Detaching from social media was a topic I planned to write about a few days ago. It seems all the more relevant with the entire internet buzzing about Essena O’Neill. Despite being a new vegan, I hadn’t heard of Essena until Anji of Happy Health Vegan made a response video to her. Essena is a 19-year-old Australian woman who made YouTube videos and had a wide following on Instagram. Last week she now famously quit social media.
Quitting social media is definitely a feeling I’ve had in the past. Every social media platform I’ve ever joined I’ve quit at least once. I’ve also complained that Instagram is basically a compilation everyone hanging out without you. And, oh, I quit Facebook about four years ago.
Social media pressure can be stupidly overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s three coping mechanisms I’ve developed for my social media life.
Lesson One: Remove social media apps from your phone.
I recently got fed up with Instagram. I had this feeling of, “This is stupid! I am done with this!” I could have deleted my account, but if I changed my mind, I’d have to start over. Instead of deleting my account, I simply deleted the app off my phone. It gave me that feeling of quitting without, you know, actually quitting. Vindication! Well, kind of.
Lesson Two: Turn of notifications.
I used to be obsessed with Instagram likes. It became exhausting and, well, stupid, so I turned off notifications. I also turned off Twitter notifications. While I’m not exactly addicted to Twitter (anymore), I like the surprise of checking the app and seeing if I have anything new.
Lesson Three: Leave for as long as you feel necessary.
When I was super frustrated with Instagram, I took a two week break. I still checked in on my feed, but I didn’t post myself. I’ve also had friends who have done this for Facebook, which you can actually delete and then reactivate if you change your mind. At the very least, it gives you a small break. The only platform I haven’t quit for a long period is Twitter because, well, I love it. It might feel like you’re leaving for a long time, but probably the only one who will notice is you and maybe your mom.
I hope these three tips help you deal with the (unreal) pressures of social media. The important thing to remember is that you’re the one in control and there are no rules!