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My Wife Just Quit Social Media

November 16, 2015
(image via wikimedia)

(image via wikimedia)

“That’s it!” my wife announced, shaking her phone in my face.  “I’ve had it with these idiots.”

I already knew who those “idiots” were.  They were her friends on Facebook.  Some of them are her actual friends, and others are only connected through her Facebook network.  My wife has been getting into a lot of arguments lately.  The political season is heating up, and friends who would never think of talking politics in person are bringing stuff up on Facebook.

When political stuff comes up in my life, I change the subject or leave, but my wife isn’t like that.  She’ll speak out.  She won’t back down.  And if somebody throws a policial insult at her, she’ll insult that person right back.  But the exchanges on her social network had gotten too heated even for her.

My social media habits are different from my wife’s.  She usually posts family stuff and neighborhood stuff, and everything was usually okay as long as it didn’t get political.  Me, I just blog, and read blogs, and occasionally put something on Twitter.  I don’t do anything else because there isn’t any time.  I have a job where I’d get fired if I blogged or tweeted there.  So when I find time at home, I blog, and it’s fun.  It doesn’t stress me out at all.

But my wife started to stress out, so she quit.

At first, I was glad my wife quit social media.  My wife was more relaxed.  She wasn’t showing me endless threads of political debate that always started off bad and always got worse.  She was content with laughing at the antics of reality housewives on cable.  Then a few nights ago, she burst into my den while I was writing.

“You should quit social media too,” she said.

“Don’t talk to me now,” I said abruptly.  I think I was writing something about Stephen King, and she messed up my thoughts.

Then I realized I was talking to my wife.

“I mean, maybe now isn’t the time to talk about that,” I said more gently.

Later on that night when my wife brought up the subject again, I said: “I don’t get into arguments like you do.  I just write and have fun.”

“You could have fun with me,” she said.

“I can have fun blogging AND have fun with you,” I said.

“You’d rather have fun blogging than have fun with me?” she said.  “What if you had to choose?”

I didn’t think that was fair.  If I absolutely had to choose between having fun with blogging or having fun with my wife, I’d choose my wife (of course!).  But I didn’t want to make that choice.  Writing is fun, especially when you know a few people are going to read what you write.  20 years ago, I quit writing because there was no way to get anybody to read anything without joining writers groups, and that meant I had to talk to people when I just wanted to write.  With the internet and blogging, I feel like I almost have a responsibility to myself to keep writing.   I really didn’t want to have to make this choice between my wife and blogging.  I couldn’t believe my wife was putting me in this position.

Then my youngest daughter bailed me out.

“Dammit!” I heard her shout from her bedroom.  This was unusual.  I’d never heard my youngest daughter shout profanity before.  She’d quoted profanity uttered by other people, but I hadn’t heard her actually use it.  I wasn’t sure whether I should yell at her or find out what was going on first.  I decided that I could always yell at her later.

“What’s wrong,” I asked,as my wife and I slowly opened her bedroom door.  I expected to hear that my daughter was frustrated over homework or maybe mad at the chores list that my wife had given her.

“I just lost two followers on Instagram,” she said.  “And I don’t know what I did wrong!”

“When you cuss over lost followers, it might be time to quit social media,” I said to my daughter.

Then I looked at my wife.

“I think you’ve been talking to the wrong addict,” I said.

Now that I’ve had a chance to think about it, I realize that my wife was kidding when she asked me to choose between her and social media.  At least I’m pretty sure she was kidding.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t know my wife that well.

*****

What do you think?  What would make you quit social media?  What are other warning signs that it’s time to quit (or at least take a vacation)?

*****

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26 Comments
  1. Every once in a while, I will do a Social Media hiatus, just to make sure I can, and it’s amazing how much extra time I end up having. I feel like it is time to completely quit when it starts to rule your life, and you can do nothing but the Social Media. (I’m talking more about Instagram and Facebook than Blogging).

  2. I totally trust our social media robot overlords and think it is the best thing on the planet. I am like you, I write just to write and I don’t pay too much attention to the political nonsense online. Of course, my wife thinks my blog is really about her (no matter what the subject is). I could be taking about a documentary on snails and write about it but somehow that is about her. While in reality, my blog is about my imaginary stalker Cyndi and my cat Mr. Whiskers!

  3. Titania Hudson permalink

    To some extent, using social media is fun, but striking a balance between privacy, having quality time with the family and blogging is really not easy. Once you discover it is straining relationships, it’s probably time to take a hiatus from social media for a while.

  4. I stay away from it entirely…

  5. The internet is not the same as it used to be and it’s more like a complaining and telling everyone your business type of social media now and even worse 😲

  6. My daughters are old enough to sneak a look as I enter my password on my phone and remember it so they can get in there and mess around by looking at photos or going to PBS Kids, but they don’t yet know there is such a thing as social media. I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible.

  7. Cassey Watkins permalink

    As a teenager with several social media accounts, its time to quit when it starts negatively affecting life outside of social media. Your daughter is an example of that. I literally got anxiety from Instagram, so I deleted it. hope that helps!!

  8. I don’t think I’ll ever completely quit. I used to be very active in certain forums but one day realized that my life was becoming too wrapped up in what strangers thought of me. I was getting too stressed worrying about how I wrote certain posts, if people would misinterpret things, or if I had shared too much. My new stance online is “do not engage”, even when people are saying things that I don’t agree with or try to start something. I just don’t respond to anything negative, and will unfriend/unfollow people who I find toxic.

