Social Media

Goodbye Social Media – I Need A Break From Our Relationship

By Leslie Samuel

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Dear Social Media,

We’ve been together now for . . . man . . . has it really been that long? I can’t even remember when our relationship started. I think it was back with Myspace (or was it Hi5).

Wow, that means that we’ve probably been together for almost a decade now. Ahh, the memories.

Our relationship hasn’t been all that bad. Quite frankly, we’ve had some great times.

Because of you, I’ve been able to reconnect with so many friends that i haven’t seen in so long. From all the way back in elementary school to friends I met on different trips around the world.

08_11_Goodbye_Social_Media_PinterestWe went through a number of phases. Remember when I refused to make the shift from Hi5 to Facebook because I didn’t want to learn something new? To be honest, I was just playing hard to get.

Despite all of the good times we’ve had, it’s time for us to take a break – And yes, you should’ve seen this coming.

See, things just aren’t the same and I need to take some time to reevaluate my priorities.

Over the last few years, I’ve started seeing that things are taking an interesting turn and I don’t like it.

I’ve seen you go from that cool new service we check in with from time to time to an all-consuming entity that we just can’t seem to get away from.

I remember back in the days when I’d be out with my friends, and we would just enjoy being in each others company – having actual conversations and maybe even fooling around.

We can’t even have a simple conversation anymore without one of us feeling the need to check in with you to see how you’re doing.

Not just that – I often find myself out in public with people and we’re not even paying attention to each other, because you’re there. You’re ALWAYS there!

And to be honest, sometimes I’d be hanging out with my wife and son, but not really paying attention to them, because I’m spending time with you.

But that’s not the worst. The worst is how you are changing our focus to ourselves.

You encourage us to share EVERYTHING about our lives at EVERY point. We now have a longing to go viral. We post pictures, videos and simple status updates hoping to get your approval with your likes and shares and if we don’t get as many likes as we’d hope, we sometimes wonder what we did wrong and why you aren't pleased.

We want to be famous. We are becoming our own idols. We are becoming the center of our own universe.

I’ve even taken courses from your “gurus” that have taught me how to use you in the right way to become famous and and after all that I’ve learnt, I’ve decided that I don’t want it. I don’t want to be the focus.

I want to focus on helping and enriching the lives of others. I want to listen to what people are saying. I want to be present in the moment, and I don’t want YOU controlling any of that.

Here’s the funny thing – you don’t even care about me the way I care about you.

All you care about is my information, so that you can take advantage of me to make money.

Social Media, you have become my pimp and I’ve become your whore. – (and yes, you can click here to tweet that)

If you don’t get what I’m saying, just read this article that was written in the Huffington Post about some of what you’re doing. You are straight up using me and telling me right to my face.

You use me and abuse me to simply sell me to the highest bidder.

Well, it stops now. Yep, I’m taking back control. Here’s how this is going to work (and I’m not asking for your feedback).

As of right now, we will not have any contact. Not on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google plus or any of your many arms.

(Hey . . . stop talking . . . it’s not your turn. You’ve said enough.)

I’m honestly not sure for how long. At first, I was thinking that it would last around a week. There’s something about a week-long fast from you that sounded kinda fun. However, I realized that it would probably take about a week just for me to recalibrate and stop thinking about you so much.

Then, I will need some time to plan how I will navigate your waters. How much time? I don’t know. Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month.

The key thing is this – YOU won’t be the one to decide. I will be the one to decide and you won’t have a say in the matter.

As someone whose income is fully dependent on my online efforts, I see that it can be easy to let you control me, and I’ve decided to be intentional about not letting that happen.

And you know what – I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok. I survived without you for most of my life, and I will survive this brief separation. If you're wondering what I'll be doing while we're away from each other, here are just a few of the things that come to mind: [unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • Spend more quality time with my family
  • Call up some friends and have conversation on the phone (yep, the phone – not your messenger)
  • Nothing – like actually do nothing. That's a good thing too
  • Write more – it's such a fun thing to do
  • Work on really building my business without having you as a constant distraction
  • Whatever I feel like doing. Yep, that's what I'll do (without YOU)

I hope you have a great time without me for a while. I know you’ll be ok as you’ll just go on to use everyone else. That’s just how you roll.

