In Indonesia, kopi hitam (black coffee) is made by pouring boiling water over coffee grounds (and, if you like, sugar). Stir as you need, then leave it for a while, not only to let it cool down a bit—but, most importantly, to let the coffee grounds fall to the bottom of the glass and settle there (yes, it is served in a glass, not a cup). 

Lately, to me, social media feels like watching someone stirring a glass of black coffee. 

It’s hot and loud and chaotic. 

The ridiculous amount of things trying to catch my attention reminds me of drinking a glass of black coffee immediately after stirring it: it burns my tongue, and the floating coffee grounds that entered my mouth makes me cringe and cough. 

For this reason, I have been thinking of leaving social media for a while. I started by deleting Twitter, then Tumblr, then I deactivated Facebook. I feel good about it. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I think that Instagram will be next, as I am not too keen on the direction they’re going. 

So here I am, waiting for the coffee grounds of social media to settle at the bottom—and once everything is calm, quiet, and unruffled, I am back to my blog. 

I realized that I keep (wanting to) coming back to this blog: a place where I feel like conversing with a close-knitted circle of people who share similar sentiments about life, instead of talking to a bunch of strangers who are in a hurry to board a bus. 

My blog feels like a home where I can invite my closest people to come over, while social media feels like a big party I am invited to. (You know how I, an introvert, feel about going to parties). 

Yes, big parties allow me to meet plenty of people, which can be fun for a while. However, I realized how I crave more for a one-on-one connection and a slow(er) conversation after some time.

Instagram starts to feel like that big party to me, where people only see you for a minute, exchange a few words, and move on to the next topic or say hello to the next person. We scroll so fast (Well, I scroll so fast). 

Faces, messages, and interactions are soon forgotten and buried away, the way our Google Photos becomes a photo graveyard. 

Recently, I read illustrator Rebecca Green’s blog post about her intermission from Instagram and watched Julia Bausenhardt’s video, ‘One Year After I Quit Social Media‘. I feel like they are talking to me. Alexandra Franzen wrote ‘21 Ways to Find Clients and Customers without Using Social Media‘. I nodded to most of her points.

My steps of quitting social media apps are gradual. 

First, I post less. 
Then, I stop posting but still reading, liking, or interacting. 
Then, I stop checking the app altogether.
Then, I deleted the app from my phone. 
Finally, I deleted my account. 
With Instagram, I’m still on my first step—but it feels like I have lifted a weight off of my shoulder. 

Now I see a vast difference between ‘I need to share, so I need to create something‘ and ‘I want to create something, and if I want to, I can share it.’ The latter allows me to slow down. It gives me the time and space I need to focus on what I want to create.

I’ve been enjoying these few weeks facilitating an intimate 3-week online workshop on Found Poetry & Collaging.

We’ve been working on our 12-page zine, featuring our takes on various Found Poetry & Collaging techniques learned during the workshop. This week, we’ll present our zine and share stories about our challenges, creative process, and things we learn about ourselves as writers/poets during the wrapping-up of this project.

I’m excited about it, about the fact that we’re creating a finished project together, challenging our creativity by imposing limitations and boundaries, and having conversations about our creative decisions. 

Interactions like this make me think of sipping a glass of black coffee together with friends in a small warung somewhere, accompanied by fried banana and vegetable fritters. 

We’re not in a hurry. 

We have all the time in the world to wait for our coffee grounds to settle on the bottom of the glass.

hanny

28 Responses

  1. Welcome to the club mbak. Aku juga gak pernah nyesal menghapus semua akun sosmedku kecuali blog ini. Semoga mbak Hani terus menikmati hidup sehari hari dengan lebih menyenangkan ya..

