Not on Social Media: Missing Out?

Here’s what you are missing out on by not being on social media:

If you aren’t on social media, you can miss out on social interactions with people you like, ranging from small life updates to in-person events that you might really enjoy.

On the other hand, you can also miss out on negative things like stress and wasted time.

You can even miss out on FOMO itself.

So if you want to learn all about the things you’re missing out on when you’re not on social media, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

Not on Social Media: Missing Out? (Everything to Know)

What Positive Things Are You Missing by Not Being on Social Media? (5 Things)

Woman looking at photo sharing app on mobile phone

There’s a lot that I can say about social media, and the first thing that should probably be addressed is its value for businesses and professionals.

The simple fact is that social media can do wonders to help you with professional networking.

It can help you meet people who can advance your career.

If you happen to own your own business, it’s invaluable for reaching a wider audience of clients and/or customers.

Social media marketing is extremely popular, and it’s not something that any business should take lightly or give up without reason.

With all of that said, we’re not really talking about the professional or business aspects of social media today.

Instead, this is all about the personal and private sides of social media.

What do you miss out on in your personal life if you duck out of social media?

The truth is that, in this context, social media is a mixed bag.

You will miss out on some potentially positive things.

You’ll also miss out on the negative aspects of social media.

I’m going to discuss both sides of the coin, but I want to focus on the positive first.

Below, you’ll find the things you’ll miss and potentially regret missing if you give up social media.

#1 Communication With Friends and Family

three girls on the beach take a selfie

The thing that made social media so popular in the first place is that it makes it very easy for you to share little bits of information about your life with others.

The reverse is also true.

When you stay on social media, you’ll see when your contacts find new hobbies, take on a new project at work, have a fun vacation, and all of those little things.

It’s easy to keep up with all of it, and it will feel like you’re communicating with them more because of social media.

In fact, you probably will communicate with them more because of social media.

That’s the whole point, and social media is very good at this.

#2 Major News That Matters to You

an engaged couple showing off their ring

Everything above holds true for significant things too.

This is where you’ll find out when your friends get married.

You’ll see pregnancy and new baby pictures.

People who are active on social media tend to post the really big stuff there.

That makes it a great resource for keeping up with major life events for a lot of the people you care about.

#3 Niche Communities

online education female artist color array

Have you ever joined a hiking group on Facebook?

Have you ever looked up recipes on Snapchat?

There are countless other specific examples, but the real point here is that social media is really useful for organizing communities.

A lot of niche communities get together in these digital spaces and make it easy for people with similar interests to find each other.

Through this, you can meet up with people in real life.

You can find opportunities to participate in activities that you really enjoy.

By that same token, you can make genuine, lifelong friends through social media.

It’s arguably one of the biggest things you’ll miss out on if you don’t use the apps.

#4 Trends

Beauty vlogger making a video tutorial on makeup in living room

Good friends is the biggest thing you’ll miss, but trends are the most common thing you’ll miss.

These days, social media is how we all find out about the latest trends and events.

We all get caught up in the latest memes and whatnot.

This goes for anything that is trendy but not necessarily newsworthy.

If some pop culture idea is going viral on social media, and you’re not on social media, you’ll be the last to know about it.

Whether or not that’s really important is entirely up to you, but this is one of the things you’re most likely to “miss out on” when you’re not using social media.

#5 Hacks

Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money, Culinary online courses. Asian Arabic woman pastry chef

I’m not talking about being hacked.

Security and privacy issues related to social media merit their own long conversation.

No, I’m talking about life hacks.

Have you ever wanted to finally learn how to fold fitted sheets?

Maybe you’re looking for inspiration for what you should cook for dinner.

Social media is an endless resource for life hacks and small but simple good ideas.

It’s also a treasure trove of useless hacks, and one TikTok user has enjoyed massive viral fame by pointing that out. 

This goes to show that alongside all of these other things, you’ll miss out on some genuine entertainment.

Since entertainment is so easy to find in so many places these days, I didn’t think this merited a whole section, but it’s worth at least mentioning.

What Are Some Bad Things You’ll Miss Out on by Not Being on Social Media? (6 Issues)

Sad woman discovering boyfriend betrayal phone message

We’ve talked about the good.

Now, let’s talk about the bad and the ugly.

As we all know, social media isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.

It can have negative impacts on our lives, and you’ll be missing out on all of that negativity if you’re not on social media.

The real trick is to weigh the good and the bad and your own personal relationship with social media.

Once you do, you can determine whether or not it’s worthwhile for you and make an informed decision.

With that in mind, let’s dive into some negativity!

#1 Stress

Unhappy woman using smartphone and touching her head

Are you of the opinion that social media makes most people happier?

If so, a lot of social science data disagrees. 

The truth is that social media adds stress to a lot of people’s lives in a lot of different ways.

It could come from comparing yourself to others.

Maybe your friends are married and having kids while you feel left behind.

Maybe you get jealous sometimes when you see people on amazing vacations.

There are a lot of possibilities.

On a completely different token, you might have my problem and spend too much of your time arguing with complete strangers about things that don’t really matter—all with the help and support of social media.

