Why I'm taking a break from social media (would love your feedback)

I’ve just deactivated my facebook, Instagram and twitter accounts…and I make my income as a full-time online music creator supported by almost 300 patrons on Patreon.

Here’s the full post I wrote about it: natemaingard.com/social-media-break

I often feel like a fish out of water in this group because you’re all so smart, tech-oriented and data-minded, though I 100% believe in this movement :innocent:.

So here’s my little offering, as an online creator becoming overwhelmed by my addiction to the tools I use for my business. It feels as though I’m a bar owner who is also an alcoholic (and that doesn’t feel like an exaggeration due to the negative impact my addiction is having on my career, relationships and whole life).

My hope is that this experiment will enable me to shift my relationship to SM and move forward from a better place.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the post, as I highly respect all of your opinions.

Thank you for fighting the good fight
Nate Maingard

PS: in the article, I speak about how the 3 hours of phone time I average per day equates to almost 20% of my waking life. How crazy is that!?!?!


Thank you for sharing your experience nate…

I can relate Nate! I used to do web development, and now im a photographer - but I still have to spend a fair amount of the time on the computer editing photos etc. and instagram and social media is a big part of photography these days. I spend so much time on the computer, ipad, iphone, tv, etc… I’ve used it as a way to check out… to not feel uncomfortable feelings (tired, sad, lonely, anxious etc.) It is hard enough to resist these things… but even more difficult when they are tied into your profession etc. However - I feel like… it could be a huge advantage in this day and age… when everyone else is spending their time on social media disconnecting form themeselves and others, you can be spending your time honing your craft, and letting your creativity really flow. I think when your addicted to your smartphone/social media etc… you stop day dreaming, stop being BORED - stop appreciating and paying attention to your surroundings… which isnt helpful for creativity or being authentic. Its not to say there isnt some benefit to social media and smart phones etc… its just that theres a lot of downsides too, oftentimes they outweigh the positives… and its just just so darn hard to find a healthy balance (because these things are designed to hook our brains). So going cold turkey is a good option. At least for a while. At least until these things are designed in a way that benefits our health and well being.


My pleasure, thank you for stopping by :slight_smile:

So well said on every account, and I relate to your story too (of course).

Excited to be bored, with nothing beside me but my ukulele and notebook. Sigh…

Hi Nate- thank you so much for sharing about your experiment, the reasons you’ve come to the decision you have - I find your reflections very thoughtful and insightful, and they resonate with me. I’ve been off social media completely since November 2016, and it has been a very powerful experience to fully feel the impact of my participation by the act of stopping. I fully realized how much time I gave of my life, how much attention - and how much it distorted my sense of my friendships and of what the real world is. I’ve found the impact happens in different phases - and I"m still learning from it. I would not have found this forum or read any of the books that people here and elsewhere have recommended if I hadn’t made that choice.
My understanding of the world, of our culture and of my own life and what’s most important to me has been deepened and enriched by choosing not to give my time and attention to these incredibly (and intentionally) addictive tools. I applaud your courage in choosing to do this experiment and hope you’ll continue to share what you’re learning and how this impacts your life as you continue this journey.


Thank you for sharing your journey and your commitment to reconnecting with the human empathic spirit. Although I am of the Senior generation, I too, became very dependent upon screens for my work and recommitted myself several years ago to connecting and interacting with humans, nature, and the planet directly - face to face.

It has made all the difference in how I feel. It has become my passion to empower others to consider making healthy changes in their relationship with technology.

Thank you again, for your honesty and openness. Wishing you all the best.
Holli Kenley

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That was an inspiring story to read, thank you. I’m curious to know, did you run any of your business through social media? This is my sticking point with it: I’ve built my whole career as a musician through social media…so I feel trapped in the need to keep using it to be successful. Except, then I’m online all the time and i don’t feel successful :joy:. Catch 22? Anyway, thank you for your insights, every time I hear from someone who has escaped the machine I feel re-inspired to continue searching for my own balance within it all.

This is inspiring to hear, thank you Holli!

Face to face, yes please!

A part of me keeps thinking that the only way to change the system is from within the system, by being a positive voice on social media…but then I realise that if it traps me into the cycle of dopamine-chasing then it’s just not worth it!

Anyways, let’s see how this experiment goes. So far, I’m enjoying it but am also watching too much netflix :joy:

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Hi Nate - I’m so glad - and I get your dilemma. My business isn’t built on social media, though I do have a website - it’s really only a place for people and organizations who want to work with me to get a sense of who I am - sort of a front door and a place to verify what they’ve heard about me, which is via word of mouth. I realize that’s a different situation from yours - and that you’re facing different challenges. I will say that finding a way to have the freedom to think and experience the world, and develop yourself in all dimensions, is invaluable, and I wouldn’t trade that freedom for anything. I realize you need to make a living, as we all do - your creativity and openness suggest to me that you will find ways to do this that still allow you to own your own life and attention. If you haven’t read Stand Out of Our Light by James Williams I highly recommend it - also The Attention Merchants, but Tim Wu.

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Thanks you for your insights, and your confidence in my ability to work this all out :heart_eyes:.

I’ll look at those books you recommended, thanks again :yellow_heart:

You are so strong @nate. I’m not sure what age you are but for some age groups this is like diving off a cliff.

You will find your innate ability to market yourself in your everyday life- it could be a wave of the future- your experience proving social media may not be necesssry to market in today’s world.

The more we stay off social media- the more we globally support human contact. When we create posts anywhere on the internet we are sucking people into screentime.

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I agree and I also wrestle with this, because I love creating music, videos and my podcast. I feel they have value, and hope that if people are spending their screentime engaging with my creations then it’s doing them good :man_shrugging:.

Anywhoo, here’s hoping it all works out :yum:.

I’m 34 :grin:

Hey Nate,
Thanks for sharing! I just finished reading 10 Reasons to Close Your Social Media Accounts Now by Jaron Ranier so this was good to see. That wa smy first thught. My second was-Isn’t this itself social media? Just hopefully a better one? If it’s not social media, why not? Or, not to touch a nerve, if its not better, why and how could it be? And my last thought-being the parent of a 13 year old girl was-wow only 3 hours a day on social media???
Good for you. I don’t spend much time on SM at the moment but it can change (depending on how many likes I get on a given post I’m sure). Keep us posted!

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I do believe in the positive potential of SM, just know that for me, right now, it’s been leaning more towards shadow than light. Hence the experiment. I’ve downloaded that book as an audiobook, sounds very interesting, thank you!