Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit | page 2 login
I Quit Social Media for a Year (joshcsimmons.com)
507 points by jcpsimmons 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 359 comments



This bit hit me hard:

"You know what else is exhausting? Pretending to care about people you don’t give a shit about. Maybe you’re just a better person than I am and you genuinely and deeply care about everyone you are ‘friends’ with on Facebook. I didn’t. "


This was one of the reasons that pushed my of Facebook, in the end, my newsfeed was heavily filtered because I don't care that one my friends bought a new phone, or checked in into a shopping mall. I'll probably miss some more important life events, but I would argue that if they don't share that with me in person, we weren't really friends in the first place.

I might quit soon too. To be honest - seeing my peers buying homes (with, of course, no discussion about how they made it happen), getting married, traveling a lot, enjoying nice things, and having kids is kinda putting a sour taste in my mouth. It's a very biased feed. It's basically an endless feed of the highest points of everyone in your entire social circle. I do some of it but I tend to balance it out with, "I don't think I'm ever gonna fucking make it in this area."

Social media is a bit like the news but on the opposite side of the spectrum. "Yes, yes, I get it. The world is ending." I care but I don't care to where I need to have it shoved in my face where I'm going to do things to make the world even worse. (What good is a world that survives if it is full of anxiety?)

I'm not reading the general news generally anymore when I can and maybe I'll transfer that to social media soon. (Today was a bad day - a peer of mine who is younger than me just bought a place in SF; I'm struggling to make it in a 400sqft in-law unit) I notice I feel better and it's not like anything I missed is of real substantial importance to my daily life. It's just filler. I know my core political philosophy - so it's not like it'll affect my voting decision much. Reminds me of the article someone posted in response to the 8 year old dying. Something about ignoring the bullshit in life because you don't have time for it. You don't have time for bullshit and most of social media and the news is full of bullshit. I think it could be really great but most of the time... it's just bullshit. Here it is - life is short: http://www.paulgraham.com/vb.html


Do you think your peers were able to purchase homes through means not accessible to you? Not to speculate on your circumstances, but it's truly something how many people I know making six figures that choose to rent these days (in competitive, expensive housing markets). One possibility might be, we become so accustomed to renting. I can't imagine developing my career further, and then all of a sudden in 5 years, having to care for a lawn, home maintenance, etc. on top of the demands of work.

I also wouldn't discount the number of people who might be house poor: banks will give you loans for far more than a financially savvy person would suggest taking (e.g, only borrow up to 2/3rd's of the maximum amount a bank will give), to keep flexibility in your budget.

To tie this to social media: what we see isn't reality. You're "competing" with their curated self versus your own. You may see the purchases, but certainly not the debt coming with it. The people with the best-looking lives on social media probably don't have the healthiest of finances, unless you're following truly wealthy people.


Banks will definitely loan out crazy stuff. But it's not very common, from my knowledge, to buy a $1m+ home with less than 20-30% down. (You have to pay PMI and a really high mortgage then anyway) To have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around before you're 28 is pretty remarkable. Especially if you aren't at FAANG.

The means they were able to do it through were likely rich family (no one here of course will say their family is rich) and high paying job ($300k+/yr). Both of which I am not in (for my position in my region). I'm at a startup. Watching my peers, who are not in companies like mine, just skyrocket in wealth is rather discouraging. It's even more harsh because it's usually a couple who are sky rocketing and I'm just sitting here with a SO who will never make anything substantial. Love them to bits but the lack of financial contribution is practically suicide here.

I know everything isn't perfect. It's curated. But the point is that often their highs are way higher than mine. I already know their lows are nothing like mine because I know a lot of the people well enough to know that much.

Side note about home buying: a lot of statistics online about homes being bought for x and what kind and where and all that. But there's very little information on who is buying and what they're doing with the home!

I only recently discovered that all the homes being bought under $1m in the Bay area aren't being owner inhabited. They're all being converted into rentals and as investment property. It explains why East Palo Alto hasn't gentrified.


