How You Can Be Happy and Make More Money By Quitting Social Media

This is the exact strategy I follow for myself and my business.

Becoming an online entrepreneur is easy.

You just create one account on each social platform. Then you buy a subscription for a social media posting scheduler.

You then create content and post everywhere. And lo! At the end of the month, you have thousands of dollars piling in your checking account.

Or at least that’s what most people think of running an online business. And while I had a more nuanced view of online entrepreneurship, I still thought social media is the biggest piece of the puzzle.

It seems a no-brainer at first. You’d want to be where your audience is hanging out, right? And everyone’s on social media these days.

Yet, as I went deeper into the whole shebang, I realized it’s not so.

Here I stand today, inactive on mostly all social media accounts except for LinkedIn. If you do find an occasional tweet or an Instagram post from me, it’s because my co-founder handles a lot of content repurposing and posting.

Nevertheless, one thing is clear — I rarely consume content on any platform. Even on LinkedIn where I post once or twice every day. In fact, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are blocked on my laptop for 17 years.

This raises a lot of questions for people around me. Most of them are a variation of these two:

  • Why did I quit social media? Why am I so stringent about it?

  • How do I plan to run my business?

Let me answer those.

The Biggest Party on the Planet That I’m Not Interested In

Social media is like a giant party of billions of people that never ends. No one is invited particularly. Yet, they spend hours hanging around just because their friends are there too.

I first created a Facebook account in 2010. Then came Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, and countless others. As someone who hates partying with all his strength, it was inevitable for me to quit one day. It took me years to realize that it’s just like one of those parties that I always find an excuse to get out of.

It’s as far removed from reality as one could be

No matter what you say, most social media interactions will look like this:

John: “I feel really sad today. I don’t know what I’m going to do in the future. I don’t even have enough savings. But hey, let’s deal with that tomorrow. I’ll play some pool with my friends and post status updates throughout my social media accounts to make me feel good.” Kelly: “Shit, John is so happy right now. I’m just wasting my time on the couch watching Netflix. Let me also get dressed up and take some photos to make me feel good about myself” (Some person in Antarctica who doesn’t even know John or Kelly): “Damn it, their life seems awesome. I should have a life like that! Let me see more of their posts to be ‘inspired’ ”

And so it keeps on going till eternity. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that this vicious cycle is taking our life away from us.

Everyone posts their best moments on their accounts. We on the other side of the screen make the mistake of thinking that’s how their life looks like all the time.

Comparison hits you big time. Existential thoughts come to your mind and you keep scrolling to find a dopamine hit to get you out of it.

Is it really worth it going through all this? Not in my opinion.

The obvious downside

Social media wastes time. You don’t need me to tell you this.

But what you may not realize is that it hampers the quality of work you produce. A lot of social media fans keep a separate tab open for their favorite account or have their phones handy, “just in case an urgent notification comes up.”

Research clearly shows that once your attention is taken away from a task, it can take up to 25 minutes to regain focus. Thus, you’re not only wasting time, but you’re also producing substandard work.

After quitting social media as well as YouTube, I learned how to embrace boredom and train my mind to concentrate for long hours.

The 24/7 reality show

People love reality shows. And social media takes reality shows to another level. You can not only see the lives of your stars but also be an active part of it — by liking, leaving hate comments, supporting, etc.

This makes it much more than a reality show. It makes you a part of a min-cult.

I don’t know about you but this temptation of checking what everyone’s up to every moment of the day is tiring. I get it. It’s exciting to know what the influencers in your space are up to. But how does it help me? I’ll never know the answer to that question. Because there isn’t.


“Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby

When it comes to buying stuff, my belief is this — “Your money is your vote for how you want the world to be.”

If you spend money on stuff you don’t need, you’re contributing to environmental degradation. You’ll eventually throw it away or pile it up inside your house. If you keep it in your house, eventually, you’ll need a bigger house to stay in. This leads to a larger carbon footprint.

The list goes on and on. I was once hooked to all the cash lying on the beds, the fancy cars, and the expensive suits. But now, I detest those things. Really, I feel strong dispassion for them.

