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Why I’m *Mostly* Quitting Social Media: My Enneagram Type

I’m an enneagram 1 wing 2 and social media is toxic to me. 

I have long poked fun at those those enneagram-cult-people. . . But a couple of them have gotten me hooked (you know who you are). 

I’m a 1 wing 2 and social media is toxic for me. Besides being self-critical (as noted in this post) I am also really adept at comparing myself to others and losing. I wrote about it in my book before I even knew my enneagram type, and then here here and here. You’d think I’m obsessed!

I thought everyone was like me until I read what it’s like to be an Enneagram 1. It said “I often find that I’m comparing myself to others” (Cron and Stabile, 2016). That’s not listed on the other types, so if you’re not a 1 and you compare yourself, think how much more it happens in my world! Social media activates this bad habit in me.

I’d already limited my participation on social media—as a 1 w 2 I’m way too meticulous about each post’s grammar, syntax, and possible meanings. It takes me forever to ensure clarity of meaning—exhausting! So, I seldom post. I also only looked at the first couple of posts on my feed to avoid being overwhelmed at your lives’ greatness because as a 1 w 2 I’m deeply and continually aware of my life’s lacks. 

And my inner critic is super-loud. I read that others’ inner critics go away. Mine never does. Cron and Stabile call her “merciless,” “punishing,” and “relentless.” I call her Gertrude. I named her this morning so that I can tell her to be quiet when she critiques social media posts (and everything else). 

And my inner critic is super-loud. I read that others’ inner critics go away. Mine never does. Cron and Stabile call her “merciless,” “punishing,” and “relentless.” I call her Gertrude. I named her this morning so that I can tell her to… Click To Tweet

I’m a 1 wing 2 and social media is toxic to me. Before you simply shake you head and say, “Amy you think waaaaaaaaay too much,” please know that I’m not trying to be this way. I don’t like the liabilities in being a 1 w 2. But it’s my wiring, and though I fight against the liabilities, it’s a lifelong, slow, continuous battle. 

I’d read multiple articles like this and this on how social media isn’t good for us and makes us feel that we’re close to people when we actually aren’t. And then I watched Cal Newport’s Ted Talk about his success as a millennial without social media. Newport was the greatest inspiration to *mostly* quit. As a 1 wing 2, I love to accomplish things, Newport and I professors and he is accomplishing things well (I have a hunch he may be a 1 too).

My one concern with *mostly* quitting was that I’d be behind on the news in the world and my friends’ lives. I figured, though, that there are other news outlets and I could text or call those who are close to me. Truth is, texting and calling  might offer more genuine connection to others and their stories. 

After the decision to *mostly* quit, I needed to figure out how to do it. Cal Newport’s an author without social media, but I use social media as a way to connect with readers. I wasn’t ready to fully quit. I decided on a few parameters:

  1. Rather than looking at social media every time I wanted distraction, I’d look once a day. That once a day would be after the kids were asleep. And once I closed the app, I’d be done.
  2. Rather than posting from the social media site, I’d post from the third party site, Hootsuite.

That’s it. Simple, right?

I’ve been following those parameters for almost a week. And you know what? I feel really free and happier. 

It’s been weird, though. 

I was working on syllabi and online setup for courses (yes, totally boring), and what I would normally do is jump over to Facebook or Twitter for distraction. I didn’t. I stood up and walked around or took a deep breath, looked away for a minute, and kept going. I probably got more done.

I was waiting in line in TJMaxx (you know those loooooooong lines). What I would normally do is open my phone and look at social media. I didn’t. I first looked around at the world, and then I opened my phone and started writing this blog. 

I sat exhausted on the couch while the kids played legos. What I would normally do is check my social media. I didn’t. I watched my kids and talked to them. It was actually more fun and relaxing than being on my phone.

When I get on social media after the kids are asleep, I check the Facebook groups that are important to me, like a post or two on twitter, and I’m quickly off. 

It’s surprising that I’ve actually posted more personal thoughts on social media than before. It’s freeing to post and then not feverishly look to see if someone has liked or commented. I know I’ll see it all after the kids are asleep.

So, I’m *mostly* quitting social media. As a 1 w 2, it’s been toxic to me. Now, it doesn’t get to be in my life all the time. I get to tell it when it’s allowed to speak to me, much like I can tell Gertrude. 

I still would love to see likes and comments, though. I’ll write back after the kids are asleep. 🙂

And the enneagram book I’m reading is The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (InterVarsity Press, 2016).

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About Amy F Davis Abdallah

2 thoughts on “Why I’m *Mostly* Quitting Social Media: My Enneagram Type

  1. Oh how I relate to this! I’ve been reading Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism — at the same time delving deeper into my enneagram type. For two years I’ve thought I was a four, but as I read more and more of the books and how they talk about ones, I find myself thinking I mistyped. Perfectionism has had more of a hold over me than it seems fours have…anyway, I’ve been contemplating hootsuite and you’ve convinced me.

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