I was able to amass ~$500k+ in liquid assets before 27 with a combination of attending a top college, not having any college loans when I graduated (worked hard all through college to make sure this was the case - parents are not wealthy), working at a startup that grew significantly for several years (significant equity upside), and investing everything I possibly could into the stock market over the past few years (greatest bull run in the country's history).

I also paid <$1500 a month for rent in SF for many years by living in converted rooms or having room-mates to keep costs low (relative to market rates). Many of my peers were paying >$2.5k-$3k to have their own spot. I was keeping expenses low and aggressively investing the difference in companies whose trajectories were all but inevitable in my opinion (+ some broad market index funds which have also done extremely well).

The weird thing about money is that once you get the flywheel turning (not easy), it compounds like magic given that you've made some good decisions.

My intent here isn't to boast. I figured you might appreciate a specific example of circumstances leading to building a modest level of wealth as a 20-something software engineer.

Involved was a lot of hard work, luck, timing, right place (SF), right company, good decisions, help from others, sacrifice, obsession, and a bunch of other things but I'll spare you the boring details. You could boil it _all_ down to luck if you'd like - but that's a bit too cynical for my tastes.


I appreciate it - I think I would like the boring details as those tend to be the things that I find super important. Similar to the "the yada yada" episode from Seinfeld.

My story isn't far different from you. It just lacks the happier parts. Just want to show how similar we are and how much those happier parts matter. Which some could perceive as luck. I attended a "top college" (by program at least). I worked through college on top of having a full ride (government). After college, I slept on an air mattress to save $$$ (don't do it) and then a 25 year old one because I got it for free. I chose the cheapest possible everything forever. Drove my $4000 car into the ground until it was crashed into. Never paid more than $50 for a piece of furniture. I spent maybe $100/month on food. I lived very cheaply for 8+ years with minor splurges on things. (I still live in a 400sqft in-law unit that used to be a workshop ffs - I definitely don't live lavishly) But - in the end, I can't save enough because my income isn't high enough. I gave up on penny pinching because I realized it was futile for this area. No one is buying the <=$1m homes that I could afford with years of penny pinching and saving and then living in them. (It's all investment property) Therefore, the neighborhoods never gentrify and are crap. My SO says even if I buy one - she won't move into it because we'll get stabbed, robbed, or, worse, have to live there without it gentrifying. So, homes that are actually gentrifying or nice are closer to $1.5m+. Therefore - I'd have to save about $700k+ in order to be able to qualify for the mortgage (decade+ of penny pinching saving then). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that's a terrible move financially. (Putting basically all of your money into a house - not a very diversified portfolio...)

But ya know what - I see my peers who are living lavishly (buying brand new Porsches - living in luxury 2-bedroom apartments by themselves - buying all the new things - going on ski trips and whatever vacations)... It doesn't affect them. They're still buying the damn house! It's cause they're at $400-500-600k+ and not the <$200k I'm making.

Gotta join FAANG or some startup that's about to go public. The income disparity is just massive.


> The means they were able to do it through were likely rich family (no one here of course will say their family is rich) and high paying job ($300k+/yr). Both of which I am not in (for my position in my region). I'm at a startup. Watching my peers, who are not in companies like mine, just skyrocket in wealth is rather discouraging. It's even more harsh because it's usually a couple who are sky rocketing and I'm just sitting here with a SO who will never make anything substantial. Love them to bits but the lack of financial contribution is practically suicide here.

I don't see what is the problem here. That you'll buy a house a couple years later than some of your peers? That's life. Some people have cancer at two - not THAT's shitty. Waiting a couple years more to buy a house is just hilariously insignificant in comparison to anything serious.


No - I think the wealth and income disparity was maybe not obvious enough? I'm literally sitting at half to a 1/4th of the income of my peers. (Either due to dual income, well compensated jobs, or both) Wealth wise - I practically build none because the cost of living for two people with one income is just outrageous here.

My point is more that - I will never be able to buy a house.


If the startup you work at takes off, I assume you'd get some of the upside; catch-up to you peers.

Yeah... Just gonna let you know that's a real shot in the dark.

I've been questioning whether I should even buy my options when I quit. I really have no faith in my current company.


