:

    Social media. Social mediocrity. Never. Being. Present.

    • Smogranch says:

      Elizabeth,
      Went to my first concert of the cellphone era last night. UNREAL how many people did social media the entire concert, or email, or surfed the web. Many never really looked up. They could have been anywhere. It appeared to be more important to tell the world where they were than actually watching the show. Many just looked bored after the first 20 minutes.

    • I wonder if it was AC-DC in Barcelona, because I was in the middle of that phone sea.

      I also visited La Sagrada Familia cathedral. And it was almost impossible to walk the place, because everybody was frenetically taking photos everywhere.

  157. Lily says:

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve deleted, recreated, and deactivated my Facebook accounts and each time swearing that I’d never get back on. I was fed up with people’s online behavior for the most part.

    I think I created my first account around 2008 and deleted within two years. As an artist I thought initially it was a great way to reach out and discover other artists around the world. Flickr was too convoluted for me but I would actually use it to find the artists I liked and then scoped them down to Facebook “add friend”. I can remember kind of getting my feelings hurt if the ones I really liked ignored my friend request, I suppose there is a hierarchy system that individuals use to better themselves. I went through a breakup and decided that I needed some headspace so I deleted my account.

    I was honestly tired of seeing all the couples posting their selfies at the beach and fancy restaurants, checking in at the bars and airports. The whole “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” game is just bs. Mentally exhausting. During my what I thought was a perma hibernation from social media, I actually had a boss at work talking with the other employees about a group trip coming up. My question was wait, what are you guys planning? She was sarcastically apologetic and because I wasn’t on Facebook anymore I didn’t get included in the group conversation. That response stuck with me in my head for a while.

    I started thinking how much I could possibly be missing out on. I started fearing how dull my life would become simply because I feel stubborn about social media. Couldn’t I just get over it and relax? I signed up for my second account. I basically went through the same thoughts about it again that I had previously but I was totally “addicted” to it. I felt it was a necessary extension and that this is the way things are now. I found myself checking my account at every red light, when the gate closes and the train comes through, standing and waiting in the grocery store line, waking up in the middle of the night reaching over for it on the bedside table, multiple times during a chapter of homework reading, etc etc etc… I’m exhausted but I can’t stop the cycle.

    When I realized two years later that there was actually nothing I would have missed out on had I not signed up again, I gave it up a second time. It lasted six months and then I was spurred to create yet my third account. One thought I had about never deleting your account and starting fresh was that I really did not like how much content you rack up on your page over the course of time. Think about it. If I stayed with my original account from eight years ago- how many photos and links would continue to stay there for anyone to browse. And would it all still be there eight years later? And for how much longer? Yikes!

    I’m a single 35 year old woman and I do not have kids. Another issue I think about is upon seeing these parents that constantly share pictures of their babies and kids. Some are cute but most are just unnecessary and way overloaded. Sometimes outright gross. I guess it just really freaks me out to think that there could be the definitive open book diary over the course of a person’s life. I don’t think I would be too thrilled if my mom had a stock of my dumb and unflattering moments for everyone to see online. I’m so relieved they are actually all stored away in a box for the pleasure of my own family. And I’m utterly relieved facebook and social media was nil in my youth and high school days. Whew!

    Eight days ago I deactivated my third account. It really bums me out that most “likes” I get go towards pictures and none for article links. It’s become comical and more disturbing is the “hahahahaha” response. That’s all you can say? I feel that people can’t read more than two sentences and they have nothing interesting or intelligent to say. People seem to only interested in your business via pictures and dirty laundry status updates.

    At work its a constant conversation between the staff about “did you see what so and so said?” or “did you see that picture so and so posted?” Even literally pulling out their phones for showing, judging, and snickering.

    I don’t have a desire to reactivate my account but holding off the deletion. People must know me as the one that deletes and deactivates and I must be unstable. I Read a great book a couple years ago on the topic of social media. Interpersonal Divide: The Search for Community in a Technological Age by Michael Bugeja. I’m very interested in reading more on the subject and seeing how social media evolves.

    It’s always nice to read other people’s opinion on social media, especially those I can relate to.

    Best!

    • Smogranch says:

      Lily,
      WOW, you have certainly been through it. One thing to consider is the fact that there is a real world outside your door 24-hours a day. I’ve found this world to be as endless as the internet and you can actually touch it, smell it, talk to it and learn from it. Well worth the effort. Also, reading replaces a lot of what you might feel like you are missing.

  158. Izzy says:

    I am at work and pondering on the value of Facebook/Instagram in my life and I can’t come up with anything but excuses to keep up with the trends. I deleted my Facebook page and freaked out and reactivated it instantly. I remained confused and typed on Google: “Why I deleted my Facebook page” and stumbled on your post. I don’t believe in coincidence. It was just proof that I should always follow my gut. It was a pleasure reading your post and thank you for being candid. Bye Bye Facebook and Instagram! Bye Bye! I feel at peace now.

