Staying Away From Social Media

Why would I, a programmer, decide I want a life very limited social media?

It may seem a bit weird, even contradictory, that I would advocate for this. Maybe a little bit, but I don’t think so?

The Problem

I think it all started when I turned 30. I noticed that I had a few goals I had set out for myself. Goals that I haven’t achieved. I asked myself:


Now, I don’t completely attribute my lack of goal-achievement on my use of social media. But it was definitely a contributing factor. Enough of a factor that I decided to severely limit my use of it.


The data was easy to get. I have a couple of tools that let me determine how I am using my time.

The results were not pretty. I would be on my phone (usually Facebook) for up to 2 hours a day!

Where did I find all this time?

It was usually either right after waking up, or right before going to sleep. I was a like a drug addict eager to get my daily dose in the morning before starting the day, and get a dose to ease me into going to sleep.

However, I noticed that I would use social media as a time filler throughout the day as well.

Got stuck on a problem while working? Check the facebook.

Going to the restroom? Let’s see what Snapchat has.

Eating lunch alone? Let’s see what Instagram has.

Once I realized how much of a zombie and a slave I had become to social media, I knew it was time to change something.

The Solution

For me, it has helped to see this as as addiction to social media. So I have sort-of created my own mini 12-step program to deal with this addiction.

You can read more on 12 Step Programs here. It essentially started out with Alcoholics Anonymous.

Here are my modified twelve steps:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over social media - our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Her.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Her, praying only for knowledge of Her will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Ok, so I literally just copied the steps over and replaced ‘alcohol’ with ‘social media’, but you get the idea.

The first step was admitting that I was in the grips of an addiction to social media.

It was easy to take that first step. Waking up to social media; goint to sleep an hour or two late into the night because of social media; those are prime example of how my life had become unmanageable.

That was serious life-hours and energy that I was devoting to spending in a screen. For what? Just to see what others are doing. For mere FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

How ironic. That having a ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ was causing me to miss out on a lot of possibilities of life.

Other Steps

Here are some other steps I took:

  • Deleted social media accounts like:
    • Snapchat
    • Instagram
    • Tumblr
  • Uninstalled all social media app from my phone. Yep, including:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
  • Don’t check social media while eating. Talk to coworkers instead. Or watch coding tutorials.


I have been keeping this up for about 3 months now. I have to say: it feels very rewarding.