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May 16, 2019

How to Stay Connected (While Disconnecting from Social Media)

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Social media is everywhere. It comes in the form of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest and thousands of other platforms. It helps connect people and communities around the globe and some platforms boast billions of users. While social media has its benefits, it also has a few drawbacks. Several scientific studies have pointed to evidence that social media increases levels of depression and anxiety in users. Some platforms even promote feelings of isolation, despite their purpose being to connect users. Not to mention, they often contribute to reduced privacy.

With the deficits of social media becoming more apparent, many people are choosing to limit their time on platforms and some are disconnecting altogether, in a variety of ways. That poses another dilemma: how do you remain part of a connected world while not being connected yourself? Thankfully, there are a number of ways. First, you need to know the most common reasons for using social media. They include:

  • Staying connected with friends and family
  • Easily accessing news in one place
  • Making new contacts
  • Spending spare time
  • Storing memories

For each of these reasons, there are a few solutions to staying connected without using social media.

Staying Connected With Friends and Family

Social media connects us. It is called social media for a reason. This is the most common reason for people to use each platform. They want to keep in touch with friends and family, and social platforms are one of the best ways to do it. However, it isn’t the only way. If you want to disconnect online, reach out to the friends and family you genuinely want to keep in touch with. Ask for their phone numbers, email addresses, and home addresses. It may take a little more effort but you can text, call, email and even hand-write them letters to stay in touch, rather than mindlessly “liking” their posts online.

Easily Accessing News in One Place

Social media is increasingly becoming a home for businesses and news outlets. They have another way to connect with audiences and stay relevant in the evolving consumer landscape. This trend means it’s easy to follow all of your favourite news sources online and keep track of current news in one place. If this is your main reason for using social media, there are a few options you can try to disconnect. The fastest way to gather your news in one place is to set alerts on Google based on your interests. They’ll send you an email once a day gathering all the news related to your alert. The other method is a little more old school (and potentially more expensive) but you can also note which news sources you like the most and visit their websites every day or have their publication sent right to your door, if they have a print version.

Making New Contacts

Some people enjoy using social media to make new friends or professional connections. While you may limit your reach by disconnecting, you can still make those new connections offline. Try attending events in your city, visiting places meant for socializing, or even using a website to match you with a pen pal.

Spending Spare Time

Social media is a great way to kill time and boredom. Scrolling through statuses, photos, and tweets is low-effort and easily accessible. However, there are dozens of other options to choose when it comes to killing time. Try out a new hobby, get some exercise, clean the house, meal prep for the week. It becomes much easier to disconnect when other activities take up your spare time.

Storing Memories

Many people use social media as a way to store and share memories from past events in their lives. However, there are dozens of other options to store your photos and memories. When it comes to written memories, try using a journal instead. For photos, you can store them online using cloud services, or by using hardware devices like hard drives or USBs. If you want to go a little more old-school, print out your favourites and start a scrapbook or basic photo album.

Just because social media is everywhere doesn’t mean it has to be the only way to be social. With a little bit of dedication, it’s just as easy to remain connected while being social media-disconnected.

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