How This 29-Year-Old Woman Lives Social Media-Free

Photo: Courtesy Alexis Bradshaw.
These days, it feels like a given that everyone has a Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat account (and more likely all three). But there are still some people who managed to avoid ever joining social media, or who only used it for a brief time. Alexis Bradshaw, 29, is one of those people. Here, she tells us her story and why, despite our collective social-media obsession, she still steadfastly abstains. How long have you been social-media-free?
"Seven years. I only ever had a Facebook for four years while I was in college. I was dating people, and people were using it to contact me and I didn’t have time to check it. I thought, This is a poor thing for me to have; people think they can reach me here, and they can’t. And then with work, I never got into spending time on it. (I do use LinkedIn, but that’s literally it.)" Do you still have a Facebook account?
"No, I deleted the account altogether — which is not the simplest thing. It goes on for 14 days in case you change your mind!"

And you haven't had any desire to try out Instagram or Facebook or anything since then?
"I've always been told I’m like an old person. I just really have no interest — I have all these books I need to read. I try to read The Economist, Fortune, and Inc. every week. It’s a time thing. And unless you’re going to be an expert giving me an opinion on something, I don’t really want your opinion on it. I don’t need the general public’s opinion on stuff. I totally get that there are interesting commercial and business reasons to utilize a handful of these platforms, but that hasn’t been relevant for me, and the purely social aspect has not really been that interesting."

What phone do you use?
"I used a BlackBerry up until eight months ago, and then I finally switched — I was peer-pressured to get an iPhone. I use it mostly for reading The Economist. That’s my favorite reason I got the iPhone — all my newspapers I get on there, Reuters and everything like that. And I use it mostly for work, really. And the camera."
Photo: Courtesy Alexis Bradshaw.
Do your friends or family ever pressure you to join?
"No! Actually, it’s one of the reasons my boyfriend says he loves me — I never ask him to take pictures of me to post on something. One time, some girl was taking a picture of herself under an awning. I never have to do that; there’s nowhere for it to go." Do you ever feel like you're missing out?
"People are generally very kind and helpful if there’s something I should know. I’m also doing my master's and working full-time... But I have two younger sisters, so if there's something funny on Instagram, they’ll share it with me. That’s my cheat way."

What are your overarching thoughts about social media?
"Honestly, I just hate social media. I really do. I have no interest. It’s mostly the time thing — I can’t see myself spending time on it."

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