Have you ever pondered leaving the slog of social media platforms behind for a simpler, less connected life? Sounds appealing, right?
Then, perhaps, you remembered the benefits and started to consider what you might be missing out on—personally and professionally—if you ditched them completely.
How do you make the choice to say goodbye, for good?
Miranda Krajniak, Executive Director, UICA, left behind social media—specifically Facebook and Instagram—three years ago and hasn't looked back.
"I let both of them go at the same time," said Krajniak. "However, I did start a LinkedIn to assure that I had some kind of public profile to make up for my ghosting."
Krajniak was bothered by the performative aspect of social media and felt constant pressure to make the mundane moments of her life interesting and crop them into something beautiful—an unnecessary use of her time.
"I love the privacy of not having social media. My choices, opinions, where I eat, who I am with, and how I live my life are no longer for public consumption."
The positive effects of Krajniak's decision abound.
Since closing down her Facebook and Instagram accounts, Krajniak has subscribed to The New York Times online and spends more of her downtown reading about what's happening in the world.
"No one can tag terrible photos of you mid-sentence at a cocktail party. You aren't stopping your meal, conversation, or walk to take a picture, then another picture—but from a different angle—and cropping and tagging it."
Frankly, Krajniak notes, without a platform to share, you'll find yourself taking few pictures with your phone and you'll eventually stop thinking about it altogether.
"Lastly, you can embrace being mysterious—a highly underrated trait."
When it comes to negative drawbacks, Krajniak offers some considerations.
"There are important conversations that happen online that I am not a part of, which leaves me out of the loop. That loss of connection to the community online is the biggest drawback.
"Also, people will ask your friends if you're OK and alive. Seriously, it happens."
Krajniak is invited to fewer events these days, yet sees that as both pro and con.
"I left social media knowing that it could negatively impact my career, but risk is kind of my thing. Being good and diligent in your work matters more than if you update an Instagram."
Her advice to those thinking about leaving it all behind?
Let people know how they can contact you, well in advance.
"It takes time for people around you to adjust to emailing instead of using Facebook," said Krajniak.
"They do get used to it and you will end up with more coffee dates instead. Coffee is better than Facebook Messenger any day."
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.