I’m pretty sure everyone considers going back to a life without social media every now and again. It’s stressful, it’s time consuming, and even if we can think of 100 different good things it brings to our lives, we’re also not really sure any of them are worth it.

That said, most of us won’t ever have the self discipline to actually do it, so it’s pretty interesting to hear about what happened afterward from 16 people who pulled the trigger.

16. Interesting everyone’s ideas on the “most toxic.”

I deleted Instagram around 4 weeks ago and I have not felt more at peace.

I was not that active anyway but Instagram is one toxic social media platform.

15. The anxiety thing would be huge for so many of us.

I honestly don’t miss them at all.

I feel a lot more free, I feel less anxious.

14. People do expect that you’ll have accounts.

In full disclosure, I haven’t deleted my accounts, but removed the apps from my phone so I never go on them. My mental health has improved drastically! I don’t waste hours mindlessly scrolling and I don’t get caught up in friend or family drama. (The impetus for deleting my accounts was several toxic family members posting things to get attention or to passive aggressively start arguments; it took so much mental energy seeing that all the time, and was also an easy out for me to—truthfully—say I didn’t see these posts.)

I deleted SM right before covid and I’m so thankful. With everything going on with the pandemic and the growing anti-racism movement, I am so glad I don’t have to look at ignorant posts (covid is a government conspiracy, “all lives matter”, etc.).

The drawback is how much people rely on social media to share important news. I’ve missed some big things that have happened in friends’ lives (deaths in the family, for example) or party invitations (posted solely on FB) and they’re surprised/offended when I don’t know: “I posted on Facebook/instagram/Twitter.” It’s unfortunate that people don’t reach out to people directly anymore.

13. Like everything, it’s only hard at the beginning.

Deleted Facebook and Instagram about 2 years ago. Don’t miss them at all.

The fear of “missing out” and constantly checking Facebook got to me and I realized it was a problem. Then I justified it by keeping it around for family and other connections I thought I cared about.

Finally I deleted it. It’s hard for the first week or so but now it’s so much better.

I think Facebook, and especially Instagram, is. a net negative impact on society.

12. Lighter is good…

I actually feel fantastic! So much lighter or something–

I actually didn’t realize how draining they all were until I deleted them either.

And with reddit, I’ve set a timer so I don’t end up sucked in or using it as a replacement. I’ve just gotten into the habit of using it for finding out information or talking to people about hobbies I have. So, I’ve kinda changed how I use this too.

But yeah it’s been so good for my mental health and don’t miss it at all.

11. We all know it’s a huge time waster.

I kept Instagram but deleted every thing else. I feel so free, and so much less down every day. I’m also much more productive. Realised how much of my time I was wasting seeing people I disliked give their opinions on things all the time… I would never hang with them in real life, so why subject myself to it ?

10. That’s about the size of it.

Twitter: Watch strangers overreact to the news

Facebook: Watch your friends pretend life is better than it is

Insta: Watch strangers pretend life is better than it is

LinkedIn: Watch former coworkers pretend they know how business should operate

Reddit: Anonymous people chatting normally with anonymous people

9. You have to prioritize your mental health.

I deleted all of my social media in my sophomore year of high school. I felt really free, social media really takes a jab at my mental health. I didn’t discover reddit for seven long years. But in that time I started reintegration into social media to a degree, I tried Instagram, but it started to weigh on me. I just recently set up a LinkedIn and a professional Facebook, but I have to set clear boundaries with myself.

I don’t know why, but Reddit doesn’t trigger me as much. Even though the community is just overflowing with incredible people who I could never compare to in any meaningful way. I just don’t find myself trying to measure my life next to other’s. Maybe it’s the feeling of anonymity Reddit allows you.

8. It all does seem a bit pointless when you put it that way.

I quit social media 2012 and never looked back. It’s just a spamfeed tbh.

Worst part about social media is: people debating online, with people they don’t know. Who the fuck cares?

I work with teenagers and observe sometimes how obsessed they are with getting likes and how they value themselves and others based on how many Likes / follower there are. I feel sorry for them growing up like this.

I think social media is bad for society.