The thing I have found to be extremely helpful is to very carefully curate who who I follow - in particular I don't friend/follow anyone I have any sort of regular f2f interactions with - family, coworkers, neighbors. I use it exclusively to keep up with out-of-state friends, others involved with the same sort of niche hobbies, that sort of thing. Avoids sooo much drama.

Interesting approach. I have to wonder though, if such a thoughtful strategy is needed to stay sane what else is unhealthy?

I always thought the way the parent poster uses social media is the way it's supposed to to be used. That's the only way I've ever used it.

I'm not so sure that's the real design. Any application I use tries to addict me to it. I think it is more for people to show off.

Neat, I quit Facebook over 5 years ago and never looked back.

JOMO saved my mental health when I realized I'd never be invited to every get-together. You learn who really cares about your once you dip out of the world's easiest connectivity network... when people actually have to put in just a bit more effort to get a hold of you.

Group SMS never gets old and I don't feel like big-brother is always watching, when in reality, they very well could be but it feels far less invasive.


If this persons definition of social media is only Facebook and Instagram then I removed social media for the last 3 or more years.

Removing these (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) were nothing and easy for me. I just logged out and never bothered to log in. I haven't bothered with these in years.

Now, not visiting places like Reddit, maybe Hacker News, and consider removing other similar like internet communities for a year as well was a lot harder and still is at times. So, I have delegated to limit myself for now and not make an account. At least I try.

I found myself having trouble of finding something to read while I eat dinner every night, so I try to only limit myself to reading and browsing Reddit while I eat dinner each night for example.

However, my Hacker News addiction continues.


I quit social media four years ago and all that happened is I got 3 hours per day of my life back.

Best reason to quit I've seen in this thread.

Succinctly put! I don’t disagree.

Isn’t hacker news social media? Karma points are no different from retweets or likes surely? And then isn’t reading nyt’s comment section social “media” too? At what point is engaging with media that has some collaboration from peers different from the big three social sites? Should there be a case made for quitting these too?

I think HN is not social media in the same way Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram are. One big difference is that HN is pretty anonymous. I usually don't look at who's posting, so it just looks like an agglomeration of authorless text. There's no feeling of "I wonder what X is up to on HN?" or "damn, person X is doing so well on HN".

This, along with the general hiding of points, reduces the amount of comparison to others that occurs on HN. That's different from conventional social media. There's still some comparison ("People on here know so much!"), but the impersonal aspect makes it reasonable to just shrug off.


Ugh, an annoying trend has been ppl grouping in unrelated services under the moniker of 'social media'. They are putting in so many different types of interactions that the label loses most of it's meaning. Then again I have this vague feeling that for ppl who's main online interactions facebook clones and twitter and they are trying to describe everything in terms of those.

It's an unpopular opinion here, but you are absolutely right.

It's perplexing to me. I view HN as obviously being a social media, and (for me) the most time consuming one of them all.

Edit: Now that I think about it, HN is the only social media that I don't find it delivers enough value compared to my time spent on it (it does deliver value - it's just that it's a big time sink). I'm pretty happy with the time/value ratio of Facebook and (more recently) Twitter. It's probably because the ability to carefully curate what you see on FB and Twitter.


I would call it quasi social media. The relative anonymity of HN (I don’t know any of you IRL) helps me view this more like IRC chat from the late 90s

None of the top comments respond to or discuss the actual content in the post (e.g. "my ..."), and instead focus on their own anecdotal experiences, based on the headline or social media in general.

this also is mirrors the lack of discussion and engagement often associated with social media.


Everyone's just waiting for an excuse to talk.

> I made a resolution in September of 2018 that I would quit social media indefinitely.

I had my phone die years back on my way to a social event after a combination of a facebook app bug that sapped battery and leaving my charger in other vehicle. I was so aggravated with the app that I deleted it. Never installed it again. Think this was 2016/17? After a few weeks I also deleted my instagram. Then again, I wasn't into the social media thing so I only had those two accounts and didn't post much. Never had or saw a need for twitter or whatsapp. Deleted instagram and facebook account was slimmed down to just a few pictures and I keep in touch with some family through it. I maybe visit facebook via web once or twice a month.

