It is hard to think of a time when we were not constantly checking our phones to see if we were retweeted, snapchatted, or had our pictures liked on Instagram. It seems as though social media rules our lives at times, for better or for worse. Studies have even shown that social media is addictive. This article aims to show you how to quit social media, whether it be for the short or long term.
Turn Off Push Notifications
How many times have you heard your phone chime, vibrate, or light up, see you have a social media notification, and then spend at least 10 minutes browsing your newsfeeds because of it? Yeah. A lot. This type of Pavlovian response has been fostered over the past decade thanks to the notifications we receive when someone interacts with us on social media. More often than not, the interactions are surface-level, and can wait to be attended to. To help wean yourself off of the impulsive phone checking, go to settings and turn off push notifications for your social media outlets. This will reduce the number of times you check your phone and your social media apps throughout the day.
One Has to Go
It can be tough to go cold turkey with any addiction, and social media is no exception. Instead of cutting out all social media, this choice for how to quit social media is often more effective. Pick your least used social media outlet, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or another platform, and delete the app from your phone, and opt to not have your computer remember the login for this account. If you’re really committed, you can even delete your account. Attempt to stay off of this social media network for at least a week. If you are successful, try to delete another account, and so on, until you have quit your social media entirely.
Declutter the Phone
One of the many reasons we mindlessly scroll through social media is because the rest of the smartphone is out of memory for interesting apps and photos. Take a couple of days to scroll through your entire camera roll (yes, all two thousand photos) and select which photos matter enough to keep, and which ones can be deleted. Then, check your apps and delete the ones you do not frequently use. This will not only clear up valuable memory on your phone and create space for more important apps for work, news, and finance, but it will help clear your mind and take the emphasis off of social media apps for at least a couple of days.
Keep your Friends Close…
Social media makes it far too easy to sit at home and hide behind a screen. In the “old days” – so, like, 2005 – you either had to call your friends up or make plans with them in person. Plus, you had to commit to those plans as it was often hard to get in touch with your group to cancel. Return to this method of socializing and attempt to make plans with people as you see them in person. Instead of sending a meaningless “we should hang out” text, actually follow through and keep the commitment. Some real socialization with no phones needed is the best thing we can teach you when it comes to how to quit social media.
And your Enemies…
Closer? Not in the case of quitting social media. How many “friends” have you racked up on Facebook and other social networking sites? Probably thousands. Take some time to scroll through your “friends” and “following” lists and decide whose lives you would genuinely like to be part of and stay updated on. Unfriend those you do not know, those you are not close with, and certainly those who have left a negative mark on your life. Keep to your real friends, and see our tip above for how to return to the golden days of making “real” plans.
Learning how to quit social media takes time. Turning off notifications, revisiting old memories, and rekindling friendships are the perfect places to start. Have you successfully quit most social media outlets? We would love to hear your story – tell us about it in the comments!