7. Peace sounds nice.

It’s a lot more peaceful, and I’m actually much happier now

6. Leave the drama behind.

Im now a no drama llama, and its wonderful.

5. No one needs to be angrier, that’s for sure.

After 10 years of being a heavy Facebook user, I started slowly backing off in 2018. I disabled it a couple of times and then when I was ready, I downloaded all the content and actually got one of those books made (it was pretty cool) and just deleted it. Best decision I’d ever made, sad, but I didn’t miss it. I’ve recently moved away from my family so I got an IG and a Facebook to share pictures and and that’s pretty much the only time I’m on either. Every time I get on Facebook for longer than a few seconds I just get so angry at the stupidity. Not like I’m super smart or anything but just the way people flaunt their stupidity makes me so damned angry.

4. They say it’s life changing!

I believe it changed my life in a positive way. There is no more comparing yourself to others. A lot of people try to flex online when their life is actually boring or all their materialistic items are purchased on credit. With out social media you’re more likely to focus on yourself not to mention the wasted time spent endlessly scrolling.

3. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

I was pretty into FB for quite some time… keeping up with acquaintances, family, staying in touch with friends who moved and so on.

I dunno, I just found myself getting irrationally angry at some “causes du jour” (the photo of the deceased Syrian boy, tsunami victims, etc.)… with people suddenly and intensely caring about whatever recent tragedy, only to have it forgotten and replaced by “the best hamburger in town” a day or two later, rampant misinformation being spread, “thoughts and prayers,” corny professions of love from grown adults, and purposefully vague statements of malaise (“I just can’t anymore… this is just too hard and painful… I will be gone… for awhile or forever…”)

None of it was really worthy of my rancor, no one was really being harmed by these posts, it’s just folks doing themselves… but it made me irritated for whatever reason.

And that’s my shit… over-judgmental, ego nonsense.

I’m obviously not going to change them (nor should I), and although I tried, I couldn’t shut up that judgy person in my mind… so I stepped away.

It’s really for the best of everyone involved, and I don’t get sucked into needless drama anymore and I don’t have to pretend to care about people in my periphery and vice versa.

I’m usually the last to know about happenings in the family, and frankly, that’s not always a bad thing.

2. There are pros and cons to every situation.

I deleted my Facebook in January 2011 when I was 19, and so for all of my twenties I haven’t really had a “peer group” to compare myself to online. I’ll try to give a nuanced picture of this instead of just being like, “I feel great, social media is bad”.

I think the pros of this situation are that I don’t make FOMO-based decisions, because I have no real sense of what I’m missing out on. I don’t compare my life to other people, so I can identify my own wants and needs in a genuine way. I can prioritize the relationships that matter in my life because I’m not awash in data about acquaintances, celebrities, etc. I have no pressure to “perform” my life for anyone else, I can just live it for me.

The cons include that I’ve probably been isolated in certain ways, or maybe I’m not being exposed to opportunities that I would be otherwise if I were a more accessible part of social networks. I do have to make more of an effort to keep up with specific people. And maybe having more comparisons or competition would be good in some ways in terms of motivation, inspiration, or ambition. I feel excluded from certain cultural movements or dialogue. Especially with so much of culture being crowd sourced on social media, in some ways I’m opting out of being able to create or contribute anything to those spheres.

I think the reason I ultimately stay away from social media is because it can be a positive experience for positive people. For people who see it as a valuable tool for change, connection, making friends, making improvements, sharing joy, building other people up – it’s great to be part of a network that may enhance that. Especially because people emulate what they are surrounded by, and the internet is great for connecting people who otherwise wouldn’t be connected.

But it can also amplify negativity. And deep down, I am a cynical person, an anxious person, and a chronically dissatisfied person. And that would color my experience with social media. I am pessimistic, and so my view on social media is more likely to be colored by pessimism. Opting out is acknowledging that aspect of myself – “social media is bad,” for me, because I’m more likely to cultivate a negative experience for myself.

1. He felt like a new person.

I gave everything up except Instagram, but leaving FB and Twitter a few years back was fucking liberating.

This is super fascinating! I’m not sure I could do it, but a girl can dream!

Have you ever taken even an extended break? Tell us in the comments what the experience was like for you!