We've painted ourselves into a social anxiety corner as we removed the actual social aspect and replaced it with a poorly designed html implementation. You want to be social and have friends? Then call and hang out with people without feeling the need to post about it or sit in front of someone scrolling and endless sea of nothing.


I quit posting and checking Facebook roughly a year ago (I still have an account for event invitations, but I've disabled all other notifications and uninstalled the app). I still have an Instagram account, and page through the feed once or twice a week (in the past, it was usually a few times a day), but I haven't posted in about six months.

I'm less anxious and stressed out, and generally less annoyed at people around me. My initial reason for avoiding FB was because I was tired of being bombarded by rageful posts about politics and social justice issues (regardless of whether or not I agreed with those posts) day in and day out.

On occasion, after asking a friend a specific question about their life, they're surprised I don't know the answer already because they'd posted about it on FB. I then have to explain that I haven't checked FB (aside from events) in a year. No one has even come close to complaining about having to tell me something separately; people generally enjoy talking about themselves, especially when prompted, so that shouldn't be a surprise.

I still take a similar quantity of photos, even though I don't post them anywhere anymore. I do share photos taken during a group activity/trip/outing, but privately, through Google Photos, and only to the people who were there.

When I flip through Instagram, I'm definitely less engaged than I used to be. I don't really comment anymore unless I have something substantive to say/ask, and I usually don't bother to "like" anything.

I have several healthy in-person friend groups, and some remote ones. I hear about what's going on with my friends in person, or via smaller group chats or one-on-one texting. I certainly don't see all the other things my random FB "friends" (at ~1100, of course the majority of them are acquaintances at most) are posting about their lives, but I find I don't really miss it. While it might be a novelty to see what some random old high school or college classmate is doing day-to-day, I'd much rather turn that limited energy and brain space toward my closer friends.

Regarding news, I get a daily politics newsletter in my email inbox, so I can restrict that to a small chunk of time and only pursue things further if I want to. For other types of news, I have to seek it out specifically, which works well for me.


The title is kind of clickbaity, but the most important note in this write-up is the following:

> I don’t see myself ever going back to social media. I don’t see the point of it, and after leaving for a while, and getting a good outside look, it seems like an abusive relationship – millions of workers generating data for tech-giants to crunch through and make money off of.


You'd laugh at me, but I am still using a LiveJournal clone - Dreamwidth. This pre-social network is quite comfortable to be in. It is, so-to say, non-invasive. You'd never see a post from someone you didn't subscribe to. There are no ads. No mental viruses to pick-up. Just what a social media is meant to be for ordinary people to keep in touch with some friends. And of course there is no mobile client to ring a dozen times a hour. I just read my friends list when it is comfortable for me.

And I visit my facebook account weekly, via desktop browser, only to see what's up with my friends hanging up there.

I very seldom do likes, as I know that my likes could show up in my friends' feeds. There are NO notifications from social network or media on my phone. I call it "information hygiene".

And yes, like others mentioned, I've got A LOT of spare time for books, hobbies, movies etc.


- Was very active on twitter. Haven't opened the app in a while. - Linkedin is just my CV don't use the social stuff on it.

Besides being a software engineer I have a custom motorcycle shop. We use Instagram/Facebook and also my personal account gets more updates since I have the shop. If I wouldn't have a business that uses these platforms as lead generation I wouldn't' be using them either.

Between these two Instagram sucks. People just scroll through it and don't interact that much. Mostly other Instagram channels re-use motorcycle builds from the actual builders without attributing. They are more popular as it's easy to follow them as they post builds daily and people need their fix.

Our facebook is growing fast and interactions grow on it too. As platform its a bit better and people coming to our shop most of the times know us from facebook.


> Besides being a software engineer I have a custom motorcycle shop.

Software engineer AND owner of a custom motorcycle shop? Now THAT is a cool set of livelihoods!! As far as jobs go, you are my new hero!


