Social Media Cleansing (Before It Was Socially Acceptable)

So, you know how it’s super “brave” to show your face with no makeup on Instagram?  Or how it’s super brave that this girl decided to tell us all what we should have already known about social media life?

Apparently it’s now a “New Year’s Resolution” to do a  “social media cleanse.”  Social media cleansing is when an individual deactivates their social media accounts on all channels and commits to only using their phone for texting and making phone calls in an attempt to improve the quality of their life.

So brave.

Well, because I am usually so ahead of my time (otherwise known as in my mid-thirties) I actually did a social media purge for over two years.

Yep, for over two years of my life I was NOT ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA and it felt fucking fantastic.

During that time, I did participate in online dating for a brief period.  However, I normally didn’t get too far when I would tell people within five minutes of chatting that I “didn’t have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page” for them to stalk  get a better look at my alleged athletic physique.  

You know that’s why they ask for that information up front…

When I announced my decision to leave social media in 2011 (I know, just who the fuck do I think I am?) I received numerous texts and emails asking things like,

“But if you delete your Facebook, how will I invite you to my birthday?”

“How will I remember your birthday?”

“How will we stay in touch?”

Yeah, these were legitimate questions I was asked when I deactivated my social media accounts.

To each of those ridiculous questions I simply replied, “the same way you did 7 years ago BEFORE social media happened”.

What I loved the most in the days following my social media suicide (which, by the way, is an actual fucking thing you can do now) were the passive-aggressive text messages I received about what they did to deserve being “unfriended” by me on my Facebook page.

In case you cared...

In case you cared…

Let me also point out that these people who asked why they were “unfriended” weren’t even my actual friends.  Like, I legit never hung out with them nor did I ever want to.  In fact, the whole “friending” thing is so gross.  Most of the people I had on my Facebook “friends” list were what I refer to as “obligatory digital acquaintances”.

What do I mean by this?  You know when you get a friend request from someone you’ve just met?  You’re like, “omg, really?  I have known you for a literal hour and now you all of a sudden qualify myself OR yourself and whatever happened between us in said hour as a ‘friendship'”?


but, we only just met. Photo Credit

Social Media Is NOT Real Life

Seriously, people.  Social media is NOT nor has it EVER been real life.

I used to say the slogan for Facebook should be, “Facebook:  Because no one ever really wanted high school to end”.

Social Media Cleansing #SocialMediaCleanse #NotARealityShow Click To Tweet

Maybe some people didn’t want their high school experience to end, but for me, I couldn’t have left that shitshow fast enough.  I even challenged my C average to graduate 5 months earlier than the rest of my class.  Do you want to know what I did in place of attending school from January until June?  Cleaned hotel rooms and saved money for a trip to Spain.  It was brilliant.

Okay, so, I do have social media accounts nowadays because I realize having them helps to increase traffic to my blog.   Which, by the way, is something you definitely should want to read.  I can guarantee whatever musings I may publish will be way better than hearing about a baby farting or endless streams of girls posting Kardashian-esque “duck face” selfies.  My social media accounts are NOT personal accounts.  I can’t handle having one of those.  Believe me, I have taken quite a bit of shit, from friends and family ,having moved overseas and not reactivating my Facebook account.

I have to stick to my guns, though.

Social media is pretty horrible.  I know there’s some good to participating in social media, and I’m not disputing that.  Honestly, the Internet has vastly improved life for me over the past 15 years.  However, when you’re facing  actual real life hardships and starting to beat yourself up because you don’t have the “perfect” job, body, or relationship — you need to get a grip on ACTUAL reality.

This is a big part of the reason why I call myself an “unconventional personal trainer”; I simply cannot deal with clients who have #goals (I LOATHE this hashtag, btw) to look like a Kardashian.  First of all, they are horrible people.  Second, they have more plastic on them than a suitcase.  Third, it’s unrealistic and a fucking stupid goal.  Period.

I can’t blame them, though, can I?  I have loads of ridiculous “fitspo” posts on my Instagram feed every damn day.  Hey, if you work that ass and want to show it, go for it.  However, don’t be a dick about it.  Just because you live on a “bro” diet and think there’s “no excuse” for not working out, doesn’t mean other people believe this to be true.  Seriously, I keep my mouth shut about this stuff often, but some people on Instagram take “fitspo” as a right to bully and shame people for not holding their same passion for their physical appearance.  Take it from me as a trainer, most of these people are starving and unhappy.  I know.  I’ve worked with them.

What’s my point?  Just do you, and don’t subscribe to that nonsense.  

I have a post all about why my “imperfect” body makes me a better trainer, and I don’t look like those fitness models.  And you know what?  I don’t have to and neither do you. Beauty is a money making industry and has been programmed to all make us feel a little bit worse about ourselves than we need to.  It was bad enough when it was Conde Nast telling us what is beautiful and acceptable.  Now it’s our friends, family, and the general public perpetuating this notion of how our lives and our bodies “should” look.

Trust me on this, because honestly, the “reality” of their notions (i.e. social media feeds) is that they are probably 75% bullshit anyway.  

All things I’ve said considered, (and hopefully you’ve not considered I’m a dickhead) I think regardless of how many people participate in doing  “social media cleansing,” it’s here to stay. People will always come back.   And that’s okay too.

It’s not like I’m telling you how to live your life.  If you find your life is empty without your social media, go back on it!  Likewise, if you like your social media accounts are better left dead, stay off it!   I think social media can be a great tool when used correctly.

However, so can a pair of scissors.  Just saying.

Anyway, I’m mostly just happy that people are warming up to the idea of canning it with their social media usage.  Mostly because back when I did it, people looked at me like I just told them I poisoned their pet when I told them I didn’t have any social media accounts.  Like it was something they just couldn’t process.

Because no one really wanted high school to end.

Are you a social media lover?  Have you ever done a “social media cleanse”?  Let’s discuss!



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