  159. codi says:

    Im sure someone made this point already, but you cant actually delete a fb account. All you have to do is log in again. So its all about self control. 😉

  160. Sam says:

    Wow, you an I are on the same path. I feel the same about social media..I only have twitter, never had facebook. It all boils down to “undivided attention”..you’re so correct there. I have found myself saying the exact same thing. Speaking to these Facebookers and Instagramers they’re are always distracted… my exact thoughts. That’s why I stopped chatting to them on Google Hangouts…they were there and would reply in conversation but were not really there at all…if you know what i mean?

    “You see I have a new agenda in life, and to achieve what I’m after will require every once of time, energy, luck and focus, and anything that takes away from this I can no longer afford to be a part of. ”

    — this is where I am in life. I’ve got goals that must be accomplished, everything else be damned.

  161. Gina says:

    I deleted my FB acct last year. A former co-worker talked me into getting back on. Against my better judgment, I did, or attempted to anyway. If anyone else has deleted their FB acct & wants to get back, pay attention…now you have to provide a cell phone # so they can text you with a code to put in. If you don’t own a cell phone, you must upload an ID with your true name & birthday. I have been known by a nickname since childhood. I use this name in business. It is not the name on my drivers license. FB does not seem to understand what a nickname is. I supposedly have an acct, but I cannot log in or access anything because of this. Also, I don’t want my real birthday on FB. I have e-mailed back & forth. I finally wrote them a snail mail letter to delete my acct.

  162. Mitchell says:

    When facebook first came out in 2004, my current girlfriend was at one of the first few hundred colleges to be allowed access to this gloriously terrible website. I heard about it briefly during this time via phone, but didn’t think much of it…that was until the day all of my peers started gushing about this new website “facebook” on campus! So I got on to see what the ruckus was about, and started seeing quite a few pictures of my then gf with all sorts of different people including new guy friends. Immediately I got a sour taste in my mouth, I could’ve told you where all this was going when I saw the first facebook picture my ex ever posted. I knew that relationships and friendships as we knew it then would never be the same.

    I deactivated my facebook now for 5 years after a breakup and being blocked. Considering my then gf was the sole reason for being on, it has been an easy decision. She can keep all the mutual “friends” and even real mutual friends if she wants. I wouldn’t want to go back on facebook if my life depended on it. I’m really just in utter amazement and apparently the wrong planet disliking facebook and most social media in general.

    Facebook creates the worst of emotions/sensations and feelings in me, and at best the happiness is fleeting. The cherry on top for me was when I heard about the like system and acquiring likes…as if these “likes” are some sort of virtual currency where you could purchase clothes and homes. The people sure seem to be fooled. I guess I just don’t get it…if you are on facebook, you will eventually succumb to the mindlessness that the creators surely intended. Quite brilliant actually by Zuckerberg to take advantage of such weak minded and willed people. “Oh but I need it to stay in touch with family they say.” “Oh I only use it promote my small business they say.” Their posture gets worse by the second, they get fatter, and the only thing that grows in conjunction with the likes is the anxiety of keeping that popular online persona. A system of likes is terrible because it is incredibly limiting but also insanely comparative intentionally…

    As a guy I especially worry to see what some of these beautiful woman I know have turned into. They get treated exactly the way they deserve to…they are fishing for likes and attention and they will sure get it (from all the wrong people). Facebook definitely causes plenty of uneasiness in relationships where both parties want to be seen! Jealously has crept in many a time causing rifts. I almost feel like I have more questions than answers the few times I’ve stumbled upon a facebook page and go off into the hypnotic scrolling through. “What am I doing here?” “What is it I am exactly looking for?” “What is the end goal here?” I often find myself asking whenever mine and FB’s path’s cross.

    It’s actually great news for the people that are in this world to pour at all their blood, sweat and tears into their efforts. While most people are being shaped and molded by social media, there are brilliant people out there ceasing the opportunities, being original and creative…blazing their own trail in life…while the masses all stand by idly on their phones. So I guess after all I should be thanking social media for diverting everyone’s energy, effort and attention and opening the door for people like myself who are in search for something more. Thanks for the very provocative read.

  163. Matthew says:

    I’d actually searched for something like “Best social media to use to promote a Youtube channel” and your essay turned up in the top results. Ironic. I’d deactivated and ultimately decided to delete my Facebook account several years ago. But, I found that it was necessary to return after a short time to do some so-called networking with other artists, being that everyone I knew or met used Facebook and seemed to refuse to want to communicate in any other way. Either that, or it was “Follow me on twitter”, which I never used. Why can’t we exchange phone numbers or at least email addresses? Here, I find myself again, contemplating deleting my account and leaving it that way for good. I recently deleted my Flickr account (had it for over 8 years), my Vimeo account (7 years), one of my Yahoo email accounts (5 years), and I’m considering deleting my original Youtube channel (started 9 years ago). It feels strangely liberating.

