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How to Quit Social Media in 8 Steps

When overuse of social media causes anxiety, doom-scrolling, feeling drained, FOMO (fear of missing out), or body image issues, it’s no wonder many people have chosen to quit or reduce their social media usage. As a result, many have found improvements in their mental health, as well as free time to do more of what they love.

But with social media so intertwined with our lives how to you accomplish make the break? Let’s get into it.

Quitting Cold Turkey

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Some people don’t want to waste their time and have an all-or-nothing approach. If that’s the case, quitting cold turkey might be the option for you. Save any data you still want to keep, notify friends or family of your decision, and then delete your accounts. It really can be that simple if you’ve made up your mind.

And if not, don’t worry – the next steps are all for you.

Quitting Gradually

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Quitting overnight isn’t the right approach for everyone. If you tend to relapse or find it tricky to change habits abruptly, doing it gradually might be the better option for you. If you want to know how to do this in eight steps, keep reading.

Step 1: Track Your Usage

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You can track your app usage on your iPhone by opening Settings > Screen Time > See All App & Website Activity, and selecting your social media app to check your stats. If it’s just 15-30 minutes per day, you might not need a drastic overnight account deletion, and reducing your usage by half could do the trick. But if you find yourself spending 3 hours daily on social media, it might be time to try the next ideas.

Step 2: Set Time Limits

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It’s hard to limit your app usage when social media is so engaging. You watch a reel, scroll a bit, and before you know it, an hour has passed. You can easily set a customized time limit for each app on your iPhone: Settings > Screen Time > App Limits > Enable “App Limits” option > Add limit > add your social media app and preferred time limit. If you’re spending hours daily, try to reduce it to 1. A week later, reduce it to 30 minutes, and so on. Baby steps go a long way.

Step 3: Turn off Notifications

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Notifications are inherently set up to give you dopamine kicks. The red badge on app icons can give you either a thrill of excitement for a new message or a rush of anxiety for yet another task on your daily list. To turn off notifications on an iPhone, just go to Settings > Notifications > select your social media app > disable the “Allow Notifications” option. This is a very efficient technique, and it’s how I prefer my social media settings. This way, I only open it when I want.

Step 4: Put Apps Into Folders

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Sometimes, the only reason people are so much on social media is due to sheer force of habit. For this, moving your apps into a dedicated folder helps switch things up a bit, so your finger doesn’t automatically slide over to those colorful icons on the main screen. A little extra effort is all it takes to break up old habits.

Step 5: Ask a Friend for Support

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In today’s chronically online era, not having a Facebook, Instagram or TikTok account can feel like being a digital outcast. It’s where people bond (or argue) over all the latest trends, news and beauty hacks.

Reaching out to a friend can be very helpful: by being encouraged and held accountable by your support system, you no longer feel isolated or alone in this endeavor. You can also ask a friend if they’d be willing to quit social media with you. That way, you can check in with each other and walk this journey together.

Step 6: Uninstall Apps

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The next step is uninstalling the social media apps of your choice from your devices. It’s okay if you’re not yet ready to delete any accounts yet, and just want to take a break for the time being. It’s also okay if you want to do an experiment on whether you can stop using social media, and for how long. Regardless of the reason, uninstalling an app is a great way to remove the temptation – out of sight, out of mind.

Step 7: Deactivate Your Accounts

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If none of the previous steps have made a significant difference, or you’ve made up your mind to quit, it’s time to deactivate (or delete) your account. Just remember to save any information, messages or photos you want to keep. Depending on the platform, deleting the account is permanent, so make sure all your ducks are in a row before going through with it.

Step 8: Build New Habits

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Lastly, in order to avoid relapsing into old habits, it’s important to build new healthy ones. Having more time to do what you love is one of the benefits of quitting social media.

Every time you feel tempted to open up that app, do a quick doodle or sketch in a notebook. Read a short poem. Do a breathing exercise. Or just take a delicious tea break. Whichever resonates with you, making these new choices daily will help build better habits that nourish your mind and spirit.

More Ways to Revamp Your Routines

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Author: S.K. Lumen

Title: Writer

Expertise: women's personal development, mental health, self love

S.K. Lumen is a writer, artist and blogger who is passionate about helping women become their best selves. She writes about personal development, self-love, self-care, wellness & mental health.