So that’s pretty much it. I wish you all the best and look forward to working things out in the future.



  • I’m with you Leslie. I cut back drastically after realizing much of what you speak of and definitely after reading an article from a photographer titles “why I deleted all my social media accounts” by Smogranch. The crazy thing is that many of is will read this and be offended by it, because you are being disrespectful to someone we are in a VERY serious relationship with. Technology and social media is somethjng I want to own. Not be owned by. Thanks for sharing.

    • What? Am I seeing correctly? Did Adrian just comment on my blog post? Great! That means I’m wearing him down. He’ll be blogging soon 😉

      But seriously, I really think this social media thing is getting out of hand. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can surely speak for myself. It’ll be interesting to see how this whole “experiment” goes.

    • So as you know this has been an issue for me for a while. I only have FB, but still I feel the need to just come off every now and then. Skimmed the article and here’s what resonated with me: “Social media had become my default brain space.” This is my primary issue. About two months ago I closed my FB account to focus on some projects at hand. I immediately found a sweet mental silence arise in its absence. I was like, “oh my gosh is this how normal people live?” Especially for those of us trying to walk a spiritual path, that silence is critical to hearing a certain “still, small voice”. I realized long ago that constantly playing music wasn’t going to work for me, bc, well my life isn’t a movie and I don’t need a soundtrack. It was hard bc I was raised on music like some people are raised on porridge. In the end, I opted out of the Ipod thing and I’m fine. (twitch, twitch) But this social media companion isn’t feeling right either. We’ll see how things settle. Blessings to you as you figure out what works for you as you strive to live life, and not simply exist.

    • I like that – “my life isn’t a movie and I don’t need a soundtrack”. It’s interesting how we just love to find stuff to fill in the silence as if the silence is a bad thing. We’re easily bored when not entertained. We have to be constantly doing something to feel like we’re accomplishing something. Thanks for sharing sis.

    • Loved your post, Leslie, and reading this photographer’s article also helped me a lot with my own realization about my need for someone’s full attention to appreciate and connect with what I need to sell…obvious, yet it feels like an epiphany!

      With Facebook, I’m essentially expecting to sell art that costs more than the average “impulse sale” to an audience looking only for impulse stimulation.

      Which brings me to my email subscribers and blog posts. So far, I’ve been designing my emails to be the eye candy that entices subscribers to click through to the real value content on my blog (full story about the piece with more visuals), but I’m apparently giving them all they need in my emails because the click throughs are few and far between, yet they tell me they love my emails…needless to say, no one’s making it past the blog to the online gallery…

      So it makes me wonder if a visit to my blog is one action too many.

      I could put my whole “blog post” in the email instead and make the click-through option to just that piece in the online gallery…or…I could do what you did with this email post…write a couple of curiosity building sentences with a good headline and get them to the blog, THEN hope they go further, onto the gallery…but it seems like one step too many based on my results.

      How do we determine the answer to that question?

      This whole social media discussion has made me rethink how I should be finding email subscribers who have the connection to my subject matter and a visual attention span long enough to buy art…

      Thank you for posting this!!

    • Michelle, that’s a difficult question to answer without knowing more about your blog, your emails, your subscribers etc. But, the best answer I can give is to test. Test different things and see what works best for you 🙂

    • Hey Leslie, read the article by “Smogranch.” Quite interesting.
      Just had this conversation with my roommate about social media and realized we are both addicted.
      So, I decided to delete my Facebook and whatsapp because their taking up 80% of my day.
      I’ll focus on things that makes me happy, like reading, beading, crochet and get some exercise.

      Thank you for the work you do and continue sharing with us.

      God bless you my brother.

  • Strange … I am taking the same exit myself — in two weeks or less. Need more time to focus on my consulting company, family, fun and retirement. Besides … I don’t trust the access to and use of my data, personal information, etc. Great post …

  • I totally agree with you Leslie….!! We are getting connected with the friends & families who are far away BUT getting disconnected with those who are sitting right next to us.