My main beef with social media is that you can't have a decent conversation with anyone. Partially because everyone builds a network of like minded people and has little to no tolerance at all to opposite views, and partially due to the real name policy, all conversations seem to derail quite easily. Then you have sites like LinkedIn where everyone presents himself like they invented the cure for cancer. People seem so fixated on being right and pompous to the point that there's no real fun anymore in interaction. And if I can't discuss with strangers I don't see any point of joining social media sites. For me communities is all there is on sites like that.

A couple years ago I moved across Canada for work, and even after a couple years I still haven't met a ton of people here that aren't coworkers. And none of the people I met, I met over facebook. It was always through Meetup or Reddit. So long ago I uninstalled Facebook from my phone, and I have a localhost line to prevent my computer from going to the site. My phone has facebook messenger on it, and that's as far as I go, since that's how I stay in touch with most of my friends in BC. The messenger only option is fantastic, and taken even further by turning off those stupid floating chat bubbles. I can talk to them, but cannot see anything they post.

Do I feel like I missed anything about the people I care about? Yeah I kind of do, but mostly it's FOMO from seeing all my friends continue to do backpacking trips while I'm working in southern Ontario, so that's circumstantial. But on the whole? I couldn't care less. I had to turn off the localhost rule to sell some stuff on Marketplace, and I browsed my news feed for the first time in over a year, and it was a nightmare hellscape of stuff I just couldn't care less about. Better off with the filter.


> the sole reason I have taken photos is to share them via social media

That's quite a realization. I think it's true for a lot of people though and it's part of why people experience the best times of their life through a 6" display.


My experience is that rest of the world has moved on to group chats and sharing a lot there

In the US my experience is that tail end millenials and gen Z are gravitating to group chats too. Pretty much just millenials and older and the subset of those with no international friends are the people stuck on the public oversharing train. And some women that could pass in a forever 21 catalogue.


Yeah I totally see this trend too. I think there's a reasonable hybrid model between private group chats and traditional social networking (i.e. photo albums, events, payments, posts, etc).

In fact, I've been working on this idea for a while now and just launched on HN a few hours ago! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20933272. It's definitely a response to current trends of people leaving social media due to negative effects on social and mental health. I saw this happening to my friend groups first hand and knew something had to change.


Yep, I've noticed this. I'm in the younger part of the millenials, and am a teacher. My students pretty much all use Snapchat for group chats, and quite a few are using Discord, even if they're non-gamers. I use Discord, and have recently found myself trying to get more of my real-life friends into Telegram, and have multiple group chats running via SMS. It's just so much better, imo. Only reason I have Facebook is for some event notifications but I might delete it soon (deactivated it for over 6 months, didn't miss it).

From mid 90's to mid 2000's I was a social teenager, nobody took photographs (nobody owned a camera). I wish I had some pictures of those times. Places we went, people I no longer see. Not hundreds but a few to help me remember.

So maybe I disagree with this a bit, but then we all have different motivations.


The first time I quit social media, the strangest part of the experience was figuring out what to do with my random observations. Maybe I'd have a clever though, or see an interesting sight to photograph, and my old instinct was to share immediately. Without social media, I had to relearn how to let go and allow my thoughts fade into nothing. I'm glad I went through that--really showed me how my brain was being rewired in ways I don't care for.

I used to go on Facebook quite a lot, and then suddenly I just stopped. I haven't deleted my profile (a lot easier to find people I've lost touch with than trying to get a phone number or something) but for some reason it just doesn't tempt me, and it's very surprising. I'm on Reddit & YouTube far too much (and I would be here too much too if the front page weren't nearly so slow in comparison). I really just don't understand.

Main complaint with Facebook is how rigid the friendships are. There are people I'm friends with on Facebook that I haven't spoken to in ten years. But it feels weird to delete them. For some reason it feels natural to add everyone you know, even if you've only ever spoken to them for a single evening. To put it another way the edges of the Facebook friend graph don't have weights where the IRL graph does.

There is tendency to cynically comment "Yet another..." but I don't see how repetition makes this any less relevant. Social media seems to have clearly negative effect on most people. Herd animals have deep fear of being left out and that keeps people using them. They create little or no value.

If you have to send mail or message to people you want to interact with, it's more personal and works better.