    My son and I started another Youtube channel together about a month ago, and I’ve found that the social aspect of that is much the same. I occasionally share our new videos on FB. Nearly every post ends up with 2-3 likes. Not to say that none of my friends are watching or that I judge success on that, but having a lot of likes and/or comments has somehow become a weird form of validating the thing, myself, and even my son to some degree. I do sometimes share pictures, mainly for family that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have much contact with, and to keep in touch, somewhat, with some of the connections I’ve made working on various projects over the years.

    The thing is, though, like you and others have said, it’s become a massive time suck. I don’t have the app on my phone, but I do check my feed a few times a day from my computer, probably at times when I should be writing or editing, or spending time with my family. My wife, on the other hand, can’t seem to go anywhere without her phone, and takes nearly every opportunity to check her feed or take a pic and upload it, then complain that no one has liked it within minutes of posting. Also, there’s just too much fakery, too much posting pics of food and feet in the sand at the beach (nothing wrong with that by itself), happy-looking selfies, shameless self-promotion and self-importance, silly memes (a lot of them I thought died out years ago), and videos of dogs and cats and people doing dumb things. And, this is especially true of Youtube, the comments section is generally a black hole of intelligence, to paraphrase a Cracked article on the subject. People also have a tendency to be mean-spirited over the simplest of things, or downright hateful to one another, and I’ve seen real hurt come from being “unfriended”.

    Anyway, the irony is that I was searching for a way to possibly use social media as a way to gain viewers, came across your article, and now, I’m seriously considering leaving Facebook alone for a while, if not deleting it again and being done with it. There’s a real world to see and real people to interact with, if I can find people out in that real world that aren’t constantly staring at screens. Like you, I went to a concert recently and I couldn’t count how many phones and tablets were in use nearly the entire time. Amazing that there were so many people not watching the very show they were at. It all seems to be for nothing but getting likes or views, and being able to say you did it, at the expense of enjoying and participating in the actual experience. The device, meant for communication and maybe entertainment, becomes a proxy, a filter through which to see the world.

    • Smogranch says:

      Matthew,
      Too funny. It’s not only a time suck it’s also phony. A hard nut to swallow. I rarely make images these days but sure seem to be enjoying life more.

  164. Sammy says:

    Of all the different types of social media out there I found facebook to be the most useless. Perhaps it was the people on my friends list but my newsfeed was 95% garbage. I disabled my facebook for over 4 years and have had it back for awhile now. I hardly check it because I never think too. When I do I find myself annoyed. At least with Twitter, instagram and other social networks you can follow people who share similar interests and hobbies as you. Facebook is a strange mix of people from the past and present you’re forced to stay “connected” with.

    I think I’m getting old. I think it’s rude for people to constantly be checking their phone and updating social media while you’re with them trying to have an actual conversation but this behaviour is becoming the norm.

    I also miss long form blogging, the type of blogging that existed before instagram and Twitter.

  165. Lisa says:

    This is embarrassing for me to say but I deleted my social accounts because I started to forget what true friendship is. I actually felt like I was keeping up with my friends lives and deeply connected to them by liking and commenting on their posts. My perception of reality was so hazy that I eventually ruined some relationships by feeling left out after seeing their photos, and using my social accounts to get revenge. It’s so sad but I hope that by deleting my accounts I can learn to be a better friend, live IN reality, stop sharing my life with others that don’t care, and eventually move on from my poor decisions.

  166. Claudia says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing your experience, your writing is also beautiful. I am gonna give it a try. Once I read somewhere that you will make a change when you had enough that you had enough.. That’s pretty much what I feel like today. I am a hobbyist photographer, I work in PR and have been living in different countries / continents in the past 10 years, so I used SM as an excuse for my job and to keep in touch with friends and post some of my work. But today I find myself wondering if I even have any real friends. I find myself looking for a reality that doesn’t exist, the filtered reality I see everyday on SM channels. If I am honest, no part of my life has been improved by SM. None. I remember the times (I am 36 and grew up in Romania, so it was late I had access to Internet) when I was impatiently waiting for a letter from my friend who was living some 400Km away from my town. What a great connection that was. Now we are ‘connected’ on FB, but we barely speak… There is much to say, but most of it you put it in this article. I just wanted to let you know you had my undivided attention for the time I read this article and maybe your thoughts will change my life. I am not expecting anything from this experience, but I hope my life will change for the better. Thank you. I will continue to follow your work.