    I think I can give it a try for a few days or a week to test 🙂

    • Haha, that’s a funny question. Yep – I’ll be back in time, but by then, I’ll hopefully have a well thought out plan of action. I don’t think Social Media is bad, but it can be bad if we aren’t in control. And hey, if I’m gonna be speaking at the SOCIAL MEDIA success summit, I should probably be on there at least a little 😉

  • Leslie, I don’t know if I can join the Amen Chorus. Will you not be disconnecting from your clients who provide you with income? I know life is not all about money, but when the wolf is at the door you have to feed him. To what extent are you disconnecting? FB? Twitter? Google+? The whole smack? I assume your blogging and YT vid output will continue or are you cutting that off as well? The digital tide is carrying us all along for the ride. It’s the new business model for the world. Shopping malls are surely dead and ordering and buying online is future for now, until an emp or X-class direct impact sun flare takes out all IC circuits. But I guess all of us have to sail our own course. I am just trying to understand what you’ve just written about and how it will effect your business in the long term. I do wish you all the best though, whether you stay or go. I really do. You have a good heart and spirit. It’s great to be able see it from our end, the people who respect and admire you.

    • Hi Frederick, great questions. Actually, I will be connecting with them even more and on a deeper level. However, I won’t be doing it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. I will be focusing on creating more value for the Become A Blogger University members. I will be calling some of them up to provide them with extra help. I will still be focusing on creating and sharing great content. However, it won’t be on those social networks.

    • Yep, one thing for sure Social Media can be a real time killer/waster and diversion from what you need to focus on to be successful. You gotta control it, it can’t control you. But then again, almost 7 billion people, the population of the entire planet, is connected, using, or subscribed to a social media site around the world. And if you are selling product or service you gotta fish where the fish are. That’s why network broadcasting, which is where I spent a career in senior mgmt., was so successful, not so much now but still raking in the cash. We went for the mass audience, “broadcasting” to as many people as possible to sell products or services for advertisers. I am glad you are not disappearing. I really do appreciate what you are doing for people. You are one of the best at your craft.

  • I agree Leslie
    I have just uninstalled the new messenger app after reading your post and the huffington post article. Good on you for getting the word out!

  • Apart from some work with G+ I haven’t really even got going with Facebook or Twitter and I don’t think I’m missing out on much apart from a whole load more work to be “connected” which personally I don’t think makes that much difference anyway because i cant devote the time to chasing every possible conversation, comment etc that you end up following.

    With time in limited supply we need to concentrate on things that really work and are important like blogs , Youtube, Podcasts and REAL LIFE rather than fall hook liner and sinker for the Gurus selling even more training on how to be everywhere.

    We are very much in danger of spreading ourselves so thin that we will end up burning ourselves out without really achieving anything.

  • Hey Leslie, I’m seeing these “social media fasts” happen more and more frequently man, even I decided to cut back on it, went on a small one week vacation with my wife and decided to not do anything online with special focus on social media.

    The results were amazing.

    No more noise in my head, no more having dozens of things going on at the same time, social media is kind of all over the place and we don’t even realize it.

    There are people that can differentiate quality time from messing around but sometimes we get so used to doing both that the line starts becoming thinner and thinner.

    I think you’ll do great man, nice call! 😉


    • I think that’s a huge part of the issue Sergio – all the noise in my head. I find it sometimes difficult to just think about one thing without my brain jumping all over the place. It’s time to take control 🙂

  • So I just realized something interesting – whenever I open up a new tab in my browser, I automatically type an “f” for Facebook and press enter. Facebook is the “default” place I go online. Fortunately, I installed an app that blocks all of my social media sites so that it loads up nothing 🙂

  • Great post Leslie. I am sure that most of us have been thinking about the same things that you mentioned here, I know that I have been. I have been thinking about taking a weekly social media fast on the weekends so that I can focus more on my wife and daughter. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for these insights. I have often wondered the real benefit of social media, at present I use Twitter to promote blog posts, I do not have Facebook.
    I think our money comes from just plain old blog content and as much as we like to have all kinds of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, those do not necessarily become customers without content.