    1. yay! so nice to hear! I also know it could be the right decision because the thought of it makes me feel giddy and excited 🙂 semoga kamu pun sehat-sehat dan bisa menikmati hari-hari yang terasa penuh dan menyenangkan! 🤗

  2. Aku pun berpikir begini, tapi untuk menghapus akun belum pernah benar-benar aku lakukan. 2 minggu belakangan ini terpikir untuk menghapus Instagram juga. Tapi nampak butuh persiapan batin 🥲

    1. hahaha aku jg merasa masih eman-eman sama Instagram, sih. baru belakangan ini aja merasa gak sreg dengan arahan baru algoritma mereka yang akan makin seperti Facebook (salah satu alasan aku quit FB). jadi mungkin akan kulihat dulu, kalau aku merasa semakin terganggu, aku akan berhenti. saat ini aku merasa sreg dengan YT dan blog, walau untuk YT energinya juga besar 😂 tapi aku suka komunitasnya dan basis search engine-nya …

    1. hahaha iya, aku juga masih maju-mundur dengan Instagram, ini mulai ‘gerah’ aja, karena makin mirip FB algoritma dan business model-nya :)) tapi aku suka percaya nanti akan ada platform lain bermunculan yang bisa jadi lebih asyik untuk dijajaki 😀

  3. Yes instagram itu rasanya… apa yah, seperti terminal tempat orang mencari validasi dengan cara yang ricuh dan lama-kelamaan semuanya lupa untuk menjadi diri sendiri lengkap dengan kelebihan dan kekurangan yang sebenarnya. As a person who have a main job as social media specialist, deleting my instagram account is not possible karena aku membutuhkannya untuk research, keep updated, trial-error, dan sebagainya. Jadi aku memfilter kebisingan itu dengan cara mute semua story dan feed orang-orang yang nggak aku butuhkan, sehingga yang tampil di timelineku hanya post yang sarat ilmu dan inspirasi dari brand, influencer, pegiat seni, dan media-media yang aku sukai saja. So far this method works best for me! Mungkin kalau ada yang sudah betul-betul muak dengan kericuhan instagram tapi nggak memungkinkan untuk menghapus akun, bisa coba cara ini juga! ❤

    1. ah iya, membuat filter sendiri itu menarik, ya. aku juga punya list gitu sih orang-orang yang ingin aku ‘intip’ di IG, baik itu inner circle maupun sumber inspirasi 😀 hahaha, jadi kadang aku cek langsung ke feed mereka aja. sebalnya sih karena kalau orang-orang ini ga rajin apdet, mereka jadi nggak muncul lagi di feed aku T___T padahal aku tetap ingin dengar dari mereka T___T

    2. Totally agree!! aku uda jarang post di personal ig.. salah satunya saya ‘kepaksa’ online instagram karna masih meniti bisnis baru.. kayak bayi jadinya.. sigh

  4. I am on the fourth step (deleting the app from the phone) for 3 weeks, and not tempted to check for in on the desktop version as well, and yes Mba Hani, a slooow life can be good. Very good 🙂

    1. Wooow, good job, Vin! Iya, berasa banget, sih, kalo seminggu off total dari socmed tuh lebih mudah fokus, nggak kebanyakan stimulan dan distraksi, dan berasa punya waktu lebih banyak untuk mengerjakan (atau tidak mengerjakan) apa-apa 😀

  5. Aku juga sudah menghapus FB, Mbak. IG sudah aku hapus aplikasinya dari hp dan tidak (atau belum) berminat untuk pakai IG lagi. Sementara Twitter, kemarin aku sempat hiatus dari Twitter selama 8 bulan dan baru sekitar seminggu ini aku kembali lagi ke Twitter. Dan memang betul, setelah mengurangi medsos, hidup jadi lebih tenang memang.

  6. Hai Mbak, setelah sekian lama follow blog ini, baru meninggalkan komentar. Aku pernah punya IG sekitar 1 tahun, trus tahun 2015 aku memutuskan buat delete akunku. Waktu itu IG belum terlalu rame seingatku. Alasan delete akun dan ga tertarik mainan IG lagi karena mau ujian bahasa Belanda dan sudah dapat kerja, jd waktu berkurang buat mainan IG. Trus beneran bertahan ga bikin akun IG lagi, sampai sebulan lalu aku bikin akun IG karena sedang mulai usaha dari rumah. Jadi ini akun memang buat jualan. Follow pun akun2 yang punya usaha sama di sekitar Belanda (taart, cupcakes, sourdough bread dsb). Sangat minim follow akun2 pribadi. Jadinya di TL ku isinya ya cuma taart, cupcakes, sourdough bread. Lumayan bisa nambah ilmu. Lumayan ga terlalu riuh.