  9. monami89 permalink

    Hello! That’s a blog I can relate to. I am twenty something and pretty active on social media till I decide to quit every once in a while. I quit to come back after 3-4 months. But its always peaceful to be away. There are times I start missing updates from friends or face FOMO, but I have to do it for myself. I an student so this is a necessary step I take for my studies. But it often brothers me when I realuzed how technology can rule our minds,thoughts and action (with our consent). I hate to be controlled by online drama.
    P.S. Hope your daughter has managed to let go followers on instagram ☺

  10. to me, social media (well, facebook, that is the only one I use) is like gossipping at the fence with the neighbours was in olden times. Nothing too personal. Still interesting. As I moved away from home to live in a different country with family and friends strewn all over the planet, it’s a great way to keep in touch with everybody. What is rather personal, I put in my blog.

  11. Next time your wife asks you if you pick her or social media, ask her if she can choose between eating and sleeping. 🙂

  12. Great post. It is great to write & communicate with the blogging community. Choosing would be hard, and frankly, unbelievable!

  13. Interesting. I hope, I could convince my wife instead of choosing between the two. You can also do the same thing. BTW, I don’t use social media like that. I simply share my stuff (blogs and articles and photos) and like or comment on others. That much is enough.

  14. I only started blogging because I wanted to get published and all advice seems to recommend that you show you can connect online, that you have an established reader base.

    I love blogging – love the discipline of writing posts several days a week and it has led to a small professional blogging job which I wouldn’t have got without the experience.

    BUT – it takes up too much time, I’m too tied up in my stats – ‘has anyone read that post I slaved over? Why not? What did I do wrong there?’ – and it takes time away from ‘real’ writing (short stories, my next unpublished book …)

    Just joined Twitter too, which i think may just be the end of me 🙂

  15. I’ve thought about getting a Facebook account and decided against it. I’ll stick to blogging where I don’t have to supply loads of personal detail unless I want to and can use whatever username I like.

  16. My husband complains a lot about not getting as much attention anymore from me ever since I started blogging. I say he can suck it up because I don’t think blogging can be compared to liking pictures of your neighbour’s cat. It’s an outlet and a creative process. Unlike looking at funny cat pics. If he told me he was feeling neglected because of the latter, I’d quit right away, no further discussion necessary. Blogging, however…

  17. I’m on hiatus from my blog and currently resisting the impulse to comment anything more than a well wish on FB. Two good reasons: First and foremost, I have an obligation and a priviledge to engage with the real people in my life, and time is way too short to stint on that. We have a finite opportunity to disciple our children and to pour love over our spouses and other loved ones. It’s too precious an opportunity to turn our backs on in order to argue with Crazy Joe Atheist, usually just for his amusement…Reason Two: as we often state it at our house,”I just can’t take the Stupid anymore.” The sheer weight and volume of willing stupidity, both the intentional or thoughtlessly parroting kind, often becomes too much to handle and I just have to walk away.

  18. I am sure my wife’s phone quit life full-stop because of the workload her social media exploits put it under……..now she is on to the iPad, bless it…..

  19. I can so relate to your wife. While I tend to not argue just to avoid the stress of that, I end up totally judging (and sometimes hating) some of my friends based simply on their opinions! I almost blogged something today about my political opinions….but then thought about some of my readers having my mindset and judging me (and maybe not reading my blog anymore), so I decided against it. My husband is just going to have to deal with my rantings and ravings. Haha! Poor guy! Great post!

  20. I left facebook more or less, so I could spend my time here. LOL. It’s exchanging one addition for another but at least I spare myself the facebook flame war trauma.

  21. I hardly consider blogging “social media,” though I guess it deserves the definition on technicality . There’s none of the animosity of other platforms (or at least I have yet to see it), and I think most people invest a bit more time and thought into their posts. It seems to make for a more valuable community overall. 🙂

  22. girlunoccupied permalink

    I don’t use social media at all. I think it’s a waste of time to be honest. The only time I’d probably use it is to promote a book, if I’d self-published.

  23. I know that I was getting very addicted to social media. Lately I set a time for it and after that I don’t go to it no matter how much I feel the “need” (yes it is that bad). When my hubby comes home electronics are off limits with the exception of the television… Finding a balance is crucial or else you lose the bonding with your love ones..

  24. Sarah permalink

    My facebook feed has been full of political debates and issues lately, a lot of which have not been nice. I don’t engage, but it’s rather distressing, so I’ve tuned out for a few days until the heat died down 🙂

  25. I think the biggest warning sign that you should quit social media is when it starts to affect your life directly and in a negative way. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are used mostly to promote certain ideas and opinions. Everyone will have different opinions about almost any topic you present to them, even our closes friends and family members will have different views and opinions than our own. Allowing those opinions to affect you and cause you to get into fights, arguments, and just puts you in a very bad mood that it makes the people around you uncomfortable, are sure signs that social media is not for you. That’s not to say you can’t express your own opinions, just make sure that you are doing so from an open-minded perspective and being respectful of others, not the “you’re an idiot you don’t know what you are talking about” attitude. Accepting that not everyone will think you are right and that people will have very different opinions than you can make it easier to read those kind of posts and just keep scrolling past them without feeling the need to attack them for it. With all the hot topics going on and political debating, it’s very easy to get sucked into those kind of arguments. I actually enjoy getting into those type of discussions because they are usually so lively and animated and there can be much to say, but always remembering to respect the other person’s views, even if they completely disagree with mine.

  26. I quite facebook 5 years ago.

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