    For the limited time that I have available, I would prefer to read good blogs, learn from those and also to enhance by own blog.

    Thanks for your insights on what is a truly important matter.

    • You are very much welcome Dave. For me it’s not all about “where the money comes from” although that does play a part in my decision making process, since my business depends on what I do online.

  • I just finished my annual social media fast (no phone, no computer, nothing besides music) this weekend, and man I loved it. and i know you will too. Yes, I felt myself wanting to check in on what everyone was doing when I got back on the grid, but at the same time, I really didn’t miss it at all. It’s so wonderful just experiencing life without having to seek approval from all your FB acquaintances that you’re not even close to anyway.
    PS – I’ve got your number, so I may be hitting you up later this week or first of next to ask you about scheduling and some other blog-related things.
    ENJOY your time away!

  • Great post Leslie! I’ve been toying with the idea for some time now but I haven’t had the nerve to totally break free from Social Media. After reading your article I’m going to try and cut back as much as I can and focus more on real relationships instead of virtual ones. Thanks for being brave and telling it like it is. I will be mentioning this post in my upcoming Podcast this week.

    Best Regards,


  • I so totally agree, Leslie. I have noticed that I’ll get a rush from a lot of “likes” on Facebook, but the catch is that I usually get those likes for my shallow or silly posts. The posts that I spend a little time on in order to pass on something of true value hardly get a nod. Upon realizing that, I stepped back and re-evaluated my “relationship” with social media. At this time, I use social media for my purposes–not the other way around. I post a link a day to some helpful article (like this one by you!), and when I post to my blog, I post that link and a couple of comments about it. Other than that, I maintain my distance. I don’t want to get sucked in to that false sense of identity that is measured by whether or not others approve of (“like”) me. Thanks for a great article!

  • Hi Les, yes finally someone who dares to speak open heatedly about the invisible spell of social media. In my case I don’t see social media as a must, I see it more as a playful thing and don’t take it too seriously. Keep on going my friend, peace and happiness, Hans

  • Amen Brother.
    And you did not even mention how the relationship has become one Big Ad after another – Perhaps we should start calling it “Selling Media.”
    And to think it starting out to find girls?! OR was what we see now the plan all along.
    It really does not have to be all about the Money – does it?
    I enjoyed the way said your Good Bye.

    • Yeah – I understand them trying to make money, but I can definitely see how they are going a bit too far. And we just tend to go along blindly. They make it so easy to do that.

  • Andrew – that’s what concerns me the most – what’s happening to the younger generation. Part of why I’m doing this is I don’t want to set a bad example for my son. I agree with the restricted time. Yes, I think Social media can be a great thing if we use it well.

  • Leslie … My personal definition of “professor” is “one who teachers at the highest level of pedagogy. In your case, he is one who imparts knowledge, causing his students to mindfully ponder assumptions and question the status quo. You have achieved each of these responses with your current post. You’ve caused us to consider the assertions you make regarding your relationship with Social Media … which in some cases mirrors our own.

    If the truth be told, I often find myself sucked into a swirling black hole “powered” by Social Media … only to emerge hours later with “precious little” of value to show for the experience. Facebook is the only SocMed distraction I’m hooked on … so I’m going to focus on that ravenous beast. 🙂

    Unlike you, I don’t have the stamina to go on a Social Media “Fast” … but I CAN commit to spending only ONE hour each day on Facebook. With all the product creation and marketing projects on the “front burners” of my work-life, I should have made this decision a long long time ago. It simply never occurred to me. THANK YOU, LESLIE, for continuing to “teach” at the highest level of pedagogy. I appreciate your bodacious personal declaration. Shalom!

    • Thanks for the kind words Sheila,

      In terms of this post, I’m definitely not saying that everyone should go on a Social Media “fast”, but I am saying that we have to take control and not let it control us. It’s so easy to let that happen.