What I find truly curious is how many people on HN (a social media) seem to agree that social media is bad.

I know this is anecdotal, but HN is the cause of a lot more of the bad things from social media in my life than Facebook is. Because I only use Facebook to organise events, meaning I log on two or three times a month. On the flip side I’ve just wasted five minutes of my life replying to you. I mean no offence by that, but there is fair chance we won’t even talk here because you may not see my reply (and I might not see yours if you do), and we’ll certainly never speak to each other again.

I think this blog-entry is insightful and well written, but are we going to remember it in two hours, or is it just another “baby picture” on the HN news feed?


HN HoD? I got 503 Service Unavailable.

Archived version: https://web.archive.org/web/20190911012911/https://joshcsimm...


For those on Windows, and who want a quick way to purge their Facebook data, I wrote a tool (that was favourably received on HN when I originally announced it) :

http://www.jaruzel.com/blog/how-i-erased-5000-facebook-comme...


I got all my teenage bullshit out on detroit.freenet.org. Now I'm farming HN points.

16 year old me is so disappointed in 45 year old me.


I guess it depends on what magical means, but the Mental Health Benefits, Enhanced Interpersonal Relationships and Presence the author lists after the conclusion do seem magical to me.

Having time to stop, think and/or have a conversation with another human being is a magical experience nowadays.


This is an unpopular opinion. But social media tends to exacerbate our own insecurities. So maybe dealing with the underlying problem is much a healthier way to solve social media addiction ? Also these dramatic measures like quit all social media is simply telling yourself "oh look, I am going to do this dramatic thing. I am taking action" without actually understanding that there's a middle-ground where you regulate your use and continue to reap some of the minimal benefits that social media has. Holding the middle-ground of regulated use is much harder, but definitely worth trying.

While it seems like nothing, the peace in my life is much greater with less influence from the gamified social media emotion casino. I am closer to where I feel like I need to be, whatever that may mean. Ymmv. Enjoy life.

I quit Facebook for a few years, it didn't do anything to my life one way or another, except maybe put me in a group of people others had to reach out "out of band" to invite to things, which practically meant I had to hear about events second hand or not go to things.

The emotional vitriol inspired by social media is completely unfounded. You can make it whatever experience you want; people just like to complain.

This article should be titled, "I don't know how to use social media so I gave up on it."


Yes! I’ve never used FB, and refuse to, as a result I miss all sorts of notification of things occurring because everyone seems to assume everyone does use it. Drives me nuts!

I keep hearing this, but all my friends just text me. I'm under 30 too. Maybe it's just that I have a small friend group. Though even my grad department informs me of events. We're all fairly close though, so maybe that makes a difference.

Agreed and pretty accurate way to describe all the people I know who quit Facebook.

The rest of us use Facebook or Messenger to organize events because there's a lot of us and it's the most convenient mechanism for organizing group activities. If people choose to opt out, it's up to the organizer whether they want to go through the additional mental effort of communicating everything to the Luddites through whatever special communication method they require.

Mostly, we just require the Luddites to find out about events and updates themselves. (Usually they find out by overhearing the rest of us talking about upcoming stuff as its being planned.)

The end result is usually that the Luddites get themselves back on to Facebook after 6 months of missing out on shenanigans.


Yeah the folks who are up in arms about Facebook can't really argue with the incredible utility of finally having everyone on a single platform. It's so easy to schedule things!

Missing out on invites can be a benefit to the time poor, which is probably most of us. I already don't have time for all the things I want to do and don't need the guilt of ignoring requests from people I rarely/never hang out with, I suspect this is why so many people select the maybe option to events.

I might miss an awkward BBQ with an old friend I never see but I'll be doing something else worthwhile, often with someone I have a more meaningful relationship with. And all the big events in life like weddings, funerals and major milestone birthday's are handled by personal invitations anyway.


I’m not sure whether this is just post college life but I feel like social media has really reduced the amount of direct interaction between people, both via phone / computer, and in real life.

I don’t really care to passively consume what my friends are doing, or broadcast to them what I’m doing; I want to interact with them.

