What Would the World Be Like Without Social Media?

The world without social media would be very different from how you understand it now. To begin with, you'd be forced to go out more to meet people or find a partner.
What Would the World Be Like Without Social Media?
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 12 January, 2022

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without social media?  In reality, you already know because you’ve probably experienced it. Indeed, as you’re no doubt aware, there were several occasions recently when large technology companies such as Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp went down for several hours. This experience wasn’t positive for a large part of the population.

Imagining a world without these resources will seem apocalyptic for some and paradise for others. However, what can’t be denied is that we can no longer imagine a life without these tools that, for better or for worse, have changed our lives. It’d be hard for us to go back to those tranquil years of the 80s or 90s when influencers didn’t exist and, to stay informed, we bought newspapers or listened to the radio and watched television.

However, just for a moment, imagine what it’d be like. Think of your life without Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

If there were no social networks, you’d probably be far less distracted and more productive.

Woman thinking about what would the world be like without social networks?

Possible scenarios

In a world without social media, the first thing you’d probably feel would be strange sensations of emptiness and silence. It’s difficult to say whether this would be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but it’d certainly be ‘different’. Society would revert to being unconnected. General information wouldn’t flow so quickly and there’d be no channels for you to express yourself so easily.

In that kind of universe, many of us would be rather different people. In fact, only those who’ve already experienced a world without networks and without the Internet would quickly adapt. On the other hand, young people would have to face what amounts to existential and identity trauma. However, they’d adapt. Because, at the end of the day, if there’s one thing that defines the human being, it’s adaptation.

Just for a moment, imagine what your reality would be like if you used your cell phone for what it was originally designed: making and receiving phone calls.

1. You’d have to go out more to meet people

Social media allows you to meet countless people without having to leave home. They provide a fast and convenient way of connecting with other people with the same hobbies and interests as you. If you didn’t have these resources, you’d have no other option than to leave your house more often.

It’d also be harder to find partners.  Indeed, according to a Harvard University study, social media has had a profound influence on romantic relationships in recent decades. Undoubtedly, without this resource, things would be rather more difficult.

In a world without social networks, you’d have to be more direct with the people you want to get to know. You’d no longer be able to ‘like’ their online posts to break the ice.

2. It’d take longer to find out about things (or you wouldn’t get to know them at all)

Currently, you can find out what’s happening anywhere in the world just by taking a look at your mobile devices. The news updates every second. Therefore, there’s no need to wait for the 9 pm news or the morning newspaper. Indeed, social media is the mirror of immediacy and the reflection of a hyper-connected planet.

Without this resource, society would be less informed and less sensitive to the realities beyond our close surroundings.

3. Letters, postcards, and magazines would become fashionable again

Can you imagine a day without digital images? With no social media, there’d be no more daily photos. You wouldn’t see daily selfies from friends and family. You’d no longer watch your favorite Instagrammers showing you their breakfasts, their gym sessions, or their journeys of a lifetime.

As a matter of fact, you’d have no option but to return to magazines to entertain yourself and read about those topics you’re passionate about. You’d also have to rely on letters and postcards to hear from those friends and family who live far away.

4. No more ‘likes’

‘Likes’ addicts would be forced to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Because in the world of no social media there’d no longer be the social reinforcements of ‘likes’. However, neither would there be judgments, positive or otherwise. 

5. You’d no longer have ‘followers’

In fact, followers wouldn’t even exist, except in the cases of cults. Equally, you wouldn’t have hundreds of friends whom you’ve never met, or rarely see, but with whom you interact on a regular basis.

6. You couldn’t gossip about the lives of others

Everyone’s done this at some time or another. You meet someone you like and afterward, immediately investigate their social media. In just over twenty minutes you can find out what their hobbies are, who their friends are, who their previous partners have been, their ideology, the names of their pets, etc.

However, with no social media, the only way you’d have of finding out about other people would be by physically interacting with them. There’d be no more gossiping about the lives of others or monitoring what others publish in order to deduce the type of person they are.

In a world without Instagram or Facebook, your relationships would be shrouded in the most hermetic mystery. You’d be subjected to discovering people without referring to their online profiles.

7. You’d look for other channels of expression to make yourself known

In a world without social media, there’d be no Twitter for expressing your opinions or disagreeing with others. Nor would you have Instagram to publicize your hobbies or interests. Furthermore, you couldn’t start fundraising campaigns, debate social problems, or make concrete realities visible.

In reality, without these resources, the voices of millions would become muffled. Indeed, they’d have to find other more complex means of being heard.

woman in a world without social networks

8. You’d have more time for other things

Perhaps you’re one of those people who can’t live without Wi-Fi and without checking your notifications every five seconds. Or one of those who spend hours every night on Instagram or TikTok. In a world without social media, you’d suddenly find yourself with more time.

You’d read more books. You’d be more connected with real life and not with life online. Maybe your mental health would even improve.

Finally, life without social media would be very different for the vast majority but the same for those who don’t use them. You’d be forced to remember the birthdays of your friends and family. Furthermore, perhaps cell phones would no longer even have cameras.

The changes would be infinite, but you’d survive. In fact, as a species, we’ve managed to live without these resources for thousands of years.

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