Why People Are Choosing To Quit Social Media


I'm not sure that other people on the Tube would be happy, but I look at other people more. I like to observe, have a look at what someone's wearing, you know, imagine what sort of person they would be. Just try and live in the moment a bit more. (Rupen G. Kalsi, Writer)

That's right. No Facebook, no Twitter. No Instagram, no WhatsApp. (Prof. Gabriel Egan, The Montfort University)

What triggered it was a break up. I think when something like that happens, you need to just let someone die a social media death and just remove them from your life. And then I realised that actually they weren't that useful to me anyway. So I just went the whole hog and didn't bother using them ever again. (Rupen G. Kalsi)

The point about social media is the addictiveness. Nobody really wants to spend hours and hours every day updating their status and seeing what other people think about them. Nobody consciously wants to do that, but those behaviours are themselves addictive behaviours. Once you're trapped in that loop it's very hard to break out. It's not that we want to go back to some idyllic past -an Eden before the machines existed. It's that we need to take control of these machines and use them for their proper ends. (Prof. Gabriel Egan)

Fact: 36% of the UK population is not active on social media. (Source: We Are Social)

The bad thing is that you think people's lives are much more fun than your own life. (Woman 1)

When I'm the bus, I just see people like zombies and I'm like, "Alright, it's a sunny day. There is something to see, not only your phone." (Man)


I like to be present when I share something about myself with someone, so I can get their feedback and either stop right there or tell them the story behind it, or give context. Sometimes I might withhold a certain opinion rather than being rapid fire, because maybe it requires a bit of nuance. And maybe the best thing is not for me to just shoot my mouth off online because some headline made me angry. The thing is, the world is real, whether we want to believe it or not, and it's really important for us to have a sense of where we are in that world. (Dr. Bernie Hogan, Oxford Internet Institute)

I don't like to use the term social media, at the end of the day, because it implies that it's designed to promote social behaviours when usually it's designed to promote the amount of attention that we're giving it. In order to grab our attention -because there's so much competition- design has to appeal to the lower parts of us, to the non-rational, automatic, impulsive parts of us. And so this is why we get things like clickbait, like sensationalism -things that appeal to our outrage. 

And there's a whole industry of consultants, of psychologists who are helping designers really punch the right buttons in our brains so that we do keep coming back for more and we do stay hooked on the products. At the end of the day, they're advertising systems, not really social platforms. (James Williams, University of Oxford)


Fact: 63% o the global population is not active on social media - 4.8 billion people. (Source: We Are Social)

Some of them take social media breaks quite a lot anyway, so it's not like I'm doing something that's particularly divergent, but they think it's a good thing. I think they realise, we all realise, that we look at memes too much, we use Instagram too much. It's just whether we realise that and do something about it. There are things that give us instant pleasure and they're like the more gluttonous things like food and sex and stuff like that, and they give us a really high spike of pleasure. 

But the things that are the most worthwhile are the things that you spend a lot of time on. So playing the piano is not pleasant to begin with but you get a much more steady wave of satisfaction. So it does matter, because the pleasures that are sometimes the most time-consuming or the ones that take the most work can be the ones that are the most fulfilling. Those are the pleasures that are self-actualizing, that help you realise a part of yourself that you didn't have. (Rupen G. Kalsi)

I'm on it probably every day, just to be nosy. I'm sure I could live without it. We did before, didn't we? (Woman 2)

Transcript provided by BBC Ideas.

Post a Comment

0 Comments