Are you strong enough to quit social media sites for good?These days, social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, can be blamed for just about everything: your expanding waistline, your narcissistic tendencies, your low self-esteem, and every relationship conflict imaginable. So what would actually happen if you quit logging in and stopped perusing meaningless status updates, photos of your friends' babies, and mundane tweets about breakfast, lunch, and dinner? We asked Shine readers to confess why they finally decided to "log out" for good.
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"I started updating my Facebook statuses daily and tweeting at celebrities hourly. Then, I hit rock bottom. I started posting pictures of food I pretended to cook on Instagram. This was an all-time low. I suddenly realized that I had to stop; otherwise, this may perpetuate into posting pictures of friends I didn't have or concerts I didn't attend. Where would it end? I knew what I had to do. I had to delete my Instagram account. I felt the need to constantly post pictures and share my life through my iPhone camera lens. I felt like I couldn't enjoy the scenery since I always had this photo obligation to Instagram. It was time for us to go our separate ways." -- Alyssa Zavislak, "Why I parted ways with Instagram"
"Websites like Facebook should be renamed 'PityPartyPlanet.com.' Go ahead -- post about the exciting, new developments in your life. Chances are, your 'friends' will be slow to congratulate you. Yet, when Bleak Becky over there tells everyone how she just got a paper-cut (with pics!), she will enjoy a flood of sympathetic comments. Though I was becoming tired of knowing exactly when my friend was having a cup of coffee, clipping their toenails or scratching their butt, I hung around because everyone else did. Then, one day, I got my bank statement and found that my checking account had a $1,800 over draft, when I should have had about $5,000. The police advised me that identity thieves were starting to use social media websites to gather information about their targets. While you may not post your SSN on Facebook, seemingly benign info can help them hack your email and get your bank information. I deleted my accounts. I have no regrets." -- C Carr, "Why I committed social media suicide (and haven't looked back)"
"What I did most, and realized that a lot of other people did as well, was brag about things that were going on in my life. It was like I needed other people's validation through their 'likes' to believe that I was actually having a great life. Not only that, but I would take it personal if I logged on and didn't receive any notifications. 'Did people not like me or find me interesting?' As this continued, I realized that I was being completely stupid. I was way too engulfed in a site that seemed to do nothing but make me feel a bit bad about myself." -- Ishaw Thorpe, "Why I quit Facebook"
"I started playing Farmville. I made a Sims Social character. I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. That is, tending fields as a farmer, and developing a character with creative talent. The problem: these were online characters, and what I truly wanted was to be living the lives of my characters. So I decided to apply to graduate school for Fine Arts. I knew I was moving to New York City, hopefully as an art student, to live the life I dreamed. Immediately I made a file folder that listed each school's application requirements and deadlines. Time was precious, and I knew it was either Facebook and Twitter, or the applications. I knew what I wanted most, so I said goodbye to social media. Yes, I was accepted to school. Yes, I moved to New York City. Yes, I got my life back." -- Talia Sukol, "How I got my life back"
"I was recently talking to a boy that had some type of illogical hold on my emotions. I found myself stalking his social media accounts every time his hot head decided it was 'over.' He would post things all over his Twitter that would discreetly insult me. I couldn't peel my eyes off the screen when I read his insecure jabs at me. After months of this back and forth, I realized the things I had read on Twitter were keeping me in that toxic relationship. Unfortunately, I don't have much willpower, and I had trouble keeping myself from looking at his posts. Even after blocking him, it was still too easy for me to see his hateful words. It took me a while, but I came to realize that the healthiest thing to do in this situation was to just walk away. So that's what I did: I took a serious break from Twitter." -- Hannah Reed, "Toxic tweets: Why I quit Twitter"
"It is embarrassing how many times I have attempted to quit Facebook. As a college student with many colleagues, friends, acquaintances and relatives, quitting Facebook once and for all was no easy feat. I would constantly have friends asking 'where I went' as they talked to me face-to-face, which is hilariously ironic come to think of it. The moment I finally quit Facebook was for the sole reason that I was utterly sick of it. I was sick of seeing friends getting engaged (happy for them, but I don't need to be reminded of it every single day), whiny comments about the state of our country (why don't you go DO something about it?), and pointless 'Hey, wuzzup? Not much' IM sessions. I would check Facebook because I was bored or lonely. The least I can do when I'm bored is do something productive, like paint a picture, write a story, or go hiking with some friends. These activities never 'waste' time; they enhance the experience of life itself." -- Heather Thomas, "Why I quit Facebook and Twitter"
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"It wasn't until the college of my dreams put my application on hold because my GPA had dropped that I realized just how much time I'd been wasting away on the computer, one tab always, always open on Facebook. I quit because it got in the way of my schoolwork and social life. I quit to show myself I had some form of self-discipline, that a mere website couldn't have so much control over my precious time. Now here I am, seven months and one week clean." -- Laney Hult, "The phenomena called 'Facebook'"
Tell us, did you have the willpower to quit a social media website, or are you afraid you will miss out on friends' updates?
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