There’s no denying that social media is all around us. To many people, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most consistent presences in their lives. But this doesn’t mean that social media is inescapable. Many people actively choose to stay off of these platforms, opting instead for a more visceral experience in life. And they just may be on to something. When people cut the cord and start actively living, good things start happening.
1. They gain confidence
We’ve become so accustomed to using social media and electronics to communicate with others that, for some, face-to-face interaction has become incredibly difficult. While it’s easy to write an email to a supervisor or reach out to new clients through Twitter, it’s much more difficult to do so in person. But that’s only because it takes practice to improve and strengthen your interpersonal skills.
As you stop relying on social media to make person-to-person interaction easier and more simplified, you’ll allow yourself to expand your comfort zone. The more you work on social interaction, the easier it becomes.
2. They don’t constantly seek validation
Of course, everyone likes to know their opinions and suggestions are appreciated and valued, but the ubiquity of social media has made this validation an obsession for some. I know that I’ve found myself checking my phone over and over again after making a witty comment or sending out a well thought-out tweet to see how many people “liked” or “shared” my message. In reality, I know the people who “liked” my comment simply clicked a button and moved on with their lives.
Those who stay off media seek out actual validation where it matters; but they don’t become overly obsessed with being accepted that it ends up taking over their lives.
3. They can focus on what’s important to them
Social media is full of, for lack of a better term, fluff. Even if you don’t subscribe to any pages yourself, your friends are constantly sharing articles and websites that, first of all, may or may not be factual, and second of all, probably don’t interest you in the slightest.
So many of us (again, myself included) spend way too much time wading through headlines that we don’t care about in search of one or two articles that might benefit us in some way. When you stay off social media, you can actively seek out the things in life that interest you, and end up learning something pertinent to your life in the process.
4. They communicate more effectively
I spoke a little before about how those who don’t use social media are actually more social in person. But not only are they more social, they’re also better at communicating entirely. A tweet or a Facebook status are made up of simple words on a computer or phone screen; there’s almost no way to effectively communicate the underlying tone of the message.
When you’re face-to-face with the person you’re speaking to, the mood of the conversation becomes crystal clear based on facial expression, body language, and tone of voice.
5. They become more aware and live in the moment
Let’s be serious: most of us have used social media as a crutch at times. Think about those times you were waiting for a friend at the mall, or sitting on a bench waiting for a bus to arrive. Instead of taking in your surroundings, you probably took out your phone to mindlessly scroll through your various feeds, pretending to look busy. But by doing so, you miss out on so much of the world around you.
When you put your phone away, you start to appreciate even the little things in life that you never knew existed before.
Featured photo credit: Mobile phone and the Japanese 2 / Cocoarmani via farm3.staticflickr.com