      Glad to hear that my post made you think. That’s always good 🙂

  • I don’t use lots of social media, just facebook and that is only for family. It’s how I stay connected, I don’t check in everyday unless something special is going on, like the wedding we had last weekend. We had family driving in from out of town and it was good to know where they were on their journey and when they would be getting into town. We all stayed very connected, I don’t have a smart phone so I checked in every couple of hours on my computer. It let us know who was doing what and where to do meet-ups. But for some it is very addictive and even when we were all together some were constantly checking in with facebook on their phones and not being present with the people they came to see. I still have a flip phone that I leave in my car with a car charger, it’s for me to call out if I need to as I live 30 miles from town and several miles up a dirt road. But of course last weekend I carried it everywhere I went, but I don’t have internet service on it. Thanks for the link to Huffingtonpost, I shared it on my facebook page, I loved the Smogranch link also, so I am sharing it and this one too. We have several private groups where we share recipes and animal care information, but these are not places you have to go everyday. All I can say is I’m glad I’m not addicted, at least not yet. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll be mindful about my use.

    • Hi Jody,

      Facebook (and social media) definitely have their positive points. Quite frankly, I love it and think it’s great. But all should be done in moderation. That’s the key. It sounds like you have a pretty good balance and that’s great. I’ll be joining you soon 😉

  • Leslie, an interesting and timely post! I cut back on Social Media about one month ago and have since felt a great relief with a weight off my shoulders. I also cut back on reading email – obviously yours got my attention!

  • Good for you Leslie, I feel the similar to you. I don’t put any personal details on Social Media and that goes against everything that the gurus say. I just put the usual quotes with the promotional text. I’ve said similar things privately myself so I completely understand. I’m only on FB and I’m told I should be on LinkedIN and Twitter by the experts. Social Media has it’s place and is very powerful thats for sure. I’ll still stay on FB for now as I too have connected with really great people. I appreciate your post, maybe it’s the beginning of change again. Your wonderful Leslie, you know I found you without Social Media!

    Kerrie 🙂

    • The interesting thing is that I have absolutely no problem sharing personal details on Social Media and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think Social Media is becoming much more personal and an extension of our real lives. However, I do think it has to be controlled. I’m glad you found me however you did 🙂

  • Oh Leslie I couldn’t agree with you more. I love my blog and talking with people there on a one-to-one basis. But as for the rest of social media – it all takes too much time.
    You just keep your emails and blog posts coming and we’ll all continue to love you and keep connected that way.

  • I so appreciate this post. Everything you said resonated with me. I’ve read that your brain releases some type of chemical (dopamine??) whenever you see you have mail and you become addicted to it. I can see it happening to myself and I don’t like it.

    Are you planning to deactivate your accounts or just ignore they exist?

    • Hi Elisabeth, I don’t plan on deactivating my accounts. I see a lot of value in my accounts and will continue using them in the future. However, I will do so on my terms.

  • I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND HOW YOU FEEL! I have been where you are MANY MANY TIMES! Especially when i was blogging for business. Now that my blog’s more laid back i don’t feel the same push to be all over social media. I didn’t even make a FB Fanpage this time around and it’s SO GREAT!! And the blog is STILL growing strong. Social Media helps but honestly it’s overrated lol. Youtube is still great tho. Gotta give youtube love.

    • Yep, you understand. I wouldn’t say that social media is overrated as much because it can be extremely powerful, but it can taken overboard. I look forward to using it again but in a more controlled way.

  • Hello Leslie, I am so happy to read your post!! I’m glad I am not the only one feed up with Social Media and the clutter that it creates in your business/lifestyle. Social Media is sssoooo demanding, its driving me crazy. I have never had a personal facebook account, and just use it be a business page. I stopped using social media . have felt a huge relief not feeding these ‘time consuming monsters’. I also stopped using apps on my mobile phone as I found lots of security breaches from these apps (which I did not realise at the time of downloading them). I’m sure my email addresses were being sold to the highest bidder – the amount of spam to my account increased 500% after installing apps to my mobile phone. After reviewing many apps permission levels and thinking why the heck do they want access to my calender, emails & personal images, so I deleted all of my apps 6 months ago and couldn’t be happier. Now instead of focussing on wasting my time with social media, I now have the time to focus in building more quality content and videos for my websites and providing my customers with great content and products.
    Again, Thank you for your great email. take care, Karen

    • Just thought of one other thing-just for fun: for the Star Trek Fans, social media is like being part of the Borg ‘collective or hive’ (The Borg force other species into their collective and connect them to “the hive mind”). hee hee

    • Oh wow, deleting all apps. That’s an interesting concept. I don’t see myself going there as I use a lot of apps for business purposes. I definitely try not to use apps that aren’t from sources I trust.