Thus could be a millennial issue though - the next generation seems to use Snapchat and iMessage for much more direct interaction.


This is the best headline I've seen for a while. It was such a welcome contrast to the usual sales pitch that I laughed hard for a good minute.

I'm sure the 1000 days of meditation he experimented with, had a lot more impact on his mind/body/soul than his Social fasting. But a blend of both for most I think would be ideal. https://joshcsimmons.com/2019/05/21/meditaton-practice/

Am I wrong for stating that a social mediate is basically trying to say nothing happened to get more "atta-boys" from the social media empire at large?

I mean what you focus on is what has power. Social media doesn't deserve the power or respect that academia has, nor will it ever.Enforce social media to be purely academic and I might feel differently.


> The only logical reason I could figure for why this is done, is to make you feel bad about having a lower number than other people, otherwise why would they bother broadcasting this number, proudly at the top of your profile page, to other users?

The reason probably is so that people connect more and see more stuff from other people, and stay active on the network.

partialrecall: Of course it's motivated by profit.


Is that motivated by a desire to help the user, or does the social network have a more selfish motivation for driving user engagement? I think it's more the later than the former, though I expect the social network to pretend it's the former.

Writing yet another I quit social media and now my life is better but dishonestly saying in the title that nothing happened is clickbaitey

Right away in the first paragraph too. So much hypocrisy. Right alongside "I hate clickbait, and here are 10 reasons you should too."

For those worried they will become uninformed by disconnecting from news and social media. I highly recommend reading/listening to long-form history works. You can gain a lot of perspective and understanding from learning about what has happened in the past and you might be surprised by how useful such information is for being informed about what is happening at the moment.

I mainly use social media when waiting for the bus, on the metro, etc. It's nice to get some updates, but I very rarely share anything so I never fish for likes or compare myself to others. But I'm so happy that I grew up in the 80s-90s, I can't imagine how stressful it would be to have social media as a 12-15 year old...

I've been 2 years without Facebook, Instagram and others. I've kept my Twitter account, but I barely use it. When i quit Facebook and Instagram I noticed relief. Instant relief and huge amount of batery life. I also found out who were my true friends, they write me to my whatsapp or telegram or write emails. The rest where like fake friends.

I didn't sign up for Facebook until 2007 I think. It was only to keep in touch with friends from the military.

Since then I've made friends with people that I know, but no one beyond that. So I don't fall into the trap that a lot of other people seem to fall into (including the author).

That said, I think social media is something all of us can use a lot less of.


I stayed away from most social media sites and use mostly chat/email to stay in contact with friends. So I can relate to the point of having fewer and better relationships, but I found that you have to be more active for that to work. If you don't feel comfortable reaching out to people you will get lonely as well.

Interesting, I have noticed ("excuse based") defensive mechanism when it comes to this topic ...

most people I have witnessed start to use very poor arguments of why they want to stay on social networks ... very similar to people with "un-noticed" alcohol problem.

But yes, nothing magical happend without it. Just maybe realization how stupid it is.


>> Just maybe realization how stupid it is.

This is me and cable TV.

I'm curious what arguments you've heard that you think are stupid.

I like having a way to contact old class-mates, etc. I've moved a lot and feel very sentimental about a lot of old friends. On the other hand, there are other people I'd just as soon never hear from again. I'm torn on this. But it doesn't require me being active on social media anyway - just maintaining the friends list and occasionally messaging people.

I like it as a convenient way to share photos with people who give a crap - siblings like to see their nieces & nephews growing up, and my wife uses ChatBooks heavily. And I get a lot of positive feedback on my humorous posts - which I continue to do for my own ego and because I know other people get value from it.

But beyond that I find Facebook just makes me angry, and I rarely scan my feed and have unfollowed a lot of people who just post crap. I'm curious to hear other reasons I should use it less :)


Nothing magical happening is what's supposed to happen. I've seen lower stress levels simply because I'm not as connected to the news and political cycle. But that's also because I only check once a week. It's the new normal, which isn't magical, because it was also the old normal.

> I've seen lower stress levels simply because I'm not as connected to the news and political cycle.