For a lot of people, social media just eats up too much time, and that can lead to stress.

Regardless of the specifics, social media is a source of stress for many people, and most of us have plenty of stress without another contributor.

It’s definitely something to keep in mind.

#2 Time Sinks

Woman freelance or procrastinate at workplace at home office. Self-employed businesswoman with cat distracted from work on laptop scrolling social media on smartphone.

I mentioned this briefly, but it’s worthy of more discussion.

It’s very easy to spend a lot of time on social media.

In fact, the apps are designed to be addictive so you will spend a lot of time on them.

It’s the primary business model.

You see, social media apps are free.

How do they generate revenue, then?

They do this by displaying advertisements.

The specific nature of the ads varies from platform to platform, but the gist is always the same.

If you spend more time on the app, you will see more ads.

That means that social media companies make more money from advertisers.

To maximize profits, social media companies do a lot to try to keep you on the app, and many people spend hours a day scrolling.

If you get off of the apps, then you get back all of that time.

It can lower your stress rates, as you suddenly have time for all of those things you’ve been meaning to do.

Most of all, it gives you more freedom to live your life the way you want.

Time is invaluable in many cases.

#3 Distraction From the Present

African American girl teenager female young woman sad depressed

Getting off of social media helps people be more present in the moment.

Sometimes, that presence shows you how bored you are, and sometimes, boredom is an incredible motivator.

You might just pick up new hobbies or explore aspects of your life that were left unattended if you get off of social media.

That, of course, will vary from person to person.

In a more general sense, if you aren’t ever on social media, then it’s not likely to be on your mind at all.

Without that major distraction, it’s easier to be more present at any given moment.

That can help you enjoy a lot of other aspects of your life.

#4 Excuses to Stay Still

Relaxed young ethnic woman browsing mobile phone on bed

Social media is a great way to stay sitting around inside all day.

When you don’t have it as a distraction, it’s easier to get out and do things.

In this way, distancing yourself from social media can have a positive impact on both your physical and mental well-being.

Simply getting up and moving can do wonders for your physical health. 

Sitting around all day is bad for your cardiovascular system, and doing it too much can shorten your life considerably.

It’s sometimes hard to imagine, but walking away from social media can also help you walk away from your desk (or couch, or favorite chair), literally.

That counteracts the impacts of sitting around too much, making you healthier.

Additionally, without the distractions of social media, you’re more likely to spend time outside, and that is proven to help many people with their mental health.

#5 Ignoring Personal Relationships

Internet addiction concept. Fashionable African couple using mobile phones totally absorbed in online life, looking obsessed, not talking to each other, using wi-fi at cafeteria, facing one another

Remember earlier when I told you that social media makes it easier to keep in touch with lots of people?

While that’s true it can be something of a two-edged sword.

Because social media makes it easier to loosely keep in touch with people, it also makes it easier to let relationships stagnate.

The simple truth is that social media interactions cannot fully replace in-person relationships.

You need those face-to-face moments.

When you get off of social media, there’s often a trade-off that occurs between casual conversation with people who aren’t near you and deliberate, in-person interactions with people who are near you.

Looking at it from another perspective, when you don’t have social media, you have to try harder with your friends and your family.

That effort has value. People notice and respond to the effort.

You notice and respond to the effort.

Most of all, you’ll end up doing things in person with people you care about, and social media won’t be an excuse to put such interactions off.


Teenage girl with mobile phone lying in bed at night

It might be a bit of a “meta” answer, but one thing you’re sure to miss out on if you get off of social media is FOMO.

That’s really what drove you to read this, right?

Allow me to back up for a moment.

First, what is FOMO?

It’s an acronym for the phrase “fear of missing out.”

It’s a relatively new idea (as in years old compared to millennia-old), and it goes something like this.

If you’re not available to people and plugged in, you might miss something good.

Maybe you’ll miss an invitation to go do something fun with your friends.

Maybe you’ll miss a funny meme with a short lifespan.

It really could be anything.

FOMO can come in different strengths.

A casual case of FOMO might cause you to keep your phone nearby in case someone calls.

Advanced FOMO can lead to crippling anxiety because you constantly feel like you’re the one missing everything.

Clearly, that’s not good.

What’s interesting is that the phenomenon known as FOMO seems to carry strong ties to social media use.

Psychologists and sociologists have been able to show that social media usage fosters FOMO and can dramatically strengthen cases when they occur.

It’s tempting to say that the solution is obvious.

Just get off of social media, and you’ll be fine.

That might hold true for more minor cases of FOMO, but when it reaches levels of crippling anxiety, you might need some personal help, and that’s ok.

The point I really want to drive home is that you can miss out on some unpleasant things by walking away from social media, and for at least some of you reading this, it’s the best possible choice you can make right now. 

For others, social media isn’t a problem, and you might miss out on more good than bad.

In the case of FOMO, though, social media pretty much always makes it worse, and you can actually miss out on FOMO by walking away.

Of course, getting help beyond that is not a bad idea.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

    View all posts