      But yes – it’s so easy to waste time.

  • Leslie,

    I find your article ironic; maybe you should have removed all the social media share elements as well as commenting using social media :-).

    I understand where you are, but don’t blame social media, blame us (people). It’s like blaming alcohol for creating alcoholics. It’s not the alcohol fault; its the people.

    Like anything that’s new, we latch on to it and then when it fades, we find the next thing. This too will pass.

    I use social media to connect with my customers, keep in touch with friends and family. It’s not the only means, just some. I still talk to people face to face; visit them, touch them. I still call on the phone. I still am present when with my friends. I was in a very remote area this past weekend and social media kept me in touch with people, family and friends. I saw my 69 year old uncle use social media like a pro. So like everything else, its how you use it.

    I enjoy sharing my life with my friends, family and customers; not ready to “break up with social media” just yet.

    PS: How do you plan on communicating with your customers? Just via email and podcast?


    • Haha, the irony of it all.

      I hear you Kerwin, but remember – I didn’t say I’m giving up social media forever. I’m just taking a little break to reevaluate our relationship. We both have our faults and my faults cause me to have to step away from its faults for a little while 😉

      I think social media is great. If not, I wouldn’t consider giving her a second chance. However, I need some time to figure myself out. It’s not her, it’s me. I take responsibility for that 😀

      Anyways, most of the communication with my customers is already done via email, my podcast and my blog. I will continue to do that. I can’t really say that social media has been responsible for a significant amount of customers for me, but I can’t disregard it either.

      Don’t worry man, I’ll be back. You shall see me on Facebook again in the future 😀

  • I am currently number 1 top user on a small social network called I have been wondering if I should just concentrate on being top dog there and use their sharing technology to update Facebook and twitter?

  • Hi Leslie – interesting post, today!!
    I agree with your point of view – Facebook, Twitter etc., are extreme ‘time stealers’, but surely, can be very useful as a marketing tool, particularly in tandem with other online strategies?

  • Great points! While I am not ready yet to give up on Social Media but I am thinking about how to minimize it. I can’t wait to hear how you decide to use Social Media after your Social Media “fast”.

  • Right there with you, Leslie. Although, I will miss your joining the love fest Jared and I have on Twitter every now and again. I disconnect for many hours on the weekend to devote to taking care of me and my family. Social media is awesome, but there is nothing like having real connections where you talk and hang out.

  • Yes, I TOTALLY agree with your blog on this one! I find that trying to do business or anything else on the computer takes entirely too much time. Computers rob us of time in ways too numerous to count. We lose sleep time. We lose productivity time while waiting for them to work, whether we’re at home or waiting at the store or the bank for them to kick in their programs. They rob us of our future time by eating up our present time, thereby shortening days or weeks available to us to accomplish future goals.

    The “Like” concept on Facebook has also cheapened, if not destroyed, the concept and value of friendship in society. Also, people do not bother spending quality time with each other anymore even if they live in the same house. I have also noticed that people pay more attention to their computers and iPhones than they do the behavior and character development of their own children. Computer screens also encourage us to “hide” behind them so we don’t have to deal with the world face-to-face. It’s another method of conflict avoidance.

    Human relationships, and our view of the world and its people, have also become very distorted because of the government, media, and marketing use of computers. And yes, like so many of you, I loathe being tracked every time I make a purchase, I’m sick of the ads that pop up right after I buy something. Like the landscape outside, or the channels on my TV, I cannot look anywhere and not see advertising. You’d think advertising and sex were all there is to life if the only impression you had to go by was 5th Avenue advertising. None of this will change unless computer users change their priorities and their habits.