It has been approximately two years and three months since I deleted my last standing social media account, Twitter, and embarked on living without social media.
While I am by no means an expert on how to maintain an exuberant social life, I have managed a modest social life post-social media despite not being so good at maintaining constant communication with people.
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Without a doubt, social media platforms have made communication instant and effortless.
With a click of a button, we can connect with hundreds, if not thousands, of people who share our interests or values and build connections. We can show love, support, and care for those we know through a quick like, a comment, or by sharing their content.
When you remove that, communication becomes challenging.
It’s not as easy to stay updated on all the nitty gritty details of the lives of people in your life, and for them to be updated on your life. It require a bit more effort to show you love, support, and care about them.
One of the dilemmas for people considering deleting their social media accounts is the question: how do you stay connected post social media?
Since the spread of social media platforms, most of our communication has become digital, and specifically online and text, based.
How do you stay connected and communicate with people without social media platforms providing easy and instant access to your family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances?
There is no easy solution here.
In my experience, however, there are three ways to maintain a modest social life without social media: group chats, going old school, and acceptance.
3 ways to stay connected post-social media
Group chats can be formed with any of the social group you belong to, including with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or interest-based communities. They are accessible and available on many number of apps and platforms, including iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. You can send/receive invites to family events, make plans to hangout with friends, organize a work meeting with colleagues, and, most importantly, share hilariously inappropriate memes with your friends.
It’s time to embrace the group chat.
Take the initiative to create one for your family or friend groups. If you don’t have a friend group or a strong family tie, join a group chat online, and don’t forget to be an active member of the group chats you are part of (note to self).
Do you remember the good old days when people used to actually meet up in person and hang out just to catch up on life? Me neither, but it’s really nice.
While in-person hangouts require significantly more effort to plan, and the willingness to leave your house when you’d rather be doing anything else but that, real life connection is so good.
My favourite part about hanging out with people in person is the physical contact, whether it’s shaking hands, hugs, or the ability to make eye-contact while conversing. It’s just so real.
A phone call is another way to stay connected the old fashion way. It’s almost as good as meeting in person.
There is always going to be some awkwardness, a lull in conversation or misunderstanding when communication is in real time, but it gets better the more you do it, and it’s just so worth it.
Life is simply different when you become disconnected from the social media world.
Accept that you will miss out on things because they happened on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Accept that no one will call you to tell you about what they had for lunch, or while at the bar because they’re having so much fun. That’s okay.
You won’t text your friend what you had for lunch either, because that’s just weird. That’s okay, too.
Accept that communication will be different, sparse and far between, especially with those not so close to you.
It’s just the way of being off social media.
One thing is for certain; the way we communicate with one another has dramatically changed since the proliferation of social media platforms.
As such, life is different when you quit social media. There won’t be likes, comments, and followers in real life. There is only body language, conversations and real-life narrations of the living.
Truth be told, I don’t think I would have had a better social life if I stayed on social media. For others, it is the life-long connections they have made online that have made all the difference.
Finding ways to stay connected is a process. It is also dependent on your personality, the culture of the place you live in, your relationships and many other factors.
Cherish the moments you get to connect with people, make sure to have the best time possible, and be open to different ways you’ll meet new people and expand your social circles.
Until next time… 🙂