I became inactive on social media about eight years ago. I deleted all accounts except Facebook because all of those “friends” I had. After four years, Facebook was gone too. It wasn’t easy. Those things are made to be highly addictive, offering continual hits of dopamine. While Facebook was disabled, but not yet deleted, I received multiple emails per day teasing me to go see what so-and-so had posted. I had to mark them as spam to avoid the temptation.
Like someone quitting any other bad habit, I tried and failed multiple times before it stuck. Recently a fellow blogger posted about how using a dumb phone can help curb social media addition. That reminded me of how I finally found success.
I studied psychology in college and, while that was an ignorant and regrettable decision, it taught me a lot about human motivation and methods of manipulation. I knew how and why I felt drawn to check social media several times per day. I thus figured out how to break the algorithm to my advantage.
A Tip For Quitting Social Media
- Unfollow (or whatever it may be called nowadays) all brands and influencers. Everything.
- Unfriend all acquaintances, so the only connections left are a handful of your family and close friends. Watch as your curated news feed become boring. With a dozen connections, there’s nothing interesting to see. Little changes on a daily basis.
- See the ad algorithm break in front of your eyes. Without following brands and topics, the platform will have no idea what you’re interested in. Ads for sexy clubbing dresses will transform into ads for frumpy muumuus. Ads for enticing personal development courses will be replaced by ads for cloth diapers. At least this was the case in 2014.
- Delete you account, or disable the account to test the waters before deletion. If the platform taunts you with emails, mark them as spam.
Within two weeks of taking the above steps, I went from mildly addicted to Facebook to completely disinterested. And I haven’t been back since.
Things have probably changed in the last eight years, but it may be worth a shot if you’re trying and struggling to break free.