    Awal tahun ini, aku memutuskan puasa dulu dari twitter dan FB. Lumayan berhasil. 7 bulan bener2 ga mainan twitter, ga FB an. Banyak banget manfaatnya, salah satunya ya slow living. Aku pernah menuliskan di sini Mbak http://www.conedm.nl/denald/2021/05/07/menerapkan-minimalisme-digital-dan-manfaatnya/
    Komennya jadi panjang banget kayak satu postingan blog haha. Salam kenal Mbak. Fijn weekend!

    1. Setuju! Aku juga kak! IG tuh sebenernya bisa jadi semacam pinterest dan youtube yang dijadiin satu, sumber ilmu dan inspirasi asal kita ngefilternya bener dan selektif yah 🥺

      1. true. mungkin aku bisa bikin akun IG ‘siluman’ khusus cuma buat follow selective circle aja :))

    2. aaaaaw, nanti aku main ke blog-nyaaa 😀 salam kenal jugaaa! 😀 oh iya, kalau memang utk jualan/bisnis pasti memang keperluannya beda ya, untuk ada di Instagram. mungkin memang nggak seriuh kalau akun personal :))

  7. Aku belum sampai tahap ngedelete akun-akun sosmedku mbak, tapi tetap keep it slow dan selalu mikir dulu tiap mau share sesuatu. Pada akhirnya aku pun sama, kembali ngeblog karena terasa lebih nyaman, pelan, dan intimate dengan orang-orang yang meninggalkan komen di tulisanku ataupun saat aku meninggalkan komen di blog orang lain.

    1. Keep it slow itu penting, sih, buatku 😀 untuk tidak terburu dengan proses 😀 tapi benar, aku pun merasa lebih nyaman berbagi di blog, sih, entah kenapa, walaupun kadang caption di IG juga seperti tulisan blog pendek :)) mungkin karena ketika ditaruh di IG semuanya lebih mudah hilang dan ‘terkubur’, sedangkan di blog, terkadang kalau aku teringat tulisan tertentu biasanya tinggal aku search di Google dan link ke tulisannya keluar :)) mungkin karena buatku blog/socmed terutama berfungsi sebagai caraku mendokumentasikan hidup, pengalaman, dan pikiran, ya. jadi kemudahan ‘mencari kembali’ dokumentasi masa lalu itu fitur penting buatku.

  8. What a nice blog Hanny, thanks for sharing. I quitted instagram as well, something over a year or so and I don’t miss it at all. Blogging is so much more personal, meaningful and mindfull. I keep following you here! 😉

    1. Hoi, Marijke! Wow, already a year! That’s great! You’re right, blogging also feels more personal to me 🙂

  9. Hi Mba Hanny! As I go through the comment section, I feel like I get an injection of spirit. I’m still learning to enjoy my life with less razzle dazzle that Instagram offers. Sometimes it’s tough, so reading this post calm my FOMO a lot hihi. Cheers for everyone!

  10. exactly how I feel right now, suddenly missing blogging circa early 2000. right now I’m on deactivated-my-main-instagram phase but still on second account where I post none but only follow people with good vibes.

  11. The only social media that I use now is Whatsapp, just for communication on business matters, family and friends.
    I feel relieved that I’m no longer terrorized by notifications.

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I recently have this fear: I would not have enough time to read all the books I want to read. Every time I glance at the pile of to-be-read books on my shelf, I feel overwhelmed. How can I keep up? I can feel myself getting anxious when I think of how, for sure, I won't be able to.
Hanny illustrator
Hi. I'm HANNY
I'm a published writer and a writing/creative workshop facilitator based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.

hanny

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