These things cannot give you happiness. But social media makes it feel so. Influencers are helping marketers sell products every second and you’re unaware of it, buying into the hype.

It’s best to get off it, for your sake and the sake of humanity.

The Gita says (2:62) that thinking about a thing leads to attachment. And attachment leads to craving. If you don’t see it, you won’t want it. Try it for yourself and you’ll find you can be happier without those things.

Businesses Can Run Without Social Media

First of all, when your personal life improves as a result of quitting social media, your business automatically improves. When people aren’t spending their time doomscrolling they can do the work that they’re being paid to do.

You can declutter your workweek, have fewer conversations to respond to, and in general have a happier life.

Even on top of that, there are certain reasons for almost all businesses to quit social media.

More content, fewer consumers

You don’t need to scratch your head to figure out that the amount of content created on social media will increase indefinitely. Some people think posting once a week is fine — until they see their competitors post once a day. Then they see someone post thrice a day. And this cycle continues.

Everyone wants to stay on top of their customer’s minds. So this race of creating more content has no finish line.

At the same time, there’s only so much content we can consume. Think about it.

There are certain people on LinkedIn whose posts I enjoy. But how often do I see their posts on my feed — rarely. Why? Because everyone else is creating so much content that I don’t have the time to consume. As a result, the posts of the people I care about are buried deep.

Ultimately, the success of your post isn’t in your hands. It’s governed by thousands of factors you can’t control. Yes, it’s about your content as well, but you never know for sure.

It’s only going to be more difficult for a business’ posts to be seen. Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to the platform’s news feed product with content from “more posts from friends and family” and “less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

It’s not wise to be dependent on any platform that can change its algorithm overnight to either make your content less visible or ban you from posting altogether.

This makes me think how valuable social media really is. And more importantly, can a business entirely run on social media alone?

Social media fans aren’t loyal

“Activate your fans, don’t just collect them like baseball cards.” — Jay Baer, Convince & Convert

I may be wrong with this one. But people on social media have followed thousands of other people, influencers, and brands. At the end of the day, they’re just an audience. They will occasionally watch your show and clap/respond.

But how many of them will show up repeatedly? And how many of them will buy from you? That’s questionable.

You need tons of effort to even make a small name for yourself on a social media platform. But that effort can be better spent somewhere else.

Where and how? Let’s see:

  • Focus on building an email list or a community. It’s better to talk with your customers than talk to an audience. They will be less in number, sure. You can have 100K followers but may not have 100K people on your list. And that’s fine. The people on your list want to hear from you and buy from you. You only need 1,000 true fans.

  • Focus on your product. Make your product so good that you need less marketing prowess to sell it. This is neglected but true. Think of Basecamp. It became a Facebook-free business in 2018. But they’ll still get tons of sales. Why? Because people like me love their product and tell others to try it all the time. Another example is Apple.

  • Use multiple mediums. Find communities online where your customers are hanging out, not gatekeepers like FB, Twitter, and Google. The Internet is a vast space if you can be creative.

    “New marketing is about the relationships, not the medium.” — Ben Grossman, founder of BiGMarK

This is what I do with my own business.

  • I post on LinkedIn and other platforms not because I think they’ll drive my business. I have an active funnel to find my true fans, get them on my email list, and then build a relationship with them.

  • I try to focus not on where my likes are coming from. But where the revenue is coming from. It’s easy to get lost in vanity metrics on the amount of reach you get. What matters is the results that your strategies are bringing.

  • Once I identify my areas of focus, I allocate time accordingly.

The Takeaway

Quitting social media doesn’t mean turning your back permanently or going cold turkey. It’s about realizing that it’s not as important as people think.

Your personal and professional life will improve if you stop making social media your holy grail.

See it for what it is and be truthful with yourself. If you want to grow as a human or build a great business, you need to go beyond the need to get likes, comments, and followers.

Are you serious about becoming the best version of yourself? Get your free 5-day email course to Master The Art Of Personal Transformation

Written on December 11, 2020