    • Smogranch says:

      Claudia,
      Most of the time people aren’t really paying attention to what you are posting. They like and move in. Same across all channels.

  167. mariane says:

    im 15 yr old, typical high school student. i searched ” what its like not having social media accounts” on google and it brought me here. i just deleted my ig,fb,snapchat and kik yesterday .. why? I got tired of ” wow her feed looks so nice, what should i do with mine” “damn her butt is so nice” “how come she has nice titties and i dont” , thinking if people would like my “selfie”, “oh you know i just wanna update you that im having starbucks right now and im about to see a movie with my girl-friends”.. and you know I thought my life would be more valueable if i start doing something else rather than being on my phone liking the kardashians post .other than that, i have so much reasons why and some of them are personal. i was called a slut for posting a picture on instagram where my cleavage were showing. judgements,stereotypes ughhh i hate those, it sucks how this world we live in works. you know i could actually be working out rather than scrolling on instgram. so wish me luck yall 😀 hope this makes changes in my life

  168. Katrina Tan says:

    Thank you for pretty much articulating every feeling I have towards social media. I completely agree with it robbing me off of precious time, I’ve gone Facebook free for a couple months now and before that I’ve had several attempts but I kept failing. (Funny that you can change the word “Facebook” in that sentence to drugs or alcohol and immediately I’d seem an addict!) People think you’re crazy or something’s wrong with you when you’re not on it, but I seem to be working just fine. Instagram will most likely go next and that part you mentioned about it somehow giving off an illusion of what reality truly is completely bugs me. I catch myself thinking of what to post next and actually feeling bad whenever photos don’t get the amount of likes I expected it to get.

    Again, I am grateful for this and kudos to you! 🙂

    • Smogranch says:

      Katrina,
      Sorry for delay, haven’t monitored this site since I created the new one. Not only that but when you talk about addiction with people on social they act like there is no way that’s possible, as they stare at their phone.

  169. Monserrat says:

    (Idk how to start) I’m Monse and I have 23 years old and I consider myself a social media addict! I closed all my media 3 days ago, and seem an eternity, I constantly check my phone, but I know I don’t have Facebook, instagram or what’s app to be stalking people anymore. It’s complicated, but I decided to isolate myself from these social medias for the same reason you are discussing. It’s ridiculous how much time we spend on checking or scrolling down pages… However, as I closed everything, I decided to look up in Google about “what can I do, when I don’t have social media” and I found your blog. I started reading because I was feeling the same way as you, I was noticing the same problems with other people and myself; therefore, I decided to take action to belong not more these social media. Before finishing reading your ideas I decided I should do a blog, where I can portray my ideas in larger aspects, by the end of your reading I realize you kept doing the same, and I fall to the same conclusion, I love to write (in Spanish though) why shouldn’t start a blog. Thank you for clearing my mind. I would like to know more about you. I like the way you think. Have a good night,
    Monse.

  170. keberisms says:

    I just deleted my FB account (again. I deleted my first account about 3-4 years ago; made a new account after 6 months because I “had” to. Anyway…), it will be permanently deleted by October 8. AH… FREEDOM.
    I’ve also deleted my Google+… Exactly for the reasons you have stated above. (And that Facebook makes me depressed for some reason. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to find authenticity, and in a way, it just can’t deliver such. Also, there’s just so much chatter.)

    Thank you for writing this.

    Now I feel “normal” for knowing that I’m not the only one who’s felt and thought about such.
    I seek authenticity in relationships, and although social media might seem to connect us, it doesn’t cut.
    It just doesn’t.

  171. Jorge says:

    Hello, Smogranch. Thanks for posting (and keeping) this article. I’ve recently deleted my more ‘time-wasters’ social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook), and, while I was reading I was thinking about share it; pretty ironicle I think.

    I feel absolutely identified with your point of view, so that impulses me to be truly free of the social networks and focus on living my life for me, because I like, not because ‘likes’ another people. I’ve been really thinking about how our life is becoming a thing of living for others instead of living for our true selves… because we all have that selfish ‘celebrity wannabe’ inside of us.

    I hope you have a great day. Blessings.

  172. Brian says:

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your article. I have never been a part of any social media, though a year ago I signed up for G+. I find that I really detest everything that most tell me I need Social media for, yet I had even begun to question my own judgement that these things were just shallow, nothing-relationship time wasters. Your article helped me immensely, as you have confirmed with experience what I had always suspected, and since we seem to have some similar values about REAL relationship or time spent, I am doubly thankful that you have potentially saved me from a lot of wasted time trying these things out.
    I do wish you the best as you go forward, and thank you to another “long-form” writer who believes that it is STILL worth it to take your time speak and to truly listen!
    Brian

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