Wouldn't that qualify as something magical happening?


I'd more define it as a return to normality. It sure doesn't feel magical. There's still stress in my life, just not dumb stuff like having to listen to my cousin go on anti vax rants.

> Just maybe realization how stupid it is.

This about sums up my experience in deleting Facebook. It seemed like a shallow form of communication at the time, now as an outsider it feels even more so. I do feel less stressed and emotionally burdened by constantly being exposed to everyone else though.


"“Why do I take photos?”"

This is a good question, and imo an underrated answer is to use them for digital journaling. I use an app called Journey which lets you make entries and attach photos to them, and this justifies taking photos to sort of help spur memories of fun events and such.


I ditched Facebook long ago, Twitter has waaayyy to much politics and I’m leaning toward closing down LinkedIn because it has gotten bad lately with too much news and ads... it’d already be closed if I hadn’t gotten my last three or four jobs from it.

Great experience, but I just can’t say goodbye to facebook, it just magnetically drags me in. I understand all the mechanisms for displaying relevant posts and ads, but I can not resist viewing them.

Quite Facebook back in the early days once I realized it was making me hate my own life.

Haven’t looked back and I’d like to think I’ve spent that time doing something better.

In reality I probably just filled that time with Netflix...


Unfollowed everyone on Facebook and now just use it as a rolodex. No more pointless scrolling through the news feed. Have done this for 2, maybe 3 years. There are browser extensions you can get that unfollow everyone.

I'm 47 and thinking of starting up! Nothing magical has happened either.

The article said he decided to quit THIS MONTH! Does that really justify an article on Sept 10th?

Edit: it seems like that was a typo in the article if he says he was off for a whole year. Pretty big typo, though.


I hate people. Getting rid of social media was amazing. No more people!

I don't know. I thought about quitting social media a lot, but I still think being a member of developer communities is something I want and need for my job and passion.

I wrote about this a few years ago too! https://link.medium.com/UUBEJ4ZOSZ

>I don’t think I have a lot of friends but it doesn’t bug me at all. I actively maintain (and I mean actively) about 10 friendships not including family

I have like 1, or 2.


Hi all, thanks for reading. It’s late here but excited to read comments tomorrow. Please be patient with the site, it’s getting the HN hug and keeps going offline.

I wish I could do the same, to be honest.

In my job, I'm required every day to consume a lot of information from many different platforms.

It turned me into Content Junkey


I really like ello, I have no friends but still get a few random likes and views on the bs I see that feels artsy

Nothing magical, but he seems pretty pleased with the results. He's not returning to social media.

He made the resolution this month? Poring, not pouring. Clued in to?

And that was just in the first few paragraphs.


Why was the title changed to remove the “and nothing magical happened” part, @mods?

sigh Too bad this is now the special case. While I agree this is me just having a get off my lawn moment, I liked it better when you just talked to your friends on the phone. With lands lines, and all their beautiful fidelity.

But, can't be a Luddite. It's here to stay, like smoking, and I tolerate it as such.


I hear ya. By my rough calculation, I lived for about 33 years without social media. It was nice.

+5 years here and still not missing anything about social media whatsoever.

One magical thing happened: your site broke. Good problems, etc.

Op looks like your server quit in you too. Getting 503 error.

biggest reason to quit: time. all those 30 second to 5 min checks add up through the days/months/years.

Sounds like a poor millennial affliction.

I quit social media and posted about it on social media and got a whole bunch of likes and retweets.

Can't read because the site got HN'ed but upvoted anyway. shrugs

> I made a resolution in September of 2019 that I would quit social media indefinitely.

good start.


I am pretty sure that's a typo and they mean 2018.

Time travel isn't necessarily magical.

But thanks for posting this so I didn't feel obligated to.


> the people that were going to come, were going to come anyways.

This is the same for you aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews

You’ll keep in touch with the ones you actually care about and vice versa

HNLurker2 6 days ago [flagged]

Can't read the article Simmons. What the fuck dude?

Could you please stop posting unsubstantive comments to Hacker News? You've been doing it repeatedly, and we ban accounts that post like that.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: