mental health

Why I'm Deleting My Social Media

That’s right, I’m finally taking the plunge. I’m going to delete all of my social media accounts.

Here are the main reasons why:

  • Time - I’ve spent way too much time on it the past decade or more. I want that time back. I want to spend those hours with my wife. I want more time to run and write and take road trips and travel and go to the movies and all of the stuff that makes life worth living. I’m doing all of those things now, but imagine getting to do them even more!

  • Creativity - I want to avoid what other people are doing in an effort to keep finding my voice. I don’t want to be influenced by other people’s videos or photos or shows or ideas. I just want to find my own little corner, keep my head down, and do things that make me happy.

  • It Doesn’t Matter - We’ve become convinced that you need social media to survive in 2019. How else will we stay connected? How else will we promote our events? How else can people contact you? The truth is, my best professional opportunities, personal connections, events, and contacts have all happened offline. We don’t need it to be successful, we’ve just forgotten how to do it in other ways.

  • Mental Health - In an effort to improve my mental health I’ve been limiting my online activity for months now. My anxiety and depression has gone away and I’ve been much happier, but the impulse to log on is still there and I want to replace that impulse with something else.

  • Privacy - This is a no brainer, right? I’m tired of ads following me around, companies knowing too much about me, and social networks gathering my data for who-knows-what. I’m taking back some control over my information.

  • Mystery - I want more mystery in my life. I don’t want to know your baby’s name or what you ate for lunch. I don’t need to know about your political opinions and I won’t be RSVP’ing to your next event. It’s not that I don’t care - it’s that I want to actually have something to talk about the next time I see you. It’s better that way.

I’ve read many books this year about ways to “break up with your phone” or limit your screen time. They all talk about ways to trick yourself into using your phone less. They tell you to set timers, use a “dumb phone”, delete the apps from your phone for awhile, and so on…but I don’t think they go far enough.

We’ve created this problem - the incessant need to be on our devices, constantly sharing with one another - and now people are trying to create a solution, without thinking that maybe you could just eliminate the thing that go us into this mess in the first place.

Someone came up to me after a show a few weeks ago, wanting to talk about mystery and how my mantra was resonating with them. They told me how they’d recently been to their high school reunion and that they noticed something that paralleled with my show.

“Everyone knew everything about each other,” they told me. They knew how many kids their classmates had, where they’d travelled to, what their careers were, and so on. There was no mystery, no joy in discovering something new about another person. There was nothing left to talk about.

So yeah, I’m deleting my social media accounts. I want to live the life that I’m talking about onstage. (I’m only keeping YouTube, since I greatly enjoy making videos, but everything else will be gone by the end of the month.)

Am I excited? Yes, absolutely. There are a few loose ends to tie up, then it’s all going away. Then it’ll just be me, my wife, coffee, good books, and my Olivetti Lettera 32. I can’t freaking wait.

Is it a dumb move? Possibly. I’m sure if I had a full-time manager they’d tell me I was crazy, but that’s the great part about being self-employed and only having to answer to myself.

Will I regret it? No way. I’ve never been able to move the needle on social media like I have with my live shows. I would rather connect with people in the real world then spend my time scheduling posts and shamelessly self-promoting to no end. I’ve thought about this for long enough, it’s time to follow through.

That being said, there are still a few ways to keep up with what I’m doing:

Other Thoughts:

  • I just finished my six-week run at Liberty Magic in Pittsburgh. The show got fantastic reviews. It was a great experience and I hope to go back for another residency again sometime soon.

  • Check out this clip of some mind reading on Jim Krenn’s “No Restrictions” podcast:

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading.


Recently someone called to book me for a really cool event. It sounded like a fun conference for the kind of people who enjoy my show and I was available. But I turned it down.

They didn't have the right stage and the venue didn't work well with my requirements. I always make sure my sound, lighting, staging, and scheduling fits in with what I do. And if I can't make it happen I always try to recommend someone who can. It’s far easier to point the organizer in a better direction than try to alter what I do to fit their event.

I turn down a lot of gigs. If it doesn't fit my act, I really don't want to do it. I don't want to give people a sub-par performance. I want to do the types of events that allow me to give the best performance possible. Plus, eliminating events that stress me out has really improved my mental health.

In the past few years I've been struggling with extreme anxiety and depression. Dealing with difficult clients and unsatisfactory gigs has only made it worse. I care so deeply about giving people a memorable experience that I end up having a panic attack whenever anything goes wrong.

Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, my heart and mind racing because of something small that happened during a recent show. When there are too many variables out of my control, I know it's going to affect me in negative ways.

So I've been removing those variables. I’ve been screening my gigs more thoroughly and only taking the ones that won't make me anxious.

I hate giving advice, but here's what I've learned: You don’t have to be everything at once for all people everywhere. Find your niche and focus your efforts on doing whatever that might be. Saying “no” to stuff that makes you unhappy will